Faces of SPD ~ Meet Kenna
My name is Kimberley. I am married to Kirk and have an amazing 7-year-old daughter named Kenna.
I know that every parent thinks of his or her child as a “miracle.” Not wanting to sound cliché, but our daughter is really our own private miracle. To make a long story short, after several years of infertility issues, we were told that having a baby was just not possible even with in vitro. We were a week away from our home study for adoption processes when we found out we were pregnant. We have always said that Kenna has had her own mind, even in utero, and decided to enter the world 6 weeks early. She was jaundice and could not suck and breathe at the same time during nursing. She spent 6 days in the extended care nursery where she received some oral therapy and then we were able to bring her home. We felt complete.
Right from the start Kenna was a ball of energy with a spirit to match. She was a very happy baby, cuddly, loved to touch and craved hugs. Still does. She was crawling at a sprints pace at 7 months. Walking or I should say running at 9 months and at 10 months was crawling out of her crib with the mattress on the lowest setting. As she grew we began to notice things such as certain noises were tough for her such as the vacuum, hair dryer and tub drain. She hated her hair washed or brushed and hated shoes and socks. Food textures were also an issue. She could also have some pretty tough, Defcon 3 type, meltdowns when frustrated from time to time. Because she was so active she was also frequently falling and bumping into everything. When she started pre-school and up until Kindergarten we heard the same things from her teachers. That she was a delight in class, but talked non – stop, had a difficult time listening and following directions, had a difficult time sitting, would get frustrated easily when writing or using scissors, but very bright. All things we had noticed, but were told that she was growing and all was fine. I was concerned that if we kept on the same road, by 4th grade she would be falling behind and hate school. She loved school and I wanted to keep it that way. Through the school counselor I was given the names of some child psychologists to talk too as she suspected Sensory issues. I talked to several who said they wouldn’t do any testing till she was 6. Feeling frustrated a good friend of mine suggested seeing an Occupational Therapist. I got a referral and after her evaluation was diagnosed with Sensory Processing at age 5 in March of 2011. We started OT and immediately saw changes.
When you receive a diagnosis there is part of you that feels relief, but also scared beyond belief. Relief that you know your aren’t doing everything wrong as a parent and scared of the unknown. I still feel our journey is new and we have a lot to learn, but our OT has been wonderful in giving us information and giving us the tools we need to succeed. Just like everyone else, you have good days and bad days. You have days that bring you to your knees and days that you are jumping for joy. We, as a family, have had to make changes in the way we do things and our routines, but they have only made us stronger as a unit. Kenna is our miracle and she continues to do miraculous things everyday. I am so blessed to be her mommy and I am so excited to watch what God has in store for her. I honestly wouldn’t change this journey for anything!!!!