Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Life in an extrasensory world

Jupiter is car rocking again.

This means that every time she rides in the car, she leans backwards and forwards, banging her back end against the back seat of the car.  Over. and Over. and Over.  Typically accompainied by a repetitive chant, but sometimes actual singing with words.  Often hard enough to make the car move back and forth on the struts while we're stopped at a red light.

I know there's a fancy name for this type of sensory input.  I know Heidi the Goddess of Therapeutic Riding Instructors could tell me what it is.  I don't keep track of the fancy names.  I just call it sensory seeking.

She gave it up about a year and a half ago, just deciding one day that she wasn't going to do that any more.  Honestly, I had gotten to the point where it was just what she did and I mostly didn't notice that she was rocking and chanting.  (Until I got the bill for replacement struts.  Just kidding.  I didn't have to buy new struts.  Although I did have to replace the whole car, come to think of it.  Although I suspect that wasn't entirely wrought by one sensory seeking child).  However, it tended to bother anybody else who rode in the car, who couldn't fathom why I would just keep driving and/or having a conversation while Jupiter was rocking away in the backseat.  If I stopped the car every time she rocked, I would be permanently stuck about three years ago. 

Hopefully if I was permanently stuck, it would be during the summer.

Now I notice it again.  She was sneaking it in here and there, and finally came out one day and asked if it was okay if she rocked in the car again.  I said "Sure!" Whatever you need to settle yourself that doesn't hurt yourself or anybody else is okay with me.

Her anxiety must be up again.  Despite the 504 plan, I don't think the school really has any concept of how much being in the classroom all day really takes out of her.  On the upside she's not coming home with a plethora of things which are not hers.  So if she's rocking again instead, it's totally a fair trade.

She's had a cold and when she has a cold her nose runs by the gallon, so we haven't been able to attend any open swims lately.  During summer she swims mostly every day which really helps with the sensory seeking.  She really misses it during the winter.

She has swim class tomorrow.  We have a new Lycra swim cap to try out.  Her hair is long enough that she really should be wearing a swim cap.  Week 1 of the new session she had a purple silicone cap.  It ripped while we were putting it on.  So much for that.

Last week, she had a pink and yellow silicone cap.  We actually got it on her head.

She was in tears before she even got in the pool.  It covered up her ears and essentially amplified all the pool noise.  Which is quite noisy at that time of day.  While she was in her lesson, I tried on her cap to try to get her perspective on things.  It was, in fact, louder and disorienting.  Plus the silicone caps are prone to pulling hair as well.  Apparently I should have read the product reviews BEFORE ordering the product.

Ah, the irony of sensory issues.  Some things you need more of, and some things you need LESS of.  Like noise.  And smell.  But not taste.  Ironic, isn't it?  She hates strong smells but loves strong tastes. One would think those two would be the same, one way or the other.

So tomorrow, we're going with the Lycra.  The product reviews indicate that it doesn't pull hair.  We tried it on and the noise doesn't seem to be louder with it on.

I have a pink and yellow silicone swim cap up for grabs.  I guess unless I start swimming laps.  Which I should.  But I need swim goggles that do. not. leak. because of my contact lenses.  Never had much luck there.

Sometimes she extrasensory world requires trial and error to find what works.  Which is never boring.

I don't know how I functioned before I found out all about this sensory stuff.  It's really fascinating.  I could go on all day.  Which would make for a very rambly post.

Which it may be already.


schnitzelbank said...

Quick tip on the swim cap: baby powder. Dust the inside and rub it around. No more pulled hair! Promise.

M.J. Fifield said...

You need to be on Royal Pains...it's perpetually summer on that show.

Smilen Champ said...

Hi Jupiter

My name is Jenna and I came across your site. You are an amazing, precious gift and special earthly angel. You are full of courageous, strength, determination, and fight. You are a brave warrior, smilen champ and an inspiration. You are a princess hero, beautiful trooper, and a tough cookie. You are full of life, spunk, joy, smiles, and sunshine. You have taught everyone about life, and the gift of life. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/champ291 I love it when people sign my guestbook. I was born with a rare life threatening disease, and other diagnosis.