Holiday Celebrations and SPD

by A Loving Nana

With Christmas now behind us and New Year's Eve on the way, I thought it appropriate to write about the challenges faced by my grandson during the holiday season.

At three family gatherings, my grandson had difficulty with sensory challenges while visiting. The most difficult situations involve family members that do not understand his disability and compare him with the average child without SPD with expectations of behavior that children with SPD take time to acquire.

As he struggles to "fit in" with a group of peers, he often has difficulty with body space. Where others without SPD can ward off physical contact, he returns full force. Even a slight "high five" can lead to a wrestling match on the floor. Because of this, he is often the target of negative attention because young slightly older boys are attracted to his outbursts when he is triggered. While they don't understand it, they do understand that they can "get him going" and there are a few that find this rather entertaining. In the end, he is in tears and we end up leaving earlier than desired.

Yesterday, we had to leave a party early after he was physically hurt during play by another child and lost it yelling at several adults at the party. When we got to the car, he cried from the back seat, "I don't know why I get like this. I can't stop it. I can't control it. I hate it." This experience is a learning experience for all of us. This article gave explanation to may be happening to my grandson. I can hear my own voice saying, "Stop trying to control other people". I understand a little more of the "why" behind it.

People don't understand my grandson and see it as bad behavior. He's such a great guy with so much love to offer. I have so much to learn myself about how to help him.

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