I never knew this was a thing

by Demi
(Georgia, USA)

I'm 25, almost 26, and I'm just finding out about SPD. I've been seeing a therapist for social anxiety and depression for a while now, and in our session yesterday, I happened to mention how disturbed and averse I am to certain noises. He asked if I was like that with any of my other senses. Lights always seem too bright. Sounds always seem too loud, sharp, and grating. Most textiles and fabrics are abrasive. Perfumes and artificial smells make me sick. I actively avoid crowds and other people and will have meltdowns and panic attacks if people start getting too close to me.


We had talked about a few of these things separately, and they'd always been attributed to Social Anxiety Disorder. But when I listed everything together, he said I might have SPD and should look into it and possibly get tested and diagnosed.

I've been looking over the different checklists of signs and symptoms and so many things make sense now! I thought that maybe this was a new development, but there are a lot of things on these lists that have bothered me my entire life. Quirks that I've always had. When I was little, my parents always just people that I was shy and picky and forced me to tolerate things I hated so that I wasn't rude.

I grew up thinking that these were things that everyone went through. I thought that everyone was this anxious and nervous and particular about things. I just thought that everyone else was better at handling it and dealing with it than I was. Everyone always told me that I was too sensitive and that I shouldn't let things bother me so much. I thought something was wrong with me. And because I felt so inferior to everyone around me, I didn't think I was as good, and it lead to years of deep depression where everyone continued to tell me that I was just being overly sensitive and needed to just "get over it."

After finding out about SPD and seeing so many familiar things on these lists, for the first time in my life, I don't feel like I'm defective. I actually feel this weird sense of vindication. All those years that I told people that "minor things" bothered me in extreme ways, I wasn't lying or exaggerating or making it up or looking for attention. I was telling the truth and I wasn't crazy. This is quite literally life changing for me.

I have no idea if I'll be able to find someone to get an actual diagnosis, but I'm definitely going to talk to my family doctor about it. I might be overly sensitive to some things, but now I know that it's likely with good reason.

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Feb 27, 2015
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You are the only one who can help him.
by: all4destiny2005@gmail.com

I have an almost 10 year old with SPD/Anxiety Disorder. We went to every length to get her diagnosed but still no one understands. No matter how many IEP meetings you go to, or Dr appointments it doesn't change. Half the people think there spoiled brats and blame them and half the people think there spoiled brats and blame us. Neither way helps us at all. We recently made a decision to keep her home and do online schooling which helps so much. We have abandoned our friends and family and went on lock down mode on the home front, that way we can control her environment. The lights are no longer to bright and its not too loud. When her senses are at the highest I swoop her up with a warm blanket from the dryer and I wrap her up really tight, then I hold her and talk softly to her about something other than what she is upset about. At first she would fight me and kick and scream and try to get away and now she starts to get upset and gets a blanket and throws it in the dryer and that is my ques that she is asking for help. Sometimes she says mother wrap me up in love please as she cry's. It breaks my heart and I also cry. I dont know if any of this will help you but it is helping us. It has allowed us to reduce the stress in her environment long enough for her to start to learn how to help deal with her issues. I can honestly say if someone does not have a sensory child dont bother trying to explain it they just wont understand. Good luck to you and your boy.

Feb 27, 2015
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Mother of SPD child
by: all4destiny2005@gmail.com

As the mother of an SPD child who is 9 and was diagnosed at age 5 I feel horrible that you had to deal with something like SPD without help and support from your family. I knew my daughter was different at age 1 however it took until she was 5 before her doctor or the school had gotten on board. I pulled her out of school this year and she is being online schooled. The school just could not figure out what was sensory or just being bratty, she ended up hating school because of it. Seek a diagnosis it is very important that you do, because sensory disorders can branch off into many mental health disorders if not recognized. Don't let anyone slow you down you are obviously an amazingly strong woman to have gone through this on your own. Good luck to you and if you ever have questions my email is all4destiny2005@gmail.com. I picked that email because thats how I feel as a parent of a sensory child. Good luck to you!

Feb 25, 2015
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SPD Son
by: Anonymous

I have a 4 year old son who has SPD. I try to understand but not having it makes it hard for me to understand and know how to help. He is only 4 so it is confusing for him too. I always knew there was something different about him.

I am glad you are getting help, figuring it out and making a way towards understanding it. It is such a complex issue that affects so many things.

We did OT for a couple years which didnt seem to help at all. His behaviors, anxieties, stressors are still there. Every kid loves Disney land but it is too much for him. He has a hard time around a lot of people, in loud places, places that are chaotic, etc. He has a hard time with change. He threw up the other day because his sister was eating a pickle and he couldnt stand the smell. Poor guy has so many little issue and big issue and no one understands it. I think everyone just thinks he is too spoiled. He is a smart kid, very task oriented, hard working but has a lot of social problems. I worry what school will be like for him as he enters pre k.

Any words of wisdom or advice on how to help him or things you wish you would have know, done or your family would have done?

I love him so much and would do anything to help him.

Thanks and Good luck to you!

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