Having a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, I have to be extra aware of the amount of stimulation that she receives, and in what ways. I also have to balance that with her food intake (both the amount that she eats and what type of food she eats) and the amount of rest and/or downtime that she gets.
Yesterday was a very, very busy day for us as we went to the 4th of July celebration on post. I’m thankful that we were able to go at all, of course. I know families who have kids with SPD and they aren’t able to attend events like this at all because their children can’t handle the sounds of the fireworks. Lovebug actually LOVES fireworks, as long as she is prepared for the sound ahead of time. Surprising since she has to leave the room when I use the blender or the vacuum! She did have a huge problem with the music being so loud, and I forgot her noise-reducing headphones, so it was a great thing our tent was not close to the speakers.
However, as far as sensory input goes though, the day was FULL of various sources.
Feeling – The heat was incredible and that alone can wear you out.
Sounds – The music, the sounds of the thousands of people talking at once, kids yelling
The sights – The colors, the people, the tents, the bounce houses – so much to look at and take in
Activity – Tons of walking! We walked 3/4 of a mile from our car to the activities, and then walked around the parade field a great deal. Lovebug also spent some time in a few bounce houses. Normally that’s a great thing because she always has extra energy, but this time it was just one more thing zapping her energy. Then, there was the long walk back to the car.
It was a very long day, but it was a great day.
That means that today I had to know when to call it quits.
This morning Lovebug had swimming lessons. I couldn’t do anything about that other than miss them completely, so we went and she did very well. This afternoon, however, she was bouncing off the walls unable to focus or follow simple instructions. We had gone out to run a couple errands, but we only made it to the first quick one. Then, we went over to the commissary and I sat in the parking lot for 10 minutes trying to decide whether or not to go in.
It was pouring down rain, and Lovebug was bouncing all over the place even while sitting in her carseat. She was talking nonstop and unable to focus. I sat there thinking about whether or not I wanted to walk through the parking lot in the rain and then try to shop for 2 weeks worth of groceries with this bouncing ball of a daughter along side me.
It wasn’t her fault, and it wasn’t a behavior issue. It was simply a matter of overstimulation.
So, I called it. I told her I didn’t feel like grocery shopping today and we were going home to order pizza and play. We watched a little TV, we did a puzzle, and we ate dinner in the quietness of our own home. It was awesome!!
It wasn’t even a gluten free pizza, which would have been best for both of us, but GF pizza crusts were on my grocery list, and I didn’t feel like cooking from scratch. We ordered pizza from a place we’d never tried, but that came highly recommended, and it was awesome!
We’ll go grocery shopping tomorrow instead. Some days you have to know when to quit. For the sake of everyone involved.