Sensory Processing Disorder



The more I read and learn about SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), the more I realize that is what is wrong with me. I have been previously diagnosed as OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and possibly ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), but now I am certain it’s SPD. The OCD diagnosis never felt exactly right — I feel “sort of” OCD. The ADHD fit better, but the SPD is spot on who I am and what is wrong with me.

As good as it feels to know what my problem is and to know I’m not just plain crazy (which I often feel), it’s frustrating because there’s not really treatment with adults. The good news, however, is after talking with S, who runs the practice where Ace is going for OT, she believes I am right and wants to help. At first, she gave me a somewhat patronizing, “As parents learn about SPD, they see things in themselves and start to think…” and I do know what she means, as we all have a touch of SPD here and there, but as I went on (and showed her a checklist of symptoms I had found online and filled out) she seemed genuinely interested and to believe me. As I continued, I would start to tell her things about me, and she was able to finish my sentences because she knows SPD, and she knew what I was going to say certain things/situations did to me. It was so comforting to have some validation in how I feel/act even if she doesn’t have an answer for me.

Now, when Ace goes for HIS therapy, they will do some modified things with me to try to help. There’s not really a way to re-wire an adult’s brain, so I can’t be helped the way Ace (hopefully) can, but I can hopefully find some relief and not feel so out of control, stressed out and wound up all of the time. That in and of itself would be amazing.

Another time I will go into more detail about myself, but now I want to share some things about Ace. He’s been worrying me more and more with his little oddities and reactions to things. One of them are noises he makes, like quacking, clucking and kissing. They are cute and funny, but sometimes I’ll ask him a question, and he’ll respond by quacking at me. Even that is cute/funny, but I worry it’s a sign of more serious issue. Sometimes he makes these sounds when he’s doing something, like once he was poking Nate and each time he would poke him, he’d cluck. L, the OT, believe his sounds are just another way of getting sensory (oral) input and helping himself. Here he is quacking at his pancakes the other morning, and I get him to make his other sounds so you can hear them (there’s some gratuitous Nate footage in there, too!):

I’m not sure about this one, maybe he’s just concentrating extra hard on using his fork. L says it could possibly be another attempt at getting extra sensory input as well:

His newest thing is doing headstands. He does headstands a lot, and he’s quite good at them, too! He can actually walk his feet up the wall to get himself in a complete headstand and then he just stays until he falls. He also does them over the side of our chair, like this:

Upside-Down Ace

Now it’s as cute as anything, but it’s also… strange.

I’ve also seen him get on his tummy, press his cheek to the carpet and then slide himself forward on the carpet, dragging his face along. Clearly a seeking behavior and when I see him doing that, I’ve done some work with him or had Skip do it (like wrestle him or do something else to give him extra sensory input).

Lately, he’s also been so scared of things. He got to meet one of the horses at therapy last week, Misty. He was interested in her (and loved wearing his helmet) but very shy. I was holding him, petting her, and she turned and looked at him. As soon as that happened, all bets were off. Granted, a big animal like that looking at you when you’re all of 3 feet tall is probably scary, right? I just know Nate and Calista would have LOVED it. Today at the zoo, a cow mooed and Ace burst into tears, the poor guy. And the petting zoo? Forget it. Nate was running towards the animals and Ace was running away.

It’s hard to put into words, because I know these things can all be quite normal. But put them all together and add a little intuition and I know something just isn’t right… and it has been seeming to get worse lately. We are definately keeping up with the OT now, especially since I’ve found out that SPD is what plagues me. I do NOT want Ace to grow up dealing with a lot of the things I have if I can prevent it.


2 thoughts on “Sensory Processing Disorder

  1. Sommer,
    I’ve been dealing with SPD with my kids for almost 12 years. Kudos to you for seeing it so soon and getting him help! Jake was 2 1/2 when we got him the help he needed. He’s still a seeker, and always will be, but as they get older, they learn when and where are appropriate. Sydney takes 30 minutes after school now to spin, feel soft things, smell things, whatever she needs.
    It gets better, so keep it up! If I can ever help, please let me know!
    Becca

  2. I still see so much of Nick in Ace. He does the carpet thing and spends most of his time upside down too. He does handstands on the couch and watches TV that way! It’s funny and cute – and weird. LOL.

    As for fears – Nick too. He runs screaming if he sees/hears a plane – IN THE SKY. Tell me how on earth I can control THAT.

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