Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Sensory Processing Disorder Means to Me

Since I last blogged we have had an ear infection, two stomach bugs, and pink eye for those keeping count.  I have been to the pediatrician's office twice in two weeks.  Joy.  But alas that isn't what this post is about.  Just venting.

We had Destructo's occupational therapy (OT) evaluation.  While I am still waiting on the final report, it was very obvious he had sensory issues and they recommended an hour weekly therapy sessions.  It really bothers me that SPD isn't a recognized medical diagnosis.  This means that insurance won't cover it.  OT is really expensive so we are always having to make decisions.  Do we pay for OT and forgo preschool?  What about feeding therapy that was also recommended to have him evaluated for?  I hate all these adult decisions.  

So what does sensory processing disorder mean to me/us?  

SPD is having a kid that spins circles non stop when he gets overwhelmed, bored, the moon is full.

It is telling your four year old to get electrical cords, mini blinds, pencils, insert whatever inedible object you choose here.

It is being thrilled when your child actually eats healthy protein rich food since he is the pickiest eater ever.  

It is realizing that he will actually starve himself when you take him in for a well check and he has fallen off the scale in height vs weight and BMI.  

It is beginning to cater to him more about meals even though you are firmly against this because again starvation.

SPD is having a very active, loud kid.  Did I mention he is loud?

It is having a kid that walks through a store with his hands out to his sides touching everything he passes.  

It is not being able to serve food too hot or too cold.

It is washing his meat off to avoid him seeing spices on it so he will actually eat it.

It is knowing exactly how to make his sandwich to avoid having to listen to long and ear splitting tantrums.

SPD is a child who only tolerated being held facing out from a very young age, was resistant to cuddling as a baby, and only slept in the swing for five months.  

SPD was violent tantrums as a young toddler complete with biting, hitting his head into things, and kicking things.

It is having a child that was terrified and would flee anytime the garage door was opened. 

It is not being able to ride an elevator without severe fear for the first two years of his life.

It is having to apologize to other children's parents because your son was too aggressive or even worse licked their child (this one happened a lot.)

SPD is having bite marks in many many objects throughout your house.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have bite marks in my debit card, mini blinds, metal Arnica tube, and the majority of his toys.

It is having more teethers, chewies, and bubble gum laying around than a store.

It is rejoicing the day you realize your three year old can chew gum without swallowing it because maybe just maybe it will help with his oral fixation.

It is saying numerous times every day to not lick the bird house post, stop licking your brother, we don't put that in our mouth, etc

It is a child that refuses to get his hands dirty for the first two years or to play with playdough.  (And  yay again I see we are making progress because he has no problem with this anymore.)

It is letting your child go longer than he should without a bath because the idea of having to wash his hair is worse than a stinky kid.  

It is a child that has too long toe nails because he only lets his Auntie Dayna cut them and that isn't always convenient.

It is being somewhat grateful he bites his finger nails for this same reason.  

It is laundry.  Tons of laundry.  Because said child won't continue wearing an outfit if it gets the least bit wet even if it is just water.

It is a child that prefers sweat pants to shorts or jeans even in the heat of summer.  

It is a child who can smell as well as a bloodhound.  Which makes picky eating even more challenging.

It is your kid having more of a tan than you would like because sunscreen is a battle you just can't fight daily and keep your sanity.

It is learning your three year old can foam at the mouth when they draw blood.  Not the actual drawing of the blood but just telling him that they are going to causes it.  Same thing with shots (but today he did great yay!)

It is epsom salt baths, cutting high fructose corn syrup, cutting back on food dyes, weighted vests, and other things that you try in the hopes that maybe it will make a difference in behavior.

It is having a kid that has explosive temper tantrums regularly.

It is being able to immediately hear when he is getting overloaded by sensory input just by the tone of his voice.

It is cutting tags out of shirts and pants, making sure sock seams are straight, and having a kid walk around with his pants rolled up to his knees because they got wet and he can't stand that feeling.

It is trampolines, sit and spins, playdough, and kinetic sand being on Christmas wish lists.  Yay for turning  your home into a sensory gym.

I could go on and on but you get the point.  I have learned more about SPD in the four years since Destructo was born than ever before.  And in learning about it, I realized that I have a lot of the same sensory issues as Destructo.  And I turned out just fine which makes me worry about him a whole lot less.  Or did I?