Sensory benefits and struggles of gardening

I decided to get some new plants for my yard today. Usually planting gives me a peaceful feeling. The kids love it and I think it teaches them some important pieces to life. Not to mention the sensory input it provides.

Nevada’s high winds and hellish soil can make it quite the experience. My own sensory quirks made it a tad bit annoying today when things weren’t going as perfectly as I’d like.

My youngest loves to plant. Each plant she calls a “bible”. I have started my biblical garden adding plants and herbs found in the Bible. It will take some time but it’s something I love and can’t wait to one day finish.

Hyssop has an earthy mint smell that I just love.

We found some anemone but need to find a partially shady space for it before I add it.

HB calls it the Jesus flower. Referred to as the wild lilies in the Bible.

Love my sensory seeker. She loves getting her hands and feet all up in the dirt.

I love that it’s a family affair. Teaching them about gardening. Sharing the importance of flowers and herbs with them.

My sensory avoider doesn’t do messy. He’s a tad like me.

But even he couldn’t resist getting his toes all in.

Gardening gives kids with sensory challenges such great input.

It provides grounding. (Yes we garden barefoot)

I will say I was a tad bit agitated the wind was driving me insane. My things were blowing away faster than I could plant them. But welcome to Nevada.

I plant mums every year. They were the flowers at my wedding. So I just love them a little extra. And they scream fall.

I found this beautiful hibiscus tree to add to the walkway that will be stunning year round once I can dig through the soil from hell.

Todays planting extravaganza did not go as I had planned. Simple as that. But I do love all the new beauty around us and I’m guessing the kids sensory needs were met so they should sleep soundly with a little copaiba after an afternoon of fresh air and a lot of dirt.

Danielle

Sensory Processing Disorder

I have some obsessive behaviors and so does my husband. Both my kids have obsessive behaviors as well but I’d say EBE’s obsessions are harder for me to understand. Therefore making it harder for me to help him through it.

He was officially diagnosed with sensory processing disorder at age 3. He was delayed in his fine motor skills, and highly sensitive. He goes mute randomly and can’t speak. I suspect anxiety. He picks at his body obsessively. Causing his lips and toes to bleed.

As he’s grown older he’s grown out of most of his fine motor hiccups, but his obsessive behaviors have become much more noticeable the older he gets.

He has a high level of anxiety always. But it’s made worse by any disruption in his routine. And it can take weeks to get back to normal.

A tantrum will turn meltdown easily somedays for him and there’s no reasoning with a meltdown.

And today is already one of those days. I hate these days because I don’t really know how to help him. I incorporate sensory activities and use our therapy swing. But it’s almost like his mind gets stuck on obsessing over different things. Some days are harder than others.

So I wonder and pose the question to those with sensory processing disorder can you explain maybe a side of the obsessions that I’m missing? Maybe offer advice on strategies you use to work through those challenging times.

I try to read whatever I can on SPD, but it’s still hard for me to grasp how exactly it feels.

If I were to create a questionnaire would you be willing to answer some questions I have about SPD and share your personal experience?

I’m just a mom trying to gain more knowledge. And would appreciate it.

Danielle

What I wish I knew about sensory meltdowns before the diagnosis

There was a time when sensory wasn’t in my vocabulary and I was clueless to a lot of behaviors.  But these are just my thoughts on what I’ve learned over the years and how we handle meltdowns in our house.

When one of the kids is having a meltdown.  I don’t mean a tantrum either I mean a full blown sensory meltdown…I always try to take a moment and step back to look at the entire picture.  See what is causing the meltdown.  I let both my kids meltdown as they need to.  It needs to come out, then we need to work together to see how we could have helped prevent the meltdown.

The meltdown is always a product of a variety of things.  You see your child isn’t sobbing uncontrollably, or hyperventilating over the fact that they couldn’t get their pants up  easily or because they dropped their toy.  It was the straw that broke the camels back.

In our case it’s been a major upset in our routine.  We started school this week, and even though its at home there are different rules in place and it’s different than the usual.  Then there’s the fact that Miss H has started ballet and has been gone from the house for 2 hours a day.  EBE has struggled the most with this.  And he worries about her, he’s a sweet little soul.

And Miss H is loving her new profession as a ballerina, she is such a social butterfly.  But anytime we get home (or in the car) from exciting activities like this we usually have a lot of struggles after.  As exciting as it is, it does cause sensory overload.  She doesn’t remember to use the bathroom as often, she forgets to eat, it’s a combination of things.  Thankfully we have weighted blanket that someone so generously gifted to us.  It’s gotten so much use, and truly is helpful when the kids are on overload.

And in these moments I’m exhausted.  It’s hard to watch your child struggle.

But it’s only a fleeting moment in time.  And I know the meltdown will end.  This is just part of growing, and changing.  This is part of our journey with Autism.

But I will tell you.  There’s a gentleness to both my spectrum kiddos, a kindness for everyone, and heart for things that the typical don’t always see or understand.

So I will tell you this.  If you are overwhelmed and exhausted after your child’s meltdown.  Also think about how they feel.  They are growing and working through something.  Help them. Rather than give it another label.

Labeling it won’t effect the outcome, but providing coping tools, sensory input, a lot of love can make it easier on everyone.  A few essential oils helps out too.

Danielle

 

Pain relieving sleep rub – Young Living

I am a lover of oils.  I just love that there is a way to heal with something as natural as an oil.

I am more enthusiastic about grabbing an essential oil instead of an over the counter medication.

My husband was injured on-duty and has been suffering from back pain for almost 6 months.

I decided to pick a few of my favorite oils and add it to to whipped coconut oil to create the most relaxing massage oil I’ve ever used.

This isn’t an ad, it’s just something I’ve found really helpful with promoting healthy sleep as well as healing aches and pains.  The first night I had my husband repay the favor and rub it on my back I was out so quickly.  And I had the most relaxed mind and body.  Usually my mind goes a million miles per minute before I fall asleep, so this was amazing for me.

 

10 drops Lavender

7 drops Panaway

7 drops Copaiba

1 cup whipped coconut oil

How to whip the coconut oil:

First make sure you have organic unrefined coconut oil.  It  truly makes a difference.

Mix using a whisk attachment on high until coconut oil looks whipped.

Make sure the coconut oil is a solid before you attempt to whip it.  If it’s a liquid you won’t get the same look.  I’m not to sure it really makes a difference it does melt into the skin regardless.

Once you have whipped coconut oil slowly add in your essential oils.

Store in a cool dry place or you may wake up to a liquid.

I rub this down my kids spine before bed as well to help them sleep better and relax before bedtime.

If you try it please let me know how it works for you.

If you’d like to learn about Young Living Essential oils click here

Danielle

 

Autism and tummy issues

Most people don’t like to discuss poop, but once I became a mom poop talk seems to be part of my regular conversation.

So let’s dive in.

Since both my kids were infants they’ve always struggled with going to the bathroom.  Miss H struggles more as she’s gotten older.  Going poop can result in screaming, lots of tears, and tummy aches.

Since EBE was an infant I’ve used different oil potions to try to ease his discomforts, and as the years have gone on I’ve found something that truly helps alleviate the struggles they have with going poop.

I could explain what sensory challenges cause this, but it may bore you.  If you are a parent or even an adult struggling with tummy issues rather than reaching for an over the counter medication, you should give Young Living Essential oils a try.

Tummygize is a savior in my house.  We have way less tears, going to the bathroom isn’t physically painful anymore.

Miss H grabs tummygize rolls it around on her stomach and moments later she has gone to the bathroom comfortably.

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Both my kids are extremely sensitive to smells, and I love that Tummygize has a mild scent that goes unnoticed by both.

I know poop talk isn’t the most glamorous, but it’s a reality a lot of us parents with kids on the spectrum face.

If you give it a try let me know your thoughts!

Danielle

Autism and Essential Oils

Let’s first chat about Autism.

Maybe  you are familiar.  Maybe like myself you have one or two sensory kids in your household.

Maybe you are waiting on a diagnosis (I know the waiting can be awful)

Maybe you’ve had a child on the spectrum for years.

There is a misconception about Autism.  I know for me when I tell people my kids are on the spectrum I usually get some asinine comment.

You would never guess my kids have autism upon meeting them or seeing them.

Autism is a blanket diagnosis now, but they fall into the “higher functioning category”

Miss H actually has a severe autism diagnosis, but there are so many different things that played into that diagnosis.  She’s actually outgrown most all of the behaviors we saw when she was younger.  Now she just has different behaviors.

That’s not to downplay the time and hard work we have all put in as a family.

To an outsider you would see two typical kids ages 4 and 5.

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But they have their struggles.  We have our days with repetitive behavior, meltdowns, and zoning out.

Since my son was born he was a difficult baby.  He never slept (still has his nights)  He had so many issues with constipation.  At one point I took him to the doctor for 21 days of constipation.

That’s when I started researching diet, exercise, and oils.

It wasn’t until much later that I really started using oils consistently with the kids.

We went through phases where the kids would just eat horribly.  Goldfish, graham crackers.  Milk.  But having kids a year apart, being an exhausted mom I was just doing the best I knew how.

Once we really stepped back and researched the effects of diet and exercise everything changed for us.

We changed their diet.  We have always limited screen time.  And we started encouraging them to workout with us.  Use their obsessive behaviors for overall health.

Now oils.  I know some people think its hocus pocus.

I know others that truly believe in their ability to aid with behaviors associated with Autism.  I’m a believer.  I’d much rather try an oil potion than medication, but that’s just me.

Oils will never cure a child of Autism.  But they do have the ability to give an overly anxious child feelings of calm and peace.  They have the ability to increase mental clarity and focus.

They have a way of balancing out emotions.

If you know much about autism you know that often times studies discuss the effects of gut health.

I cannot stress enough how important gut health is speaking for my own kids.

Once we seemed to find a balance using diet, essential oils, and exercise we have noticed an amazing transformation in our kids.

Less meltdowns, more focus, less anxiety, and to be honest they love joining in with the mixing of potions.

If I had to choose three oils that we use consistently in our house they would be:

  • Lavender
  • TummyGize
  • Peppermint

If you have a sensory kid you probably know the struggle with going to the bathroom.  I rub TummyGize on their stomachs and feet as needed.

tummygize

Lavender is amazing.  I usually put it in our homemade playdough and pull that out after an overstimulating outing to help calm their senses.

Peppermint diluted with fractionated coconut oil is the perfect way to bring down a fever naturally.

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Those are only a few that I use consistently around here.  I love everything about Young Living.  I love that there is a way for me to help the kids feel regulated.  We don’t use labels in our house.  To be honest they don’t even know what Autism is yet.

I will spend my mama life helping them through their struggles but providing them with all different tools to manage any struggles.

Autism is truly life through a different lens.

Thanks for reading!

Danielle