Since the end of October 2008 I've been able to brush B's hair without too much trouble. She will even brush it now. Well, sometimes. She's 7. So, for five and a half years it was a daily battle. Sometimes twice a day. Her whole world would come to an end when it was time to brush her hair. She screamed in pain. Terrible pain. Just running fingers through her hair would cause red marks - like claws - down her neck to her back. This was a real, physiological response. No kidding. If you were to pinch just the ends of her hair in your fingers and ask if she felt it, she would say it hurt - and she wouldn't still be standing there just letting you pinch her hair!. It. hurt. a. lot. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being in that much pain every day?
But one evening in late October of 2008, she brought me her brush and asked me to brush her hair. I asked if she really meant it and she said yes. OK. So I did. I was very careful and tried to be gentle, as I always did. She held completely still and didn't pull away. She didn't scream. She didn't cry. But I did. By the time I was done, the tears were streaming down my face. After 5.5 years of daily pain, my little girl was not in physical pain from this. I praised God and quickly sent out a praise report on our church's prayer chain. God blessed us by relieving my little girl from this burden. Oh, she still has others - but this was one less. Yes, it was a big deal!
This is a girl who, when wearing any sort of hair accessory, will become easily agitated. So we don't put things in her hair unless she has to have her hair pulled back (like in gymnastics, when it's a low, low ponytail). She doesn't like it and it's a personal preference, one that I don't feel the need to push my desires onto her if it causes her that much discomfort. So imagine my amazement when she recently asked me to put her hair up in a "high pony."
After putting it up, I asked her to please take it out or come to me if it bothers her. Sometimes she just lets the physical discomfort fester until she can't take it any more. So we talked through it. She wore it for HOURS.
I was so proud of her. She has come a long way. It hasn't been easy living with sensory processing disorder, but she is learning to cope with it, as are the rest of us.