We all have our parenting plans and ideals before our kids are born, and we all find out that even the best laid plans can be shoved aside when our babies and kids don't behave as we expected. This is probably especially true for parents with kids with special needs, particularly complicated disorders like ADHD, ADS, and SPD. Our kids look normal and act normal a lot of the time. A lot of our parenting plans can still work, at least most of the time. Some things though, they're just different.
The first of our big changes, or "give-ins" happened when Simon was newborn. We gave him a pacifier. I was opposed, though at this point I can't fathom why. He was a wailer, and hard to comfort. We had no clue about SPD then and just needed something to calm our squalling darling. Pacifiers worked. And now, at four years old, it still works.
The other is electronics. Simon watches a lot of TV. Not too much, and not every day, but a lot. Kid shows give him a window into how the world behaves in a safe way that doesn't terrify him or overload his senses. The only pretending he does at this point is to act out things from Thomas or the plays he sees in baseball games. And I'm okay with that. It's a start.
He also plays with our iPhones a lot. After reading this great post http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/2011/08/10/angry-vindicating-game-changing-birds/ on the SPD blogger network, I even stopped feeling so guilty about it. Simon does tons of stuff outside of video games, and they give him a chance to practice visual integration and fine motor skills. After watching a ton of Sesame Street clips on you tube for a few days, he started singing, and even making him up his own songs about things going on around him. It gives him another socially acceptable way to process life. Wonderful. And sometimes it's soothing and calming in some way I don't understand.
Last night Simon and I sat together on the bed, playing free cell on my iPad. I told him which cards to move where, and he patiently, slowly, got them over there. He didn't scream in frustration when he couldn't get one, and even thought on his own to try using his other hand. And he cuddled. That stiff, shoving, crashing, child melted into my side as we moved our stacks of cards on the screen. If it takes free cell to get that bonding with my son, we'll play free cell every day, video-game guilt be damned.