For those of you who may not know, our Li-Li won a YMCA Character Award! She was one of thirteen teens honored officially at a Zoom ceremony on November 12th. It was a wonderful program, where the production crew interviewed and filmed the teens while they were doing their thing. Each teen was highlighted for at least 3 to 5 minutes. For Li-Li, they filmed her volunteering, passing out blankets her charity made to homeless people in our community.
Watching all the teens talk about their volunteer activity made me feel especially proud. Our young people are still succeeding and doing well, despite all the negativity we hear on the news. My husband and I were so excited when we heard the director announce Li-Li's name! To our surprise, however, she frantically said, "I don't want to see myself on the computer screen!" I was shocked! I tried to get her to stay, but she was just insistent about not seeing herself. We allowed her to leave. I hadn't seen her act like that since she was a little girl. She always hated pictures and for people to compliment or look at her for too long. She would even cry if people complimented her too much. We later determined that her behavior was because of visual sensory issues, and we learned that she had at least four other sensory issues, including two hidden senses!
With visual sensory issues, Li-Li also didn't care for bright lights or the sun's shining too brightly in the sky. However, I thought we were LONG past most of these sensory issues, especially those dealing with vision. We found that for every sensory issue she had, she seemed to create accommodations to deal with those particular issues. For example, Li-Li didn't care for crowds, but she learned to focus on her destination and go through them OR...she would avoid crowds altogether. For noises, she often would listen to music, especially if we were in a noisy place. She learned to conquer her sensory issues, which is why I thought they were behind us for the most part. I'm STILL learning about sensory issues, evidently. I plan to find a way to help Li-Li become more comfortable with seeing herself on television/the computer/etc. She plans to be an astronaut one day, so she must get used to seeing herself walking on the moon or discovering a new water source on Mars!
I've learned that as parents, we will NEVER stop encouraging/coaching our children...whether we're helping them conquer sensory issues, improve grades, develop more confidence, or make positive life experiences. I have always been my child's BIGGEST cheerleader, and now I am her coach. Just call me, Coach Gin!