Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spring Break in London

Andy took Eoin to visit family and friends over Spring Break. They had a wonderful time in London, Sawston Cambridge and Northampton. Eoin's favorite part of the trip was visiting the Science Museum in London.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Our budding artist

When Eoin was younger and had trouble getting to sleep we use play him 'Bob Ross' painting video to help him relax. This videos have stuck with him and he has been creating some wonderful oil paintings. He has even entered them in competitions.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kitty Love

Eoin has grown up with cats. We have two Sappho and Seamus. Sappho loves to snuggle with Eoin especially on a  warm sunny day.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

No longer a thirtysomething!

 We had a wonderful weekend away celebrating my 40th! We stayed at the stunning Timber Cove on the Sonoma coastline. We had some fantastic hikes, fun family game time, beach exploring and fantastic weather. Overall it was a truly memorable 40th birthday weekend.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Please don't judge......

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed recently for a local parenting magazine on the issue of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). The article I hope will raise everyones awareness on SPD and help parents understand that they are not alone in their struggle with the effects of SPD on their families and lives. I also sincerely hope that this article will help others to not be judgmental when you see a child having a tantrum or meltdown. Please don't think to yourself or whisper to your friends about how the parent should discipline more or take control. It is never that easy. It has on occasion taken us 90 minutes to help Eoin calm down and reassure him, when he is under or over stimulated. 

Perhaps this analogy will help - It's Halloween and you are going to the biggest scariest Haunted House attraction in your neighborhood. Your adrenaline is pumping before you even enter the house. You might be giggly, quite or over talkative. You feel jumpy and nervous because you don't know what is going to jump out at you. 

You enter the house and your brain is bombarded with noises, darkness and then bright blinking lights. Something touches you unexpectedly and you jump. Maybe you scream, maybe you grab the person next to you or maybe you burst into tears. You wish with ever nerve in your body that this experience would end. But you continue. You have no choice. The only way to have this whole experience end is to keep going. You skin is crawling, your ears continue to be bombarded with scary noises and your eyes and brain can't quite make sense of what you are seeing and experiencing.

Finally you make it out of the attraction and you hit the cool fresh air. Your heart stops pounding and you continue on. Maybe it takes you longer than others to adjust, maybe you have a nightmare later about the experience but for most you recover and feel ok quickly.

Now imagine that this is your whole life! Imagine waking up in the morning and everything and I mean everything in your day is like walking through a haunted house. Imagine the stress you must feel.

Kids with SPD often feel like they are walking through a haunted house all day. The seams on their socks or the tag on their tee shirt makes their skin crawl just like your did when a spider brushed up against you in the haunted house. Someone whispering in their ear feels like a scream from a ghost or a fire truck driving by them with the sirens blaring makes them want to burst into tears and hide.

An unexpected touch whether it be a firm touch or just a gentle touch on bare skin can make anyone with SPD want to lash out and stop that touch. Being asked to try a new texture of food or being expected to tolerate 'everyday' smells such as dinner being cooked can be excruciating  for those who have SPD.

So please don't judge. Please don't judge a parent when their kid is having a tantrum or meltdown in an over crowded, noisy, bright place. Please don't judge someone who is wearing sandals in the winter because sock seams drive them crazy. Please don't judge the child who is wearing headphones at an assembly or in a loud setting. Please don't judge a child who is literally jumping off the walls because their body needs more input. Please don't judge the child who refuses to give you a hug or flinches when you touch them. Please don't judge the child who is constantly doing cartwheels, tumbles or can't sit still; this love won't actually calms them. Please don't judge the child who hides under a dark table with their hands over their ears as the world seemingly passes them by. 

Please don't shake your heads and say "Oh Sensory Processing Disorder is just the new 'it' thing to have your children diagnosed with". For all these children and and their parents and adults,  Sensory Processing Disorder is a very real and impactful diagnoses.

Finding an Occupational Therapist who specializes in SPD can change your life. For more information and help please visit these awesome sites. :
SPD Foundation -
A Sensory Life -
UCSF Sensory Processing Research Team -
The Out of Sync Child -