One of M’s biggest sensory issues involves babies. He has real fear and terror around babies because they are unpredictable, different, and they can’t speak. They also can have blood-curdling cries — not great for a child with auditory sensory issues. Since he was very little, M struggled to understand babies — why they cry, what the strange sounds they make mean, and how to deal with the assault on his senses especially his hearing. He also has been unable to comprehend that their crying does not mean they are hurt or have a boo-boo or worst of all, that something is wrong because he caused it or that the same thing is going to happen to him. It’s very complicated to explain here on my blog and even more nuanced in real time. As a Mom, I am perplexed and confused. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to help M overcome this huge challenge.
I dream that one day M will feel comfortable around babies. As part of my own social skills program/experiment this summer, I decided to carefully work on desensitizing M by placing him in real, natural, supervised and safe situations with babies (all family situations and all cousins). The support of our extended family has been incredible and it’s been a comfort knowing that everyone understands M’s challenges around the youngest family members.
It’s been a labor of love all summer. And today on one of the last days of August and summer, we saw the fruits of our labor when M fell in love just a little bit with his first baby. My three month old niece M is like a little doll and something clicked for M and he uttered words I never thought I would hear: “Mom, Baby M is a cute pumpkin isn’t she? Can we go see her?” and then he grabbed my hand so I could walk him over to her stroller for a visit.
He interacted positively with her and was in close proximity to her — both firsts. Today I saw my baby grow a tiny bit before my eyes and that was a wonderfully unexpected gift.