A story about Sensory Processing & an Apple Watch

📖 The quest for an Apple Watch started around the same time high school did. Friends, family and teachers all had one & Max decided he wanted one too. He really, really wanted one.

For 6 months he asked, every day, multiple times a day. He became obsessed with knowing who had one & who didn’t. He would reach for my hand every morning and say “Apple Watch?” Checking to see if I remembered to wear it that day.

So despite the fact that we knew a watch would cause enormous Sensory distress for Max, we decided to buy him one for Christmas. 🎁

A boy that never asks for anything was suddenly asking… A milestone in itself & something that many people take for granted. He was desperate to fit in to the Apple Watch gang & we were going to grant his wish. ✨

So we practiced (loosely) with some wrist desensitization. We used hair ties, rubber bands and some sensory / chewing bracelets - nothing could really prepare him for the real thing, but he was trying & he was excited so we were happy with that.

Christmas Day rolled around and he was ecstatic with his gift. (The look on his face into the photo says it all!) He looked at it (by feeling) and reluctantly popped it on his wrist - for about 30 seconds. 🙁

Since then it has sat idle on the equally expensive charger that we purchased, so that it would be looked after and found easily when he needed it.

❤️‍🩹 It’s normal to attach feelings when you spend a lot of money on a gift & it is easy to become impatient about it’s use. It is also easy to feel offended or disappointed that it didn’t work out how you hoped it would. How you expected it to & what you wanted for your child.

But you see, for those 5 months while that precious Apple Watch sat on its charger, Max thought about wearing it. Every - Single - Day.

He still checked my wrist for my watch daily and made sure his was safe on its charger. Sometimes I would gently ask “are you ready to wear your watch yet?” And he would thoughtfully say “one day”.

The very thought of actually wearing that constricting, randomly noisy & vibrating item on his body all day was too much sensory input & it was hard! No matter how much he wanted it. 😞

But guess what?… today when Max came to me for help with his daily grooming, I noticed something on his wrist. There it was! He had decided that today was the day. 😅

I had to restrain my excitement so I just gave him a gentle hug & told him how proud I was of him. I also noticed that he had let the watch go flat so that he could wear it without the feedback. What a smart tactic! It’s a start…. 

My happiness about him finally wearing it had nothing to do with the money we spent on the gift & it wasn’t even because he was finally using it. It was because he felt brave enough today to do what he has been wanting to do for 12 months, which is a huge achievement. 👏🏼

What Max has taught me & why I wanted to share this little story of ours is because it is so important to understand the time it takes to process things. This time can not be measured. It’s not about anyone else. It’s not about money & it’s not about expectations.

It’s about feeling ready and being brave enough to try. ♥️

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