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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Too Quiet!

A few weeks ago, as Ella's physical therapist and I were chatting at the end of her PT appointment, the therapist mentioned that Ella had sort of shut down at one point during their time together that day. Ella adores her therapists, all of them, and although she will frequently shut down because of issues with other children (they're too loud or close to her, for instance), she has never shut down because of something a therapist has done. It was weird. The therapist wasn't sure if Ella was getting sick or was tired, or if there was something that happened before our therapy that had made her upset. 

I sat and thought and thought. As I thought, I realized how big the PT gym is, and how quiet it is in there when Ella is the only one there with her therapist. I commented to Ella and our PT about how quiet it was in the gym that day. When Ella ran off to play with a new piece of equipment, I mentioned to the therapist that whenever it's quiet at home, Ella comments on it. When her brothers are at school, Ella will get still sometimes and worriedly say "It's quiet." She doesn't like quiet. It means things are different. Not normal. When our house isn't full of joyful chaos, Ella feels unsteady. 

Ella's therapist said "Oh my goodness! Today she commented  on how quiet it was in the gym! It was just before she shut down!" We realized that Ella just didn't like the quiet atmosphere of the PT gym, and that was what had made her upset. After understanding this, when it is too quiet for Ella, her therapist turns on music for her. That has solved the problem! 

It's so interesting to me how you just never know what is going on in your kids' minds. You never know if one kid will thrive on noise or if another kid is cringing with pain because of it. All in the same house! I love our therapists because they notice little changes in my kids during their short time with them every week, and can pick up on whether something is wrong. Then we work together to see if we can put the puzzle pieces into place to figure out what's going on. 

Who would have thought that a lack of noise could make Ella so uncomfortable that she wouldn't be able to function. Because of our PT's awesome communication, we were able to figure out that Ella needs some background noise in order to feel relaxed and stable. Every week I'm amazed by our therapists. And so very thankful for all of them.

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