Taj getting some help doing joint compressions on his knees. We hold him and let him jump 10 times in the air.
Taj is getting his feet scrubbed with the brush and as you can see it tickles a lot!
Everyone has their idiosyncrasies, that weird quirk about them. Me, for example, the sound of people chewing gum, bread, bananas, basically anything that makes a weird smacking or clikcing noise drives me nuts. It always has and people can't quite understand why I just can't "get over it." Well, this particular quirk has plagued me since about the 7th grade when for some reason I became aware of noises that mouths make. Anyway.....I'm not doing this post about my weird quirks, that was just an example! No, this post is about my sweet two and half year old boy, Taj.
Taj is just like the average two year old in every way (active, curious, trouble on wheels, etc.). However, as of the past year, we have noticed that his speech is a little slow in coming, which isn't too abnormal considering boys take a little longer for speech and he's the first child. It has become more of a concern over the past three months, seeing as Taj maybe only says about 20 words. Of those 20 words. I haven't heard him say "momma, mommy or daddy" for at least a year and other words he used to say have disappeared as well. It's really hard to be around other little kids much younger than Taj and hear them saying words and sentences. Taj does surprise us every once in a while and blurt out a sentence or two, but it's definitely not consistent. He's very good at carrying on long babbling conversations with whoever will listen, so it's not like he's silent either. We've had his hearing checked and he's been tested for other things such as Autism. We tried an unsuccessful 5 months of speech therapy, so I cancelled that and started doing some research of my own. Taj has a lot of peculiar idiosyncrasies about him. For example, he can't stand the seam of a sock that doesn't lay right on his toes, the collar of a shirt, a tag, walking on grass or sand at the park, he's so particular and picky with texture of food that some days he doesn't eat anything at all except a few crackers, he doesn't like changes in schedule or dirty hands, extreme tantrums over having hair/nails cut, etc. All that may not seem that unusual, but add a speech delay and overly picky eating to that and obviously there's a problem.
Upon hearing someone mention "sensory disorder" at the park one day, I went home and googled the term. What I found shocked me. There are numerous sensory disorders I didn't even know existed and when I started reading the symptoms list for children with sensory disorders, I knew I had found out why Taj does the things he does. It was such a relief to me after a year of stressing out over Taj to find out what may be the reason behind his speech delay and very poor eating habits. I immediately made an appt. with an occupational therapist through the state health department, but wasn't satisfied with the therapist's response to Taj which was basically, "We all have idiosyncrasies, people just have to learn to get over it." Obviously Taj doesn't know how to "just get over it" and neither do we, so I went to the school district and found the help I sought for. Their occupational therapist evaluated Taj and determined that Taj has a Tactile Sensory Disorder, meaning, he is hypersensitive to touch in some aspects and hyposensitive to sensation when it comes to his mouth. (I'm not sure I have the terms right, I'm still learning for myself) The good news is that we are going to get help for Taj in both occupational therapy and speech. They are going to help him learn to eat better and help jump start his speech and get him on the right track. After soooo much anxiety and stressing every single day over eating and speech for the past year, it is such a relief when you find someone who can help you. I believe the sooner you get help when you sense something is off, the better.