Parenting, all by itself, is hard. No secret there. But parenting a child with special needs presents its own set of challenges on top of those that already come with parenthood.
If you’ve been a reader here for any length of time, you probably know that our oldest has some different abilities of his own.
He is incredibly bright, funny, and full of energy, but a few of his sensory issues do pose a few challenges that we’ve had to find solutions for.
One that we seem to deal with on an almost daily basis, is the difficulty he often has with transitions.
Moving from one activity to another is, more often than not, an easy way to send him into a meltdown if he wasn’t properly prepared for the change.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Network Niche Influencer Agency and Fun and Function.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past year or two figuring out just what he needs to make these transitions easier on both him and, for the most part, we’ve managed to get a handle on them. We’ve learned, over time, that he needs to know what is coming next and he needs plenty of notice. Making sure that he has enough time to process the change in his own mind and prepare for it was instrumental to our success in cutting back on the number of meltdowns that occurred with transitions.
Secondly, we learned that he does even better when he knows the steps of an activity from the beginning. For instance, if we need to make a quick trip out to run a few errands, we make each stop that we need to make one of our steps with our final step being that we will return home. This simple trick has completely changed our outings.
Of course, there are still moments where we struggle. There are still a few transitions that we’ve had trouble with and, up until now, we’ve yet to find a solution that works for all of them.
The main times of struggle for us now have been when first waking up in the morning and when winding down and getting ready for bed at night. Those first few minutes in the morning while everyone is getting up and getting ready for the day and he is still waking up a bit have caused us more than a few hours of trouble as he is just waking up and everything going on in the rest of the house is a bit overwhelming.
Bedtime has proved much the same. We go through our nightly routine and everyone begins to wind down, but depending on how his day has gone, he is often restless and, at times, irritable.
I say up until now because, fingers crossed, but it looks like we may have found the solution.
We were recently introduced to Fun and Function, a company providing kid-friendly sensory tools that was started by an occupational therapist and mom of 8!
After realizing that she couldn’t find kid-friendly sensory tools that would fit her family’s needs, she decided to create some of her own. Now, everything they make is kid-friendly, affordable, and most importantly, makes a real developmental and therapeutic difference in the lives of children.
The very first thing we tried was a stretchy sensory sack that has literally turned our mornings and evenings upside down. The difference is seriously night and day.
When the little guy wakes up in the morning, the first thing he does before anything else, is head to the couch with his sensory sack. At any given moment, you’ll find him stretching it out or wrapping it around himself, sometimes he just crawls inside and sits. Whatever sensory input he needs to start his day off on the right foot, he can find first thing in the morning.
Bedtime is much the same way. Once we’ve gone through the rest of our night time routine and he is in his pajamas, he retreats once again to the couch and uses the sensory sack to expend some of that nervous, restless energy that used to make bedtime such a chore.
Now obviously, every child is going to be different, but if you find that you child struggles a lot with certain transitions or often has a lot of restless energy that they just can’t seem to get rid off, this might be the perfect solution. If not, Fun and Function has plenty of other kid-friendly sensory tools for you to pick and choose from.