The Challenges and Gifts of Sensory Processing Disorder

When our daughter, Ransom, was about 5 or 6 months old we started to realize that something felt a bit off. While all babies cry, she seemed to cry a lot and not just a fussy cry, but a “something is very VERY wrong” cry. It was so stressful to watch our babygirl in what appeared to be pain for hours and hours every day. Since she was exclusively breastfed I tried to change my own diet first to see if that would help. My immediate conclusion was that she must have a tummy ache or reflux, which we eventually started treating her for and with not much relief to her (or anyone in the family). The screaming would go in for 8-12 hours a day and my oldest daughter, Jordan, became so anxious and upset so we did our best to keep her busy with acting classes and drill team so that she wouldn’t have to be around the screaming. It was beyond discouraging and I couldn’t help but feel like I was failing all of my children.
After a year of changing diets, medications, essential oils, baby massage, and lots and lots of baths— one of the only places she would calm down— we were referred to a clinic that specializes in helping children with Sensory Processing Disorder. I cannot fully describe how miraculous that place was. They were able to work with Ransom one-on-one as well as in group settings to help her overcome so many challenges. While she was in class and different therapy session, the school had a program designed to educate parents. I spent hours each week learning all about sensory processing issues along with autism and other neurological disorders... for the first time on my journey as Ransom’s mom I felt empowered to be able to help and soothe her. I learned to look at her from a sensory processing perspective and not just get overwhelmed. I was able to keep myself calm while helping her slowly work through her challenges like, wearing clothes, loud startling noises, irritating textures, kids touching her etc.
The biggest thing lesson I was able to learn was that Ransom was sensory seeking. She craved “heavy work” and lots of resistant exercise like swimming or running through a ball pit. She also did well with weighted vests and we were even able to create a soft cotton breathable weighted blanket to help her and its grown into a great little business called Sheltered Co.

This experience has definitely changed me and my family. Not only have our eyes been opened up to an entire world of neurological and mental disorders, but we have all gained an insane amount of patience while on this journey. Don’t get me wrong, we still lose our minds, but the overall feeling of “we’ve got this” has been increasingly more present.

Our older daughter was the one most affected by Ransom’s behaviors and she’ll be the first to tell you how far she’s come and how much Ransom has improved. Our youngest daughter, Story, doesn’t know any different. She spent A LOT of time as a newborn in the swing so that we could help Ransom to stay calm and help her regulate her own body. Story is pretty independent because of that and if there’s ever any major issues we just explain that “Ransom needs space” and that usually does the trick.

School has been another godsend for us. Ransom has had an IEP (individual education program) for the past few years and she’s been flourishing in a combined class of 1/2 regular ed and 1/2 special abilities. The teachers and the aids have been so helpful and I’m so sad to leave it all behind. Ransom has excelled and progressed so much over the past few years that she will attend a regular ed transitional kindergarten class next year. We are so excited to see her continue to excel while being surrounded by some great friends that will be her classmates. I have my share of fears, but I’ve decided to set them aside and stay positive because that’s what my daughter needs from me. Having a child that’s required so much “extra” has been so overwhelming at times, but with the same breath I can say that’s it’s made it that much more worth it. I’m so proud to be her mama and I’m proud of how far she’s come, I feel like she’s our little unicorn that’s brought our family even closer together.  -Pamela
To learn more about Pamela and the blanket company she started to help other families with sensory disorders, please follow along
Or check out her Kickstarter here
Want to hear more stories from real mamas? Check out Morgan's modern family HERE

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