Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Turning Points

I'm wondering if we've reached a turning point with Cate's sensitivity issues.  She has always been sensitive to loud noises and crowds.  In the past it has frequently kept her from doing fun activities but we have always kept trying and looking for ways to help her.  In the last year I think we've seen big gains in her sensitivity and the key is completely "does she want to do it" now.  If you take her to a school assembly to listen to someone talk about safety - I'll bet the noise and crowd get to her and she needs to be removed to the library because she doesn't really care.  Take her to the Aquarium on a busy day and I'll bet she is perfectly fine because she loves animals. 
Last night was "Special Populations" night at the state fair close to our house so kids/adults with special needs and a chaperone got in free, the first 1000 kids got free ride stamps and free hot dog meal tickets.  Couldn't pass up that deal and it got even better because since we didn't need the meal ticket  they stamped all 4 of us for free admission and rides.  We had visited the fair with friends on Saturday but it had been pretty quiet and not very crowded.  Cate had done fine and for the first time ever she decided she loved the rides.  Lucy on the other hand was terrified and wouldn't ride anything, even the little train or the carousel.  Lucy definitely has some of the same noise and crowd sensitivities that Cate has battled.  Lucy spent much of the time on Saturday with her hands over her ears just like Cate would have done at 3 yrs old, heck even 5 yrs old.  Well back to last night - Cate never hesitated, she wanted to ride those rides again and was perfectly happy to walk past blaring speakers, shooting games and through tight crowds to get there.  Her only issue last night was patience - she didn't want to wait in line (something we hadn't had to do on Saturday).  I had been surprised that Lucy even wanted to go to the fair, I was prepared (OK thrilled with the idea) to send Ric with Cate and stay home with Lucy, but she was insistent she wanted to watch Cate.  At first Lucy was making me hold her, hands over her ears refusing to do rides but then all of sudden she said "I want to ride on the dragons, they are my favorite" - mmm you've never done then but OK - hurry get her on before she changes her mind!

Lucy of course loved it!!  So after that she wanted to ride anything that didn't go up high like the elephants that are Cate's favorite.

I guess Cate is just growing up - maybe her sensitivity never had anything to do with having Down Syndrome, maybe all along it was just a matter of age and maturity.  I hope we continue to see her adapt to situations that have sensory overload and get to do the things she wants to do.  It has been worth every failed trip and bout of crying to get to this point where we get to see that amazing smile as she circles around on an elephant high above us.  It gives me hope that Lucy will start to come out of it as well in the next couple years so that we can go to the movies and carnivals or fairs.  I'd guess that want will still have a lot to do with it for Cate - she will tune into those sensory problems when she doesn't want to be in the situation and turn them out when she does.  For now as long as she is trying new things and being a little adventurous I'll take what I can get.

ps - sorry I've been MIA for the last week, I was fighting a cold and trying to catch up on work and home was taking all the energy I would muster.  I do have some things to say and hope to be back on a regular blog schedule by the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Another post I could've written myself. LOL Sammi surprised me last year by being really into the rides at the boardwalk. So now I know she likes rides, but still has *some* particular audio sensitivities. So glad Cate had such a great time!! I'm hoping age and maturity will work magic on both of our girls. :-)