An Apology to Our Son

sensory processing disorder awareness

(I write this from a personal perspective as I do not want to speak for my husband…and I write this only because as with other aspects in life, how God made us should not be hidden or shamed.)




I was getting desperate.  The progress we made through karate, the decrease of temper-tantrums, and increasing level of peace – somehow disappeared.

The impending transition into Kindergarten, adding that this is our first child and it is a language immersion school, began to increase my anxiety – but somehow, not his.

I  no longer seemed to know my kid.  Without noticing, I began to withdraw, knowing that discipline wasn’t working.  Trying to make school easier for him – and his teacher – I sent her a long e-mail about who he was, or I thought he was.

Something was wrong…and as school started, it only became more apparent.

Each morning as I forced our son onto the bus, I felt as if I was pushing him into a situation that could be traumatic as it could be helpful.  Was I torturing our sweet baby?

My heart broke, and I pulled inside myself to get through the days.  If I didn’t think about it too much, then it was palatable. And he seemed to be okay when he got off the bus…

Yet, the school staff were quickly working on an IEP for him.

I didn’t know what was going on, except our wonderful, thoughtful boy was loosing control.

Out of desperation, one recommendation led to another, and we found ourselves having him assessed by a pediatric occupational therapist.  I had no idea what this would lead too, but I was ready to do anything to figure out what was going on…

…and we did find out…

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry we didn’t know, honey.  I’m sorry that we got frustrated when you couldn’t focus – as there was either too much, or not enough, stimulation.  Sorry that we pushed you to try harder at Karate, when you were already trying your hardest as the moves got more complicated.  I’m sorry that I got frustrated when you couldn’t identify some of the letters before bedtime, not knowing that your eyes were extremely tired.  Sorry that we didn’t understand that your seeming misplaced fear or anxiety was actually in proportion for what you perceive as a threat.

I’m sorry I didn’t believe you when you said you could look at two things at once.

So now, we are on a new path, a new journey.  We’re doing what we can, as we learn how, to help you.

…we found out he has a sensory integration disorder (how I hate the term disorder!).  Somehow in his young life, the connections between his eyes, brain and body did not fully form.  His eyes do not automatically work together, making him have to work hard just to see without a blur.  And as vision helps us orient ourselves in the world…he perceives the world differently.

Now we know why he seems a bit “off”, acting out in ways that do not fit with his kindness and insight.

Honey, we are sorry we didn’t know earlier…but at least we know now.

Lord, help us as parents and others who care for children and youth, to listen closely to their experience in the world.  Open our eyes to see who they are, not who we think they should be.  And Lord, help those who are strangers, stop judging us who are doing our best!  Amen.

About SFriant

I live to walk with others on their journeys - because everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they matter, and that they are doing amazing things. I'm a lot like our two kids: obsessed with learning, and constantly creating.
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10 Responses to An Apology to Our Son

  1. Here are some resources to help manage your son’s IEP

  2. Janet Magennis says:

    Learning about a child’s disability is a blow but learning to be his advocate as he grows and accesses other parts of his life is critical and he will need to rely on that support until he can do it on his own. As parents you are blessings to him. Best wishes as you all figure out his best resources and therapies.

    • SFriant says:

      Thank you…I have definitely had my moments, and will continue to, but feel very fortunate to have a good network of support and resources!

  3. Judy Budreau says:

    Yes, at least you know. And knowing what you’re dealing with is more than halfway to helping your son, and helping him learn to help himself. He will learn to do that.

    I used to say in frustration to my then very small son, who seemed always to ignore me when I was talking to him, “Can’t you hear me?” Turned out – no, he couldn’t. He had such significant hearing loss that he’d taught himself to lip read. I didn’t catch on even when he was playing outside one day while I was in the garden. “I can’t hear you, Mommy. I’ll come closer.”

    Paul is 25, a college graduate working at a job he loves, and a great communicator with his friends and family. Things get better.

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