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SPD, respite care, and birthday week

Once again, we are seeing a link between occupational therapy and sensory processing disorder. Raya's OT was sick on Friday so we missed our appointment. Over the past couple of days especially, we have noticed an increase in her overall activity level and definitely in her sensitivity to touch and attention span (even for an almost 2 year old :). She's been bouncing off the walls again. And climbing on the table. And putting her feet on the table after she finishes her sour cream:
Her PT session was difficult today because she had absolutely zero attention span and she also wouldn't let Jessica touch her unless she had a serious distraction (i.e. iPod touch). Even then, it only lasted for about 30 seconds and then she wiggled away from her. She just plain didn't want to be touched.
Yesterday when we woke up, it was pretty chilly outside and inside, (48 outside, 68 inside) so I put a long sleeved shirt on her. As soon as I pulled her hands through the sleeves, she started grabbing and pulling at them and yelling, "Ah-wah OFF!" I made her leave it on because I figured she'd get over it and because I was trying to get the big kids ready for school. As soon as she saw the other kids putting jackets on, she wanted one on and that seemed to be the end of her fit over the long sleeves. :)
So the conclusion to be drawn here is that we are obviously not doing enough sensory work with her at home to compensate for missing an OT session. I have to admit that I am not good at keeping up with all of the things I'm supposed to be doing with her for OT, PT, and FT, plus the food schedule and remembering to give her the extra water she's supposed to get through the tube during the day now. It's a lot to remember, and it's easy to let some of the less essential things go, especially when they're met with as much resistance as Raya sometimes puts up. It's not a good excuse, I know. Thank heavens Raya's progress in the last year has not been proportionate to my lack of effort. :)

Okay, new subject. Respite care has been SO AWESOME! In a lot of ways, it makes me feel guilty. Who wouldn't love the opportunity to have a babysitter whose fees are covered by insurance to come for up to 10 hours a week so they can have a little break from their feisty 2 year old?? But at the same time, I feel a little twinge of guilt every time I get out of the car at church and Raya's not there, or when Kaida and I go play at the park and Raya's at home with her respite provider. I also have to remind myself that Raya needs to learn to be comfortable being away from me since she hardly ever has been. It's really good for her to have 3 hours of undivided attention from her respite provider too. Raya LOVES her, and that definitely makes it easier to leave her.

Aside from avoiding germs in public places, one of the most important reasons why I decided to start taking advantage of our respite care hours is this girl:
Out of all the kids, Kaida has probably suffered the most because of Raya's medical issues. She's the one that has been shuffled from friend to friend & family member to family member as I've taken Raya to doctor and therapy appointments and rushed off to the hospital for days at a time. She's dealt with everything really well and is very sweet to Raya when they're not fighting over something. :) Even so, damage has been done and respite is now allowing me to spend a few hours a week having one-on-one time with Kaida. Yesterday since it had rained early in the morning, we had to have an indoor playdate so we went out to breakfast and then did our grocery shopping for the week. By the end, she was DYING to get out of the store (she hates shopping) but we had fun and it's really good to have some alone time with her.

Topic #3: Birthday week! Raya will be 2 years old on Thursday and today, she got a card from her great-grandparents in California and a gift from her grandparents in Idaho. I hadn't planned on having her open it today but the paper had a little hole in it and once she saw the hole, that was the end of it. :)
If something has "sensory" in the name, it's probably a good pick for Raya right now. :) There were 5 or 6 of them in the package. They have different textures on the surfaces & a couple of them are funny shapes. She LOVES them!
She HAD to carry as many as she possibly could at a time for the rest of the evening and when it was time for bed, 3 of them went with her:
We're not really doing a party for her birthday but we have plans to do something fun as a family on Friday afternoon. Maybe this year she'll have a taste of her birthday cake. (That one still gets me a little.)
She sure is growing up!


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