What first made me realize that Juli needed some help was her difficulty in coping with some day to day things that involved taking care of herself…
Many things other kids are fine with and even enjoy, she just couldn’t tolerate :(.
She couldn’t tolerate brushing her teeth. She would scream when the brush touched her teeth and gums. She couldn’t handle washing her hair or even having water poured on her head to get it wet or rinsed. You would think she was being tortured and in her body it probably did feel like that. She couldn’t handle combing or brushing her hair even with the softest bristles or comb. I couldn’t put barrettes, ponytails or even hair bands in her hair. It was all pure torture for her.
She would see the other kids at school with pretty hair things and she wanted them too, but she just couldn’t bare to let me touch her and do it for her. It broke my heart many days having her tell me she wanted it, and crying, but just cringing and asking me to stop when I tried to do it for her.
She was given a manicure set for one of her birthdays. She really wanted to fix her nails and put the polish on but she just couldn’t handle it.
She had a hard time playing in the sand and couldn’t finger paint. She could barely handle playing with play-doh.
All these and many more issues are the reason I contacted the occupational therapist in the first place. I couldn’t stand to see Juli go through this another day.
Unfortunately it isn’t that easy and it takes a lot of time.
She has been seeing her OT on a weekly basis now since the middle of February 2013. Oh my gosh, she has come such a long way… She may still have a lot of work ahead of her, but I am so proud of how far she has come in a year and the things she can do now compared to when she started. She is like a different – much happier – little girl :).
When I see things she can do now that she couldn’t do before, well I have found myself crying many times. I am so happy for her.
It is truly a blessing.
She absolutely LOVES play-doh now. She can’t get enough of it. She loves using the molds and making things. Then of course she wants to save them and doesn’t understand that will dry out lol. So I don’t know how many of her creations I have preserved in little zip-lock bags lol. She is constantly coming to me with something asking me for a “sip-luk” bag and showing me her newest design :).
She can also now rub moisturizing body cream all over herself after her bath! I love it :).
Another breakthrough, she is now starting to enjoy brushing her teeth :). It’s not hurting her nearly as much as before. She will sometimes tell me it is still hurting a bit so I just tell her to stop for a minute and then continue. Before she would have broken down and not be able to face (pardon the pun) a toothbrush for the rest of the day, even two. It would have been torture to brush her teeth before bed that day. Now it is just about taking a break and keep on going.
Baths are also much better. She enjoys them now! She still doesn’t like having water on her head, but she tolerates it and no more screaming. I am very gentle when washing her hair and she is very good about letting me do it. BIG improvement!!
We are still working on the hair issues, but she can occasionally wear a hairband for a little while and then take it off and that satisfies her as at least she CAN do it.
I think one of the things I am most happy about is her nails. She can finally handle having them painted. In fact she loves it and BEGS me to do it. So once to twice a week I find myself doing her nails, and we are not talking simple polish, nope, we are talking rainbow nails and she chooses the colors herself :).
I am so proud of her! She will sit there, still as can be, while I put the color on each nail and she guides me through which colors she wants on which nails. Sometimes a few nails are the same color and sometimes every nail ends up sporting a different color lol. But it’s all her choice.
Here is today’s design.
It’s so nice to be able to finally do her nails and see her enjoy doing some of the things that other little girls do :).
Makes me such a proud mommy.
Many of the other things will come in time. I have a world of confidence in her. She has come this far and is able to do so much that she couldn’t do before. In time more things will become easier for her and she will continue to be able to do more things that little girls her age can do.
Up to now, in the past year she has done some amazing accomplishments and she will only continue to amaze me.