After we made the dietary changes with Deacon I felt like he began to blossom. We were taking it all in. Unfortunately, the “honeymoon” period would end which lead us down a new path.

Deacon around 4.5 years old  Image -  Stacy Fajardo  (my sister)

Deacon around 4.5 years old

Image - Stacy Fajardo (my sister)

The summer before Deacon’s 5th birthday we had a health check-up since he would be entering a new pre-school.  Again, I addressed my concerns and this time we would received a referral for a speech therapy evaluation.  It could not have come in at a better time. Deacon wasn’t settling into the new routine, behavioral issues were becoming more consistent and now sensory concerns became more apparent.  I felt flooded with emotions and I felt like a failure in parenting again. We were fortunate that the pre-school had a great relationship with an Occupational Therapist, Sharon Donnelly.  To make a long story short she observed him in the classroom setting, reported her findings to us and recommended an evaluation. 

Upon hearing the news about an evaluation more fear overtook my emotions but we had to move forward. We immediately sought her company’s expertise to get Deacon evaluated.  As I sat in the waiting room filling out the Sensory Profile my heart sank. Every question felt like Deacon and every answer I filled I questioned my parenting.

Deacon around 4.5 years old  Image -  Stacy Fajardo

Deacon around 4.5 years old

Image - Stacy Fajardo

The results came and it would be the first time I ever heard of Sensory Processing Disorder. Questions crippled my mind, weakened my heart and I remember reading through the packet of information at home crying.  All the symptoms were there.  How could I have done this to him?  It was hard to push through the negative thoughts. Shortly after that, we were able to get in for a speech evaluation and FINALLY he qualified for speech services. My world was spinning digesting the endless appointments to get the initial phases of evaluations scheduled and completed. It never felt still.  I’m not sure how I pulled myself out of the negative space but I knew I had to help Deacon.

Deacon with my mom at a trip to the Oregon Coast  Image -  Stacy Fajardo

Deacon with my mom at a trip to the Oregon Coast

Image - Stacy Fajardo

It wasn’t an easy process.  Internally, I fell into a dark space within myself. I felt like I didn’t “mother” him well enough. Without the “answers” though I would have never been able to see how much better things could get and they DID!! The evaluations were part of the healing process for us all and it became another factor to his success. We have continued Speech throughout these years and we’re in a phase in our journey that we can take a step away from Occupational Therapy.

If feel your child could be exhibiting any sensory concerns this is one of the forms I filled out for Deacon’s initial evaluation. At the end, you’ll be able to determine if your child is Typical Performance, Probable Difference of Definite Difference based upon the 5 different sensory categories. This profile is specifically used for children 3 & up and is the first thing I forward along to those who connect with me about our story.

If you live in the Portland, OR / Vancouver, WA areas I highly recommend connecting with Advanced Pediatric Therapies. They were the original clinic we have worked with. We have worked with 3 of their therapist and they were ALL amazing!! For those residing in Pocatello, ID, make sure to contact Speech Therapy Services. The business initially started with speech therapy but have broaden their services, including Occupation Therapy, over the years. We have worked between the two clinics these past 4 years and have been blessed to have worked with them both!

Image -  Stacy Fajardo