Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Reece: Part 1

 When I started this blog, I mentioned that I really wanted there to be an open dialogue between myself and the readers. And I was serious.

I was truly hoping that people would leave comments on the blog or on social media and I have definitely gotten feedback which is really fun!

But this is a part of my life that I’m very happy to share with everyone, but that takes a personal twist.

Because it is about my Reece.

My sweet Reece who was born four years ago early in the morning post 4th of July. Our firecracker baby!

There was nothing unusual about my pregnancy with Reece, except that he gave me sciatic nerve pain — I attributed that to him being a male. :) But everything else was fine. His birth was super fast, but fine. Nothing ever would have made me blink an eye about him, until a few months after he turned two.

It all really started on a gorgeous fall day in Elk River, Minnesota at my cousin Alec's first home football game.

We walked up into the stands with my aunt and uncle. I came loaded down with things to keep the kids entertained because I was NOT leaving that football game early!

We all stand up when they are about to kickoff and start yelling -- perfectly normal for a football game kickoff -- but Reece hunkered down and covered his ears. It was the strangest thing! It was like it was too loud and scaring him! He had been in louder places than this before but I still thought it strange. I got out the headphones and iPad for him and he settled down.

I took this at the football game!
But I just remember thinking… "That was different."

We went back a few weeks later. Same thing happened. Finally by halftime, I called it and we took off for the car. But before we left, we all of course had to go to the bathroom. So I attempted to wait in line for the large port-o-potty when we were bamboozled by a clamor or high schoolers. LOUD high schoolers.

And he lost it.

Covering ears. Screaming cries.

Screw the bathroom. To the car.

A few months later, we moved from Minnesota (to Kansas for a month and a half while our house was being finished) to Arkansas for Matt's work. And that is where things seemed to escalate.

Reece's speech was delayed, but so was Sloane's. We had her tested at the age of three and they told us it would come and not to worry. It did come and we stopped worrying. I just assumed the same would be for Reece.

But it wasn't.

He was 2.5 at the time.

His teachers suggested having his hearing checked because it seemed like he couldn't hear them unless they were in his face. I said I had never thought about it, I assumed he was ignoring me like most children do! But said we would absolutely look into it.

So off to the pediatrician. Then to an ENT. Where we learned the incredible anxiety Reece had worked up over doctors. They tried to do two easy hearing tests; one where they put headphones in your ears (similar to the Apple headphones) to monitor your hearing and one where we sat in a soundproof booth and they would play different noises in different parts of the room to see if he would react.

He LOST it both times they tried these things.

He lost it when the doctor tried to look in his ears.

We did this three different times until finally they said they'd have to sedate him to see in his ears and see if he needed tubes. It was a sad day at the hospital but he did end up needing tubes and I do think that really helped his hearing and speech!

This was June 2015.

We had some other major moments occur - the biggest meltdown/tantrum/out of his mind moment I had ever seen when leaving from a hair salon after attempting to get his haircut. He walked up to the salon, said nope, walked out — walked back in, said nope, walked back out. Finally I said to the car. I try to get him in his seat and that was it.

He was screeching to get out of the carseat, he was kicking, hitting, doing whatever he could to try and get out. I had to get strong and try not to hurt him, but get him in the seat. We finally pull away, him still losing his mind, and he somehow has maneuvered out of the seat.

I stop the car and pull over. And just sit there. And sob. Because at that point, I didn’t know what to do. I was so mad at him, but so scared for him, too. Also, Sloane was sitting there, covering her ears… I’m quite certain it was as mind boggling to her to see her brother acting this was as it was to me.

I finally crawled in the backseat, completely unbuckled him, and just sat there. I gave him some time to calm down.

Five minutes later, he looks at me, grabs me, hugs me and says, “What’s the matter, mom?”

You guys … its as literally like an out-of-body experience for him. Like when he does these things, I don’t think he even knows what is happening.

It was after this that I knew something wasn’t right. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know who to turn to (I still feel this way most of the time). I felt helpless.

But wanted nothing more than to HELP him!

I remember googling (literally) “how to give a haircut to a kid who hates to get haircuts”. There were lots of pages, lots of forums I clicked on and finally a mom mentioned her son had Sensory Processing Disorder ( I had never heard of this, but went and read. My dad happened to be visiting and I said, “Dad! Listen to this…” I read off some of the ‘symptoms’ and we both said “Wow… that sounds like Reece!”

Do you THINK he needs a haircut?!!!
Now, not everything is Reece, but at least four or five of the symptoms were Reece: loud noises, language delay, difficulty following directions, transitioning.

I read on that the best way to help someone with SPD was to get them in to occupational therapy. I immediately checked on this and we got Reece in for an evaluation and had him starting by January 2016.

We bought him headphones to help with the really noisy places. This was the first movie he actually sat through!

Didn't bring the headphones to the baseball game because we didn't think we needed them but as you can see, he probably could have used them! 

After one of our occupational therapy appointments... it had been a rough week.

I feel like I need to say this, even though I’m sure it’s a given. But I love this kid with my entire being. He makes me so happy and so proud, yet so angry all at the same time! He is very smart, he is very sweet, he has the greatest chuckle next to his papa and he loves everyone. But he is a tough cookie and sometimes I feel like I'm walking on eggshells to keep him content because I don't want to deal with a meltdown.

The kid can have some smarty pants moments ... such as this, when he typed his own name!
But he's my Reece. Quirks and all.


Sidenote: I'll do a follow-up post with more details as to what we have done to help him, doctors we have visited, etc. And I'm super-sorry about this post and how it's probably a little confusing - I would type, then stop and think, then type, then stop and think... :)


  1. Please keep posting! I love following you!

  2. So proud of you Allyson! I can remember talking through things that summer of 2014 at Silver Dollar City. You felt so lost, worried & unsure. I wanted you to be in mpls so desperately so I could help. Your entire family is so lucky to have you! You are a dedicated, loving and thoughtful person. I am happy you have found a groove with Reece. Sending love to you from up here

    1. Friend, I miss you and know you would be the most help to me! As would Tanya! :) Thanks for the note!


Back to Top