If you haven't read Ch.1 click HERE.
When Hailey was just a little one she would jump when I would just holler across the house for Darren to come help with something, or she would start crying when my mom would start cracking up while we were watching TV. I remember us consoling her a lot. As she got older she would frantically complain about all the noise Jack was making. She would scream in the van that he was being too loud and for him to stop talking!! I knew we needed a doctor when her preschool teacher was trying to calm her down one day and when she whispered in her ear that everything was going to be okay, Hailey yelled, "Stop hollering at me!!" That was scary. Total sensory overload.
See these pants...we call them 'comfy clothes' Anything with that soft, velvety texture is her favorite. Her clothes CAN NOT be itchy! She will come out of them in a second if they are wet, or stained and it doesn't matter where we are ...This has subsided now with the help of her medicine. It was defiantly an obsessive/compulsive action.
Now the smell sense is one of her strongest!! She gets whiffs of things long before I do and sometimes I never do! Car exhaust, stuff in the garbage, perfumes, etc. She acts like they are overwhelming her and wants them fixed!! You can tell in this picture that the smell of the pigs was getting to her, but her desire to be with them was so much stronger =)
You'd think with all her heightened senses she wouldn't want to touch bugs. She can't stand to get her hands dirty with food, so why dig in the dirt for bugs?? I don't try to understand anymore! She has a wonderfully delicate touch with tiny creepy crawlers. She's not scared, she lets multiple bugs crawl on her at a time and is very caring of them. She feeds them, shelters them, and even wants to bring them in our house! (I have to draw the line somewhere) Ladybugs are her favorite, caterpillars, even worms,(NO spiders), and other little guys that I don't know their names!
Oh, the food issue! I'm sure like any child there comes the picky stage. Only liking certain foods. She was no different...I think it's just the level of tantrum she would go into over her meals. Every issue was the end of the world for her and at the time I just thought I had the most stubborn (and loud) child in the world!
Now as far as presentation...that's a little more with the OCD side of things. She has to have a clean napkin all the time, once it's been used it's no good. (Wet wipes work the best.) She takes her lunch to school everyday no matter what they are serving. We tried school lunch earlier in the year but it didn't go well. She panicked in the line because the lunch lady told her to grab her milk (she hates milk - like her mom) it was over from there...she didn't remember that I packed her a juice. The chaos of the line and getting her food on the tray just seems overwhelming right now. So we stick with home lunch. Sandwiches always sliced diagonal!
When most kids her age don't care about vocabulary definitions, or solar system functions, she demands answers! In the picture above she was almost two years old and had been on multiple Jeep rides that day. The adults were worn out from driving her but she had no other desire... the other kids played in the huge yard, watched TV, went to the playhouse, Not her...Hailey's mind was made up and this is what she was interested in doing. She still loves to play, but learning academics for her is right up there with playing outside!
I'll probably notice this more as she gets older, right now she seems to fit in but is usually the goofy kid =) You can tell that some kids think she's weird (yesterday at our doctor's apt. one actually said that out loud) He was older though... again, I think she's still at a innocent age and I'm treasuring that. It's going to come all too quickly when she will become more self aware of her differences and so are others. I do know that Hailey doesn't realize when she should interact with her friends. I have to remind her to say Hi, she asks me Why... People give her comments and she hears them I'm sure but doesn't respond most of the time. She just doesn't seem to think there's anything to say. This is a huge example of the social awkwardness.
I talked to her doctor this week about how to tell Hailey about her Aspergers. He said just to make sure we keep it all about her positives. Even her quirks are her positive ones that make her HAILEY. And when something is hard we just have to try harder because we think differently than others. However I can point out how some things she does effortlessly (like learning to read) because of how her little mind works. I'm not looking at telling her right now...when she starts asking questions then I'll know it's the right time.