The Aftermath of Sensory Overload

Sometimes I forget our lives don’t look like others.

It’s probably a survival mechanism, and thinking about it, I’m grateful I have these moments where our lives feel normal to me. But to others?

It’s far from typical, or expected, or usual.

My son has had a lot of excitement over the past couple weeks. His fourth birthday party went so well, but it came at the cost of the aftermath.

He actually handles changes in routine pretty well in moments – we’ve figured out how to help him navigate transitions for the most part (for now), but the aftermath of many transitions in a short amount of time is overwhelming for all of us.

Placing lots of new demands in the form of shifts in routines, exciting events, family visitors, fun outings, new cool toys…it all creates an extended state of sensory overload for his beautiful brain.

He becomes extra sensitive to things that aren’t always hard for him, which has this tense effect as it trickles all over every aspect of our lives. 

I’ve come to a place of deeper acceptance within my own heart when it comes to his diagnosis, and just like that sense of strange normalcy I mentioned earlier, I am so grateful to have arrived here emotionally and spiritually. But acceptance isn’t enough.

My son works harder than so many kids his age to adapt to this world we ALL share. He will never fit a mold, and I love that so much about him, even if it’s challenging to my neurotypical(ish) brain. 

Today, after many meltdowns, he’s taking a well deserved nap, and I’m sitting here staring at his precious face.

No matter how heavy my heart, I’ll never stop being grateful that I have the hand he wants to hold as he finds much needed rest in this busy, beautiful world.

And I will never stop adapting and shifting with him. 

Written by, Danielle Vinson

Danielle Vinson is mama to two boys and two dogs, wife to an amazing veteran and Air Traffic Controller, a writer, an artist, and a visionary of a beautifully diverse, wonderful, welcoming, inclusive world. She teaches art to kids and adults all around the Sacramento area, and believes that every single person has creative gifts just waiting to be shared. Connect with her on Instagram at the @RuggedLotus or on Facebook.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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