Thursday, December 20, 2012

Living Sensory

I belong to approximately 40 different group on facebook. A mix of homeschooling and SPD/LD groups. Recently in a non-SPD group someone asked about SPD, and now I feel it is my duty as a Sensory Momma to bring some light to SPD to my followers.

Just 6 short months ago Yang under went speech and occupational therapy evaluations. While I always thought it was odd she would not wear jeans I never realized there could be a real reason why, nor had I ever heard of SPD. As I filled out questionnaire after questionnaire I began to think there has to be something to this. When we received her results I was shocked, curious and happy (What a combo right?) Shocked because I had never heard of SPD. Curious cause I wanted to know more, well everything about it actually, and happy because we FINALLY had answers. But what did that mean?

What is SPD???

SPD stands for Sensory Processing Disorder. SPD is a neurological disorder causing difficulties with taking in, processing, and responding to sensory information about the environment and from within one's own body (visual, auditory, tactile, olfaction, gustatory, vestibular, and proprioception).

Sensory Processing Disorder can effect the way someone -
  • interactions with others
  • functions daily
  • social and family relationships
  • behavioral challenges
  • regulating emotions
  • self-esteem
  • learning
OTR/L Angie Voss, and her books have been an absolute blessing! She has been the beacon of light in all that we have endured. Her time, dedication, compassion, understanding, and willingness to help have truly amazed me. She really does go above and beyond!

I would suggest anyone that has been blessed with a sensory kiddo in your life to start with read Your Essential Guide to Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder. I read less than 20 pages of this book before breaking down. I felt like someone had interviewed, observed and written a book about Yang, and not just another book about a disorder. If you have a sensory kiddo, or care for a sensory kiddo (baby-sit, teacher, etc) I STRONGLY suggest buying Understanding Your Child's Sensory Signals. Yang actually calls it her Sensory Bible and we do not leave the house without it!

You can purchase all of Angie's books below. For Understanding Your Child's Sensory Signals and The Survival Guide for Traveling with a Sensory Kiddo the second book photo listed below is the Kindle version.

 What is it like for someone with SPD?

Yang deals with many of the issues in the picture above, although she does not suffer from all. It is important to know that each sensory kiddo is different. What may bother one child may not bother another, or to the same severity. Yang does not like her hair washed or brushed, although we have come a long way with this one. She does not like bright lights, and we often keeps the windows closed and lights off/to a minimum. I think EVERY child has selective hearing! LOL! She sticks to certain foods/textures and will rarely try something new. There are no such things as tags in anything Yang wears! She gets very rough, very quick and does not realize it at all. She will actually tell you that tickling is bad for her sensory brain!! Yang will be 8 in April and is still unable to ride a bike, walk a fine line, balance beam, etc. Doing our school work takes extra long due to concentration issues most days. Yang is getting these in pink for Christmas to help with her noise issues. We actually spent an entire theater performance in the bathroom because she could not deal with the noise.
She chews on her hair and almost an object she is holding. She rarely wears socks so we buy shoes that do not require them most times.

So what are some sensory essentials?

The next time you see a child in the store, at the park or wherever and they seem to be "throwing a fit" or "misbehaving" please remember before you judge, that this child could have a hidden neurological disorder called sensory processing disorder. Their parents do NOT need your parental advice, comments or stares. A silent prayer is enough. Our lives are not always easy. We have sleepless days, meltdowns over what may seem small or trivial to most and need LOTS of patience. We welcome your questions, not judgement, comment or stares!

In the words of Angie Voss,

Keep it Real.
          Keep it Simple.
                    Keep it Sensory. 

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