Do they or Don't they?
I have two well behaved, and to the world at large, fun loving,vibrant and happy girls ;)
The eldest, 10yrs, is a talker, with highlevel speech for her age, is social, loving,cuddly, extrovert, brave and very well behaved. However, she is the most disorganised child I have ever met, is easily distracted, clumsy, has difficulty with writing, cannot impart her highlevel ideas onto paper at school, where they have resorted to using a dictaphone to capture her wonderful imagination and thoughts on topics. When getting dressed she always looks like she has been pulled through a bush backwards, and never notices when clothes are twisted, inside out or back to front. Screams and cries big heart wrenching tears if I brush her hair, which I have to do, at her request, for school photos etc. She still has trouble with toilet hygiene, and is terrified of having to deal with puberty over this. She has an IEP at school as she is still trying to tackle spelling, and constructing sentences. She has a terrible memory, setting off to do a task, but by the time she has turned round she doesn't know what she is supposed to be doing!She forgets regular appointments, timetables and is constantly in a daydream. In other words she is eccentric, but a very happy and sure minded little girl, aware she has difficulties and seeks people and strategies to aid her. She has picked a High School that none of her friends have picked, because she questioned all the Teachers at all the schools, and this school was the only one that understood her difficulties, fears and had strategies already in place for just such children. Does my child have a mild Sensory Processing Disorder? In Infant School they said they had concerns about her Visual Sequential Memory and they were right, for a change!
The youngest, 5yrs, is a muddled talker, has difficulty abstracting language, is pedantic, literal, logical in the extreme. She has excellent fine motor skills,but terrible gross motor function, high level sense of smell and hates loud noises, crowds, music etc, but is very loud in her own expressions, almost shouting at you whilst standing next to you. She is always formal, in that she will always ask " can I ask you something" or "can I tell you something" before she imparts her thoughts. Clothes must be on correctly, and they must be straight, with labels cut out. She wets herself if she gets anxious, which was constantly at school, until they introduced a visual calendar, and gave her time to assimilate change. Our childminder could not cope with her outbursts, as it was upsetting other children, though the outbursts of pedantic temper, are only with people who can't give her time to sort her speech, or accept that she cannot cope with the task they are demanding of her. She,
like her sister is tactile and seeks reassurance through touch. She has no friends at school, and cannot pick up on social cues. She invades your space, and doesn't realise she is in the way when people are walking round, so they trip over her and she gets frustrated. Yet she is very well behaved,because I fight for the boundaries to be consistent and will stand my ground with her, she is pedantic about manners, and gets upset over getting angrily upset, putting herself in the time out area when told she did something wrong, even though we discarded that after she was 3yrs old. She is having speech therapy to aid her in her inability to abstract language and to help her to recogise visual and auditory sequences, has SALSA at school and an LSA at lunch times to assure her that she can eat, she has had it before and does indeed like the same lunch she eats every day! Does she have a processing disorder, yes obviously she does amongst other issues.
Do I say, "Oh No" how are we going to cope, what will become of my child, why my child? No I don't, because every child is different, most children have a mix of processing issues of one sort or another,ask any Teacher, and most go on to live good and fruitful lives, if supported well, understood well, and are above all listened too. Your child knows what they need to cope, and you as a parent are the person in the position to work out what works best for you all. Take a deep breath Parents, look at your child, watch them, understand them, and then go forth and take on the establishment and stay one step ahead of the powers at 'B' every step of the way. Don't wait for a Doctor, Psychologist or Therapist to tell you your child is different, of course they are, they are individuals, you are their expert, you are the one that will aid them, the professionals cannot cure your child of individuality, but you can aid them to have fulfilled and wonderful lives, use the professionals to aid with strategies, but do not rely on them to do it for you, or to label your child. How do I know, what makes me so sure of myself, well for one, I am the mirror of my eldest dyslexic, dysgraphic and dyspraxic child, and my Aspergers hubby is almost a mirror of our youngest ;)At work, all my colleagues without exception have processing disorders, are socially inept, rude, caring, loud, daydreamers, pedantic,logical, literal, dyslexic, disorganised and obsessive compulsives, but what else would you expect from and average University department. Don't despair of your childs differences, work with them and aid their self esteem, and they may surprise you on what they can achieve in life for themselves. Best Wishes.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx