So, which one is he?
As we shared more of our story and met new people, that is usually one of the first questions that is asked. Besides being a “mini me” version of yours truly, our hope and goal is that observers can’t tell. It means that the therapy and the tools that Team Ogilvy are trying to provide our son are working. For now. It is always there; always will be there. What may work today for our son and his unique set of needs may not be the tools that work tomorrow. What sets him off today, he could be indifferent to tomorrow. Every day is a new adventure. We will continue learning about each other and what we can do to grow. Our hope is that our son has a tool kit to draw from in those experiences that make him feel anxious or out of sorts. It could be a certain activity that regulates the feelings inside and brings him back to center. It could be a question that we ask him to trigger a tool he may need to apply for himself. Our aim is for him to be able to draw upon these tools independently. As days go by, the tools become more comfortable to use. It has taken Emily and I some time to identify the types of triggers for him.
A few months ago, our son and I were playing on the bed. He longs for crashing and jumping as one of those mechanisms to bring him back to center. As he partakes in his variety of crashing moves that resemble a WWE match, we like to talk. I ask questions that I hope will spawn answers that can help me understand how he is feeling. On most days, he shares very little and tries to change the subject. It’s how he is. Very little is shared about school or his day. But on this particular day, he offered up much information. My goal is to scaffold with him to identify where things are coming from using the “3 why” method. For example,
Me: “Why do we need to jump today?”
Our son: “Because it makes me feel better.”
Me: “Why does it make you feel better?”
Our son: “Because it spreads the blood out.”
Looking dumbfounded and highly confused (which is a regular look for me), my response was…
Me: “Wait, what?”
As you can see on this day, I didn’t even get to third “why.” He totally blew my mind. He looked me square in the eyes and said, “Daddy, it feels like all of the blood is right here.” As he pointed to the center of his chest, he continued by saying, “jumping and crashing, spreads the blood out.” With his hand he showed me how it spread out to his limbs as if almost releasing him from an inner cage.
I was floored. I felt as if I was in a foreign country and I was able to finally communicate with someone. Our son was able to give us a small tidbit into what he felt, in his own words. As far away as I felt in the bathtub months prior, I felt a few steps closer to him on this day. Now I know.
I looked at him and smiled for a second and thought to myself, “No sh*t.” He of course, in his tremendous candor and bluntness, snapped me back into the moment. He looks at me and says, “We need to keep going so the blood can spread out. Come on, Daddy! You don’t want the blood to go back, do you?” And with that, we were back to crashing.
He inspires me with his strength and perseverance every day. His persistent fight to regulate. It is what you don’t see. He doesn’t know any different. It’s who he is. He fights so hard to hold it all together sometimes. Emily and I have tried our best to build a supportive team around him. From our pediatrician...to our caring family...to our thoughtful friends...to his understanding and flexible teachers at school...to his therapists who push him to grow at each session...and his beloved “Auntie.” They are all members of Team Ogilvy. This group of wonderful people help our son to be himself…to feel confident…to feel comfortable in his own skin. To be my superhero.
Which one is he you ask? The one that drives his mother and I crazy. The never ending puzzle. The one that inspires me in the pursuit of growth as we navigate this world together.
Which one is he? Hopefully you may never know based on his unique needs. The hope Emily and I have is that he will be noticed for some crazy idea he has or some project he creates. Through communication and questioning, we will learn more about our son and as a result, learn more about ourselves.
We can raise awareness for sensory processing together! There are two great ways to connect with us and join our Super Hero Team.
1. Please consider joining us for our Open Houses, Mini-Sessions, or Sensory Camp if this sounds familiar. We would be happy to help!
Thanks for all of your support. Have a great weekend!