Like most people on the spectrum Olive has difficultly changing environment, switching tasks, and trying new things. For her a new experience comes anxiety, and if too overwhelmed a meltdown. These past two days Olive has gone above and beyond my usual expectations. We usually can only go to one or two places before she becomes overwhelmed. While I was excited for her to have a fun packed day, I was also aware how fast everything could go awry at any moment. Well, yesterday Olive had a school field trip that she was really excited for and she did great. As soon as school ended, it was bath time and then off to dance. Bath time is Olive's favorite time of day, she will literally spend an hour in there if I'd let her. So I was a little uneasy with how she'd react to find we had no down time aka time to decompress and unwind after being at school all day, and changing environments so fast. They were both so excited, bath time was a breeze, no crying, or having to physically remove anyone hah.
When class begins all parents are to remain outside during the class. This really took me by surprise and made me feel a little uneasy. Would she get frustrated and become defiant? Would she listen to the teacher and follow directions? Well, she did all of that and more. They had a great time, and I was so proud of both of my girls. They had a great experience, and even after we went to dinner. I won't lie, we don't have many days like this. Being able to go about the day without having to break to decompress, with no climbing all over the floor, no yelling, and no sensory over loads. I'm so happy she was able to really enjoy herself without becoming too overwhelmed.
Olive has also been more adventurous when it comes to food too. As most Autism parents can tell you, getting your child to try a new food can be a daunting task. In Olive's situation she prefers a certain texture, and struggles with 'emptying her mouth'. This probably sounds odd, but is actually easily explained when you throw in her Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Like Autism this is a spectrum ranging from hypersensitive (over sensitive) and hyposensitive (under responsive or delayed reaction). For Olive she is under responsive to smells and touch. So being unaware that she has food on her face, or hasn't fully swallowed all of her food happens a lot. Her limited diet also effects her digestion and correlates with her GI issues. To my surprise this week ate school lunch on Tuesday, which was her choice. She usually eats a peanut butter and jelly, with an apple, and a cheese stick- everyday. She also ate celery with ranch, news flash Olive does not do vegetables or anything green in that matter. But her biggest accomplishment yet.. She ate a ham and cheese sandwich. She didn't smell it, or or lick it, or completely dismember the sandwich and just eat the cheese, she actually ate it. And she ate all of it! Olive has been so full of surprises lately. And I'm loving it.