When I tell you that coming to Barrett four months ago has changed our lives, I mean it with every fiber of my being. It is frustrating to me to think about if only we could have come here three years ago where our progress could be.
Our daughter was diagnosed with sensory processing disorders at two and a half years old. It was a diagnosis without a plan. No one could say to me, this is what you need to do next. Or this is who you need to call.
For the first 6 months afterwards, I called everyone I could think of and I read everything I could find, just trying to find a direction to go in to help her.
Along the way, I found some other centers able to provide some help and guidance. However, there was so much paperwork, insurance hurdles and cost. And there was not a lot of visible improvement from our child.
Her disorder got to the point that we couldn’t go out of the house. We no longer were able to have visitors come over. We couldn’t get her to take a bath. She wore the same outfit every day. I am sure people thought we were crazy, but we didn’t really care about that. We cared that our daughter was very unhappy, and we didn’t know how to help her.
My husband heard of Barrett through a co-worker. Only 48 hours from our initial assessment we had a plan and Barrett had taken care of working with our insurance.
New experiences for our daughter are extremely painful and difficult. We need a lot of lead time and prep. Coming to Barrett was easy. They knew how to talk to her and to help her. I don’t think she knows she is getting therapy when she comes, but she does know it’s a working environment and she loves coming to Barrett.
Our daughter also has feeding issues. She only eats five things: bagels, waffles, donuts, oreos and pretzles. The feeding program she is in at Barrett is working to help her nutrition and to help her be ready to sustain herself at the full day of kindergarten in the fall.
One of the biggest helps and most dramatic changes has come from the brushing workshop we attended at Barrett. It is just a surgical scrub brush that looks like that one I used in the hospital before my C-Section, nothing high tech. It is a program that is certainly a commitment because you have got to keep up with the schedule or it won’t work. However, we noticed changes right away. Not that she was suddenly eating pudding or jumping into pools, but things like she wasn’t walking on her tippy toes as much. She wasn’t putting her hands in her mouth as much.
Three weeks into brushing, we had a long stretch of rain. Normally, her reaction would be to go to the iPad weather channel app and review the weather “cloud, cloud, rain, rain…when do I go to school? How are we going to get there?” She would panic. The difference now is she says, “oh, look there’s rain…” and in the next breath “What’s on Disney Jr.?” It’s just a statement now. She realizes if she gets wet, she will dry.
After six weeks of brushing, she took her first shower ever. I said to her, “good for you” and then I left the room and did a huge dance, called everyone I knew, and then cried because for the first time in her life, our five year old had water in her face and she was not screaming.
Emotionally, and psychologically, I know we are making great strides.
Barrett is allowing us to be a part of the therapy process. What we are living right now is a rediscovering. It is like having a new baby again. We are having all these experiences that we had been cheated of. Without Barrett, I don’t know what our family would be like.
–Stacy, Bellingham, MA