Baby, It’s A New World Outside


By Megan Murillo, CO Families for Hands & Voices

My little Luca, almost three, opens the door at 7:30 am in early March, when mornings are still Colorado crisp, and goes outside to ride his bike on our patio. Luca has his hearing aids on, breakfast in his belly and I’m happy to let him go outside and bring me a little peace and quiet to be with my two other small children. 

Luca was born with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss and had aides on by 6 months of age.  However, it wasn’t until Luca was two and a half years old that he was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.  Specifically, Luca has proprioceptive dysfunction, which like hearing, is another “sense.”  Proprioception is the sense of knowing where your body is in space, sort of a gravity sense, that helps you know when your feet are on the floor or that a hand is being placed on your back.  For us, it means Luca is wired a little differently.  He has a high pain tolerance, not much fear, enjoys crashing into things, and loves throwing balls.

Since Luca has a hearing loss and his proprioceptive function needs to be specially activated, being outside has been even more important. Outside in our backyard, Luca's many senses are activated in ways that cannot be easily duplicated inside.  I see a calm come over Luca and this peace trickles over to me and to his little sisters.   

For me, having a child with hearing aids has been stressful at times. I have daily questions like:  Are the batteries working? Where are the hearing aids? Why did this one little piece break? When can we get into the audiologist?  How is Luca’s speech developing?  Should I be doing more?  And the list goes on.  Going outside, even if it’s just for five minutes with Luca, makes my day and Luca’s day better. 

I would recommend reading Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv and I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward for a little inspiration.    ~

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