I recently joined a fantastic network called The Lovely Mum crowd, a network that joins parents in their local area and also further a field. In the run up to Mother’s Day, The Lovely Mum Crowd has been asking for #nofilterparenting posts, or just a photo and a few words about experiences of parenting. I’ve written 2 and here’s the first!
This time last year I admit I was struggling, I was at a loss and felt completely hopeless.
When I found out in April 2016 that my daughter had additional needs, (even though I’d really known since she was 18 months,) I found myself being completely guilty of focusing on the things that she cannot do. 1 year on I do have a very different outlook, it has taken time to come to terms with, but via research, talking to other parents who’s children also have additional needs, and via professional advice from an Occupational Therapist I’ve really tuned into my daughter’s interests and this has had such a positive effect.
I found out that my child is a ‘Sensory Seeker,’ and thrives on Messy or Sensory play experiences, her attention and concentration on these type of activities is much improved, she thrives on activities such as washing up liquid mixed with sand, Play Dough, rice and pasta play, and also craft activities its fantastic to see her so happy when absorbed in these experiences.
I have also learnt to embrace my daughter’s ‘special interests’ and these provide much motivation, for example she loves The Trolls Movie and she’s an avid collector of ‘Shopkins,’ these objects make her happy and provide a great deal of motivation like the reward of getting some more Trolls stickers for her sticker collection book.
We always used to find that school holidays were a struggle as my daughter thrives on the routine of school but by offering her a ‘Sensory Diet’ as advised by an Occupational Therapist, I now plan for a wide range of activities and experiences to allow for ‘Sensory seeking,’ which has the effect of making my daughter calmer at home. These could be seasonal craft activities, messy play experiences, time in the sensory (or calm area) that we’ve made under our stairs! And also set aside time for physical activity such as rolling on a big ball that looks very much like the ones used for Yoga!
I no longer feel so desperate as I offer my daughter clear choices of activities to do at home, so I know it will be of benefit to her, I have been so inspired with Messy/Sensory Play and craft activities that I now share what we do via my own blog and I’m going to be volunteering at a local play therapy centre in hope of training to become a Play Therapist 🙂
You can join The Lovely Mum Crowd here:
Which also links to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Thanks for reading 🙂