Adult Sensory Processing disorder
by Kathleen Muhs
My 46 year old daughter has finally diagnosed her condition as Sensory Processing Disorder.
She was always an "odd" child, was a sleepy baby, had slow physical development, had her own language and spent years in speech therapy, never crawled and walked at a year old, had extreme separation anxiety from birth. She was a quiet baby who didn't need or want to be held. If a stranger held her, she screamed uncontrollably which was odd because she did not cry as a baby. At the age of two, she developed hyperactivity. She would turn around and run without knowing where she was heading and often ran into objects, or would fall down because she did not watch her step.
When she was four, I had her tested by a child psychologist but the testing was inconclusive because, as the doctor said, "She was able to see through all my ruses and would not cooperate."
She spent years four and five in pre-school because she wasn't mature for kindergarten. She then skipped kindergarten and was placed in a first grade special needs program. This was 1968 when her condition was undiagnosed. Luckily she has a very high IQ and struggled through school mostly on her own. She learned to read within 6 months of the special education class. I had been reading to her since she could sit up so she knew about language and books.
Our family physician put her on Ritalin but it turned her into a zombie so I took her off of it after three or so months. She hated disruption of her schedule so she would not miss school even when she was sick. She had few friends but wanted to belong so she joined Girl Scouts at age 10 where she was treated unkindly by her peers, but she persevered.
She managed to get average grades in school. She loved school so went to a community college after high school, the graduated from a university with a major in history and women's studies. She then took a firefighter/emt course and became a firefighter. At 5 ft 4 inches, she had a tough time proving herself to the men in the profession, so quit and trained as a nurse. She now is nationally certified in oncology nursing, owns a home, is single with no desire to marry or have children. She is delightful, funny and smart and everyone who knows her loves her for her sunny disposition and ascerbic humor.