Last week and yesterday, Zoey underwent a two-part evaluation by an occupational therapist for her ongoing sensory issues. It involved play-doh, rubber bugs, a surprising number of different types of swings, large puddles of glue and a lot of questions directed to me. The occupational therapist we saw did a great job of making it fun for Zoey. She also did her job well and saw a lot of what we see. She saw how Zoey found ways to ensure her fingers never touched the glue. She saw how Zoey loved the idea of climbing the rope ladder into the wobbly, high-up swing, but when it came to execution she stalled. She saw Zoey’s need for strong encouragement and motivation from others to attempt anything new. She saw how, with increased stimulation, Zoey’s attention span and ability to listen or focus rapidly diminished and finally dissipated completely and we were left with a little girl curling up into a fetal position on the floor before removing herself to a quiet corner to escape. She saw that Zoey does, indeed, have Sensory Processing Disorder and that it is pervasively affecting her life.
So, starting next week, we will take Zoey once each week to occupational therapy. Half the session will be spent working on motor planning – the execution of all the fun ideas for what she wants to do but can’t seem to put in motion. The other half will be spent on trying to get Zoey to feel okay about eating. Even as a tiny baby, Zoey never smeared her food around, never ate purees or painted her hair with bananas the way Eleanor does. They way most babies do. She didn’t like the feel of it, I guess. So they are going to start there: teaching Zoey that it’s okay to get messy, to get food on her face and hands, that food can be fun and eating can be pleasurable. God I hope it works.