Monday, February 22, 2010

What Do I Know?

Most of the writing that I have been doing lately has been on Twitter. It is amazing how much you can find yourself saying, in chunks of 140 characters (or less), especially when you are supposed to be processing invoices for employee benefits. Oops.

Someone had reTweeted information about The Coffee Klatch, a morning chat among moms of kids with special needs. Each day there is a specific topic, most often with a guest expert. Recent topics have included managing playdates for kids with special needs, nutrition for our kids and for ourselves, and relaxation techniques. I started hanging around for the chat, picking up some great experience from amazing women. There have been several topics that relate to raising kids with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as my son’s Asperger’s Syndrome, and I have found myself speaking up in the group.

Still, I usually expect to lurk. It surprises me when I have something to contribute. For example, when Lori Lite was recently the guest, the discussion focused on calming strategies for our kids. Many kids, not just with ASD, have issues with getting to sleep or staying asleep, or both. I mentioned that one thing that helps my Peanut is the use of a weighted blanket, and I was asked to explain a little about that. Kids on the spectrum often have some form of Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD (which still makes me think of Power Rangers, though my kids have been past Power Rangers for a few years).

My son is one who craves very high amounts of sensory input. When he is especially sensory-seeking, he tends to fidget so that he bumps into people or thumps his chair around, sometimes deliberately crashing into the floor – not to hurt himself but for the constant input from objects around him. At bedtime, he likes to curl up against my side but also likes the sensation of being covered with some weight. If you are one of those people who must have some sort of cover on you to sleep, no matter how warm the weather, imagine taking that need up several notches.

In the discussion, I summarized weighted gear as therapy for kids with sensory differences, and listed the website where I found good products at reasonable prices (http://saltoftheearthweightedgear.com/). And people found it helpful. Which is amazing. Amazing because this is what I want to do. Share what I have learned through writing about my experience, not as a pedantic expert but as a fellow traveler. I just didn’t think I knew enough about anything. So it is at once humbling and exalting to realize that there are things that I can write about, somewhat knowledgeably. I may know more than I had thought.

In writing what I know, I keep wanting to right more about the journey I've taken through an abusive marriage. To do that, I am in the process of setting up a new, more anonymous blog at Wordpress (so it doesn't link to the profile on this site). When it is ready, I will find a way to let you know where to find it. Thanks for reading.


Pertinent Links:

Lori Lite, creator of Stress Free Kids. @StressFreeKids on Twitter. Also http://www.youtube.com/StressFreeKids.

@TheCoffeeKlatch on Twitter. There is also a Facebook page, which includes useful links related to the topics of discussion.

http://www.sensorysmarts.com/ Website based on one of my favorite books on the subject, Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsay Biel and Nancy Peske. The foreword to the most recent edition is written by Dr. Temple Grandin.

http://www.sensoryprocessingdisorder.com/ SPD was previously referred to as Sensory Integration Disorder.

Special Mom Talk: http://www.specialmomtalk.com/ and@specialmomtalk on Twitter

2 comments:

Brenda said...

Hi, there! Yes, Twitter is a REAL barrier to getting my laundry done! And goodness knows, I hate that. ;)

Barb Brooks said...

Oh my gosh! Thanks for posting a comment - that happens so infrequently that I about jump out of my skin when the notice pops up (I know, it will help when I post regularly. Getting there!)