Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Finally taking time to sit down and work out my thoughts. I am going to focus this post on our sweet Faith. Faith is from China and has a repaired cleft lip and palate. Her cleft was pretty significant and was not repaired until she was 16 months old. She joined our family when she was 20 months old and has been a part of our family for 2 years now.

I am going to start with a little background information and then talk about my recent struggles parenting Faith. On Faith's referral paperwork it was obvious that she was the "outcast" of the orphanage. Every picture we saw of Faith she was crying or had what we call a flat affect. When we went to pick her up we were told that she cried for the entire 5 hour train ride. We sent an update and pictures to the orphanage not long after we brought Faith home. We were happy to receive an email from the director in response. She stated that it made her happy to see Faith smiling. She did not think Faith would ever find a home where she would be happy.

Over the last two years I have described Faith as quirky with some annoying habits. Many times I have said she has the "dumb blond syndrome". (I am blond so I can say that) She has a significant speech delay which is obvious but I kept saying to myself we are still missing something. Well, my frustration in parenting Faith has escalated in the last 6 months. I am not going to go into details because frankly I don't have the energy. (THIS IS THE POINT WHERE I LOST THE REST OF THE POST AND I AM NOT GOING TO REWRITE ALL OF IT)

So, last week I had an "Aha moment" when I filled out a Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist. Faith scored high in hypersensitivity to touch, poor muscle tone and coordination, hyposensitivity to sounds, hypersensitivity to smells, auditory-language processing dysfunction, and emotional dysfunction. It feels good to understand why Faith is Faith.

Now comes the hard part, getting official testing and a therapist to help "us". I use "us" because it is not just for Faith. I am going to need some serious training on how to help Faith and not just react to her. I tend to react out of frustration with Faith and that is NOT WORKING for us.

If anyone has any reading suggestions on this topic I would appreciate your recommendations.



  1. Rebecca,
    Silas has sensory processing disorder. We have had lots of struggles with him since he has come home. I would recommend reading "The Out of Sync Child" - it is very good. Silas got OT for a year from first steps which was really helpful. Now he is not getting any OT, but needs it. He is a sensory seeker and requires LOTS of heavy lifting, spinning, jumping, etc. Feel free to email me if you want to "talk" further. caragroth(at)windstream(dot)net.

    On the flip side, Silas has also had significant attachment issues. For many months, I thought his sensory issues were causing our problems, but really it has been a combination of the attachment and sensory problems. Thankfully we are seeing a great attachment therapist now. Sorry for the long comment, but I understand your frustration!!

  2. I'm so glad you found some info to help you out, to a degree atleast. I understand some of your frustration. Will keep you in our prayers. God bless!

  3. Hi, there.
    I have been following your blog for a while. I was excited for your newest little one to come home from ET. We had seen her on her agency's list and talked to Sue about her.
    Anyway, we have 5 kids. Our two youngest are adopted from China SN program. One of our children has attachment/trauma issues(adopted at 20 months) and our other child has sensory issues and developmental delays (adopted at 6years). The challenges can be so great. I know what you mean about getting training for yourself! I am so there. We recently found a SLP (Speech and Language Pathologist) who specializes in Autism. Although our children do not have Autism she has been so helpful in training me about parenting children with speech delays and sensory issues. This person is in private practice, and we had to ask around to find her. She has REALLY, REALLY been a huge help to me, though. Just passing this on, just in case you may be able to see someone who works with autistic kids. Some of the issues cross over.
    I will be thinking of you!

  4. I have a "quirky" one, too. I just have no patience when the socks have to be lined up exactly on the toes because they don't "feel right"...(1/2 hour later trying to get out the door.) I agree that the sensory processing goes hand in hand with attachment sensitivities and PTSD from the past. The Out of Sync Child is good. I am thinking of trying one of those body bags or weighted blankets. Have you heard of those?

  5. I agree I am seeing some attachment issues we did not see before. She is going to start preschool next week to get services for speech and hopefully OT.

    Jennifer, funny you mention body bags. Yesterday I found Faith outside with her entire body in a bag just sitting there. I think it might be a good investment.

  6. Our oldest (we just found out) has sensory issues, too. We are looking in to OT and PT for him. Try "lifting" activities. It helps Peanut to sweep, for some reason.

  7. Reading "The Connected Child" was life-changing for our family. I hope it could help yours too.


  8. Hey Rebecca.....

    How did I not have your blog address before?? :) Anyway, I meant to email you the book I was telling you about in group that our OT recommended to us for just good basic knowledge on sensory development....she also recommended the "out of sync child"
    as others have said...

    This other one is called Physical Activities for Improving Children's Learning and Behavior-A guide to Sensory Motor Development. By Billye Ann Cheatum and Allison A. Hammond

    Love the post on Sera and Jacob....SWEETNESS!