We are the Stow Family and this is our story. Our lives are blessed by Love, Joy and Hope. Follow our sometimes interesting stories on loving our two boys, exploring parenthood, and celebrating a little extra - two parents, two boys and an extra chromosome!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Sensory Diet

Like most two-year-olds, Malakai craves new experiences and also demands independence - he'll take it anyway he can get it. He's throwing tantrums like no one's business! I find it difficult to cope sometimes, because I look at him and think "where is my little boy? the happy one? the one that I was able to satisfy, just a couple of weeks ago...???"

But such is life, no?

I know that Malakai is frustrated, and for obvious reasons - we don't understand him sometimes, even with the sign language. And even if we did understand him, it just isn't acceptable to swing from the light fittings, or drink the dog's water, or smash your brother's head with a plastic golf-club... So, um, no buddy...

Mealtimes have become epic battles - Malakai is so adamant that he will only eat chips and a protein (chicken, sausage, fish etc) and NOTHING else... OK - so the chips and protein are grilled (and not fried)... but still - vegetables are now an endangered-species he is going to end up becoming a chip! I just have to remind myself that he eats well during the day (fibre, oats, fruit, yogurt etc)... But how long can we do the chip thing? I suppose I'll have to wait and find out...

I'm also convinced that a large portion of his frustration comes from the fact that he's seeking sensory input - so his Sensory Integration Therapist and I are working on a Sensory Diet for him. It's not as fancy as it sounds though... the basic idea is to give him tons and loads and friggen huge amounts of sensory input - as much as he wants...

So, we have now equipped our home with all kinds of sensory experiences that Malakai can dabble in at his own will. In December last year already, we created a sensory garden for Malakai with a sandpit, jungle gym, ball pit, and water table (which he loves). We also went shopping today and he now has a swing (...yes...he didn't have a swing at home until now...) and a kiddie-trampoline. All these things give him various sensory input - tactile as well as proprioceptive and vestibular (the two lesser known, but very important, senses).

So - little Malakai has a figurative smorgasbord of sensory stuff to keep his cravings at bay!

I really hope that at least giving him a plethora of sensory experiences will feed his curiosity a bit (or at least make him so tired that a tantrum is impossible... I can dream can't I?)

As for the other stuff - I don't think I'm alone... They're not called the 'terrible-twos' for nothing!


Mel said...

In my experience, the terrible twos were named by someone who hadn't had a three year old yet...so hold on there Mummy, could be a long road!

My boy is into all sorts of mischief too- escaping, drawing on the walls, climbing into the bath fully clothed, the list goes on ;)

jjpsmommy07 said...

Jonathon has all of those things except the water table. And he loves loves to swing. Everyone says my home is a classroom. Good luck, I hope he enjoys his swing.

Brandie said...

My kids have always love a plastic bin full of dried beans. I put small containers and spoons in it to practice pouring.