How or should you do you tell an adult they have SPD?

I think my boyfriend has SPD.


He is hyper aware of smells. He can smell things WAY before I can if I can at all.
He tells me how the smells or textures of certain foods I eat make his "stomach turn" or how certain perfumes I wear "stink".

He doesn't like to kiss tenderly and hardly ever hugs me and he absolutely hates when I try to kiss or hold him.

He can't stand high pitch noises either which is a problem as I have a higher pitched voice so my "talking to little kids or dogs" voice "makes his skin crawl".

He gets EXTREME motion sickness and I mean extreme on amusement park rides.

Only when I tried to wake him from a deep sleep by gently stroking his arm did a light bulb go off. I saw actual pain cross his face and realized there was more to his reactions to things than I first thought so I did a google search and found this site.

We initially dated 2 years ago for 4 months but I broke it off because I thought he must really not like me to lash out at things I said and did...then 18 months later we saw each other at a party and I could tell he really had missed me.
We've been together 8 months now and I've known he has SPD since I found your site in January.
It's still hard to not be kissed or held as often as I'd like and it's hard to tell if what I'm going to cook or the sound of my voice is going to irritate him but I'm trying. If I get to the point where I'm upset about something he says or does to me (or doesn't do) I think how hard it's been for him all his life...growing up in a time when no one knew what this was...I tell myself he can't help that neurologically he has his "wires crossed ".

I know there is probably little that can be done for a person who has found ways to cope after 45 years...that's why I am torn over telling him. I don't know how he'll react. Will he be relieved or will it just be a horribly upsetting thing to hear? Or both? I've struggled with telling him for 5 months now.

I HAVE said ( like when he got sick on the roller coaster) "you know how you have superhuman hearing? Maybe because the ears are where your sense of balance originates you're equilibrium is just super sensitive too?" He was actually baffled as to why he was the only person lying down for 3 hours in the nurses station at the theme park ...I did think my answer made sense to him though. :)

If anyone can offer advice on weather or not I should tell him I'd really appreciate it.
Thank you

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Jul 17, 2014
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I think you should tell him.
by: Anonymous

I just recently found out that my quirks have a name - hypersensitivity / SPD! Personally I was glad to know it. I think if you tell him in the right way and not make him feel like a specimen things can improve for him and your relationship.

I'm female but in the same age bracket. My fiancé is understanding but sometimes I have to remind him I'm touchy sensitive. So much that I can't stand seams and wear clothes inside out sometimes. Touch from others makes me anxious often. I also have fibromyalgia, BTW.

I would ask him to make a list of foods smells that he can't stand and not cook those when he's around. His words may seem harsh, and I've used strong words like "can't stand it" around my family and I don't mean to be rude. When some triggers like a person talking too loud, making noise in cooking etc....it makes me irritable at times. I know people aren't trying to annoy me, and I am overall a pretty calm person, but noise is a big trigger for me (and since it can easily lead to a migraine), it irritates me, but I try not to take it out on others and try to ask politely to please be quieter.

I'm sorry for rambling but I hope this helps. Good luck!

Jun 18, 2014
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Adult SPD
by: Anonymous

I don't think it is too late to uncross some of his wiring. Exercise, including running, spinning, bouncing, stretching might be helpful to his system. There is a high blood pressure medicine call Intuniv that reduced my son's sensitivities, and now he only has the hearing issues, but there other issues are slightly there still, but workable. This medicine just slowed him down a bit so his reaction to touch and noise didn't set him off as much...Also he loves stretch massage...pulling calf and thigh muscles up or down as well as arm muscles and twisting of the wrist and ankels back and forth...which is basically occupational therapy...he might really embrace that type of touch...also head massage...hopefully this will make his sensory system tougher...you need to have this discussion, but highlight his gifts..all the best.

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