Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Experiences in Sensory Processing Disorder

Every child is different.  Every child will react differently in any situation.  C-note has sensory processing disorder.  Does this mean that there is something 'wrong' with him? no.  It simply means that his brain processes sensations differently than most people.  In his case, everything is bigger, louder and more intense.  We always knew that something was unusual in him, even as an infant, he couldn't tolerate being touched and we had to hold him away from our bodies to calm him.  At 7yrs he still struggles with the loudness of the vacuum cleaner and has to be in a different room.

Eating is also a struggle.  C-note doesn't like starches, including rice, pasta, potatoes; gags on root vegetables; anything green; any rough textured fruit, like apples and pears; and he does not like sauces on is food.  So, basically, he likes very plain, and smooth food that has little to no color.  We avoided taking him out to restaurants until he was about 4.5yrs old because we never knew when it would end up with screaming, crying  or even throwing up on the tables.

Over time, and a lot of trial and error, we have found that there are things that C-note simply can not handle, and we don't push those things on him.  There are things though, that he does not have as great of an aversion, so we slowly integrate them.  Just earlier this year he would melt over a carrot on his plate, now he is able to eat one at meal time.  He also changed his mind about Ranch dressing, which is now the only way to get him to eat a veggie.

C-note went to a private kindergarten.  He learned a terrific amount of information, but he was constantly in sensory overload.  When a child with SPD is in overload they can act out or act erratically.  This is what C-note did.  His teacher insisted that he had ADHD because he couldn't stop fidgeting, he would randomly walk out of the room, he would get loud and produce large uncontrolled motions.  I would get condemning letters home weekly.  I met or spoke with the teacher several times a week about helping him, but was only met with resistance.  Because his overload looks like ADHD, then in her mind, he should be able to control himself.

C-note homeschools now and we introduce new experiences and tastes slowly.  He has good days and bad days; but so does everyone else.  He is also learning to recognize and express his feeling about things better.  He is also getting better about removing himself from a stressor.

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