I hadn’t intended to write a post about sleep or SPD, because right now, things are pretty smooth. My lovely boy is sleeping at night, thanks to having had his tonsils and adenoids removed and no longer waking in the night. It has made a huge difference to him physically and emotionally.
He is coping better with life. Lack of sleep or poor sleep has a terrible effect on your body, and he must have been so tired, with not getting enough good sleep. Tiredness as an adult makes you grumpy, irrational, anxious and unhappy, so for a little boy to constantly feel tired, it must be even harder because you are not able to handle things as well as an adult should (well, there are times when I have certainly not handled being tired like an adult, but lets not go there!)
We are slowly catching up on sleep. His teacher at school, his dance teacher, his music teacher and people who know him, all say they can see he is less tired, and less anxious, and he is handling things better. This is excellent news. It’s what we want to hear. It means we made a good choice for him (I know we did, it just reinforces that) and we know he is feeling the benefits.
However, I have had people come to me and say “now he is cured”, or “now he is better” and I have to explain to them “no he is not cured” and “no he is not better”.
For a start, he doesn’t need curing. He isn’t ill. He isn’t broken. He doesn’t need to be better.
He is a little boy who has sensory processing issues, that mean he struggles with things that other people don’t. He is a normal, healthy, generally happy little boy, who’s brain sometimes just needs extra help to deal with what life throws at him.
Would I rather he didn’t have SPD? Yes, of course. Life is challenging as it is, and having SPD throws extra things at you, that mean you have to work harder to process it, but we can’t fix that or change it.
He is beautiful, he is clever, he excels at schoolwork, he loves to dance, play football, he has a flair for drama and moves his body to music in a way that makes me smile no matter how crappy a day I am having. He is caring, he loves animals, he plays with Lego and has a circle of friends he likes being with. He’s naughty and annoying like a small boy his age should be. He talks about poo because he knows he shouldn’t, he likes to eat chocolate, and watch movies. He can remember things, with razor sharp clarity, and very little gets past him or goes unnoticed. He is sensitive and kind, and has a cheeky sense of humour.
He simply has to fight a little harder in certain areas, and that can be tough, but he doesn’t need to be cured or made better.
What we, his parents are here to do, is to help him, to live his life to it’s fullest, and for him to reach the potential he has, and to go out into the world and be the person he is meant to be. To teach him to love, and care for others, to help him with school, to give him everything we can to enable him to get the most of life. As his parents, we face the challenges that his particular sensory issues bring and it’s our job to help him to learn how to deal with them, manage the struggles, and not let them be a wall he can’t get through.
So, yes, he is sleeping better and it really is helping him to manage life better. We are delighted. We want the best for our boy (our children) but sleep is just one little part of life.
Maybe he will grow out of his sensory issues, maybe he will always have them. They are part and parcel of who he is and he will, I firmly believe he will triumph. He has already surprised and made us so proud, in more ways than I can count. I now look at him and think “I wonder what he will do next, to show us how amazing he is?” because that’s what he does.
So, please don’t say “now he is better”. Because there is no better. He is who he is, he is amazing, and he will continue to be.