Hello! This blog is about my daughter Hailey (currently 12 years old) and her experiences living with auditory processing disorder. Auditory Processing Disorder is Hailey's primary issue, however she has also been given the labels Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder and Phonology Disorder at various points in her life.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mini-Panic Attack Like Only A Mom With A Child with Special Needs Can Know

Today I went to the informational meeting for my daughter's ice skating show.  Everything was going along well when suddenly I heard that parents are not allowed in the locker rooms with their child.  Not only that but the children have to stay in their designated locker rooms at all times except when they are performing.

My heart started thumping as my mind raced over the problems with this situation: my daughter will be stuck in a room with 20-30 noisy kids not being able to process much of any speech due to the noise.  She won't necessarily know what she's supposed to be doing when the person in charge tells them to put on their skates and get ready to go.  She hates a lot of noise; she hates chaos; she hates to feel lost and most likely, she'll start to feel overwhelmed locked in a room full of  20-30 bored, anxious, loud, moving children.  She might begin to feel panicked. Performing in the show is enough anxiety to learn to deal with. We don't need to provide anymore.

My hand darted up like the child desperate to get called on.  "My child has a communication problem.  Can I stay in the locker room with her?"

"You'll have to volunteer to be a locker room attendant for all performances and be willing to help ALL the children."

To myself I thought, well of course I'll help all the children as much as possible.  But I cannot be solely in charge of all of them because my daughter will need me and that is my primary concern.

So I calmly stated that I would lovingly help all the children, but I would need someone else to help - I could not possibly do it alone due to my child's needs.  What do you know, a woman sitting beside me volunteered to be a locker room attendant with me for all three performances.  She has a child in the same group, and she said she works with senior citizens who have auditory difficulties (usually due to hearing loss) so she understands my concerns.

Phew!  Everything worked out just fine - panic attack over.  I love it when kind people provide.* Once again, asking worked.

*As an added bonus, the director of the program is going to coach my daughter's group performance number and she made a point to let me know she is aware of her needs and will be considerate of them. I love this ice skating program.


  1. Piano recital, had the same feeling. I did let go, and that was an hour of her alone, but she did ok for her first. She has another coming up in May, so she knows what to expect. Letting go is so stressful, and they do panic. Last time I didnt get to get a seat down front, which through her into a panic. This time she will sit me ,so she knows where I will be, before, I take her back stage. I understand the panic.

    1. I'm glad your daughter's piano recital went well. :) This is our first ice show and she's stressed enough already with having to coordinate her moves with the other kids and be on stage, so I want to be there to help. Next year, maybe she'll feel up to being on her own in the waiting zone/locker room, although I'm sure she'll still be annoyed with the noise and movement.

  2. UPDATE: So I went to the online sign up sheet for volunteering. The locker room attendant slots were already filled! Well, I guess that didn't work quite right. I'm not going to even worry about it, though. I'll just show up and tell them I am going to sit with her in the locker room or she can sit with me in the car until it's time. I'm sure they'll let me in the locker room. :)

    The only down side to all this is now I have to volunteer for something else. The only things left are "Group Chairperson" and "Clean Up Crew". Well, I certainly do not want to have to clean up at the end of all this. So chairperson it is! I can be the contact person for questions, problems, etc. Let's just hope it is as easy as it sounds. Wish me luck!

  3. New Update: The shows went fantastic! Hailey adored being in them, grew tremendous amounts in her self-esteem, and became more confident in her social skills. :) One of the highlights for me was when she fell because her skate nudged a girl beside her's skate: she just got up smiling and kept skating. She expressed pride in her ability to be able to fall and just keep smiling and go on with the routine!

    As for the locker room: I did end up staying with her for all except one half-hour time. She did well and had no problems. The kids in her room were not too loud or chaotic at all and there were always two to three moms there. She enjoyed playing with some of the kids in the locker room as they tended to get together in one-on-one or small group scenarios.

    As for me being chairperson, it was really easy! I just had to send e-mails and answer a few questions.

    So what I thought would be a stressful experience ended up being a terrific challenge which was just the right thing to help Hailey and I both grow in our confidence in doing such demanding, new adventures.