I'm 46 Years Old Finally Starting Treatment. What Took So Long? And, Is My Reaction To Therapy "Normal"?

by Krista
(St. Cloud, MN)

The O.T. who I work with is the first to attempt helping me and even though I am an adult... she is a pediatric O.T.


She said I was born with SPD and all the trauma I've been through during my lifetime has only made it worse. Friday was my first session with listening to the "Ease" CD for under 10 minutes and I could not go to bed until 6:45 a.m. the next morning. Is that normal?

The O.T. said I have a very severe case-- I was born 7 weeks premature, failure to thrive under the age of two, went through much physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Now that I am getting help with my "issues", I was told the SPD has come alive again since I am no longer "shut down."

I am new to this site so I do not know if any of this has been addressed. I would appreciate any help or advice.

Sincerely, K.L.A.

Krista, first off I need to say THANK GOODNESS you have finally received a diagnosis and are being treated for the REAL cause of your struggles! Although frustrating that it took so long, that must actually make you feel somewhat relieved... to know there is a NAME for it. But, that doesn't make it any easier does it. Now you need to grieve. Grieve for the losses that you have suffered and the pain you have endured over the years. It will be a process you need to go through. And, unfortunately, there are no quick fixes. I am sorry it took so long for someone to recognize this and help you.

That said, we need to understand WHY the diagnosis took so long. As I have explained on my Is SPD Real page the disorder has been identified since the early 1970's. However, it has taken THIS long for the training, education, evaluation, and identification to be more clear to a wider population within the medical community. So, although it IS indeed frustrating, know that to finally have an answer and BE IN treatment, you are making progress!

I know you are concerned about your reaction to the Ease CD. But, rest assured, although your reaction is not typical, it does mean it is "working". Your neurological system is reacting to the input it needs, and it will take a while for it to adjust. Please, don't give up on it... that is the biggest mistake adults being treated for the first time make. Your system has a LOT of making up to do for the 46 years it could not regulate input. It WILL get better. The fact that you DID have a "reaction" such as this, is a good sign that this is what your body needs. It will be like the swing of a pendulum, going from one extreme to the other, then eventually coming to rest in the middle. Stick with the therapy UNTIL it comes to rest in the middle.

Lastly, the fact that you have had SPD since you were born and been through a lot of trauma, is not at all surprising to me. You need to grieve this too, from a psychological standpoint. And when you come to the last stage of grief, acceptance, you will begin to feel better. Again, a process you must go through and you may want to look into some counseling to help you process this.

Do we see a lot of SPD adults who have been abused? Been born with trauma to their little bodies because they were preemies? Had a lifetime of being hypersensitive to sensory input? Absolutely! In fact, being such a little teenie one set you up for that, being that it was 46 years ago. We have come a long way since then, and preemies are now given much of the sensory stimulation they need to lessen some of the defensive responses their bodies will go through. But, 46 years ago? You probably didn't get the stimulation and therapies you needed (like the kids today often DO) to help your nervous system develop properly. No one's fault... it is just the advancement of knowledge and medicine.

But, to be born so little and needing so much extra care, yet surviving it? THIS is a miracle in itself! Did it cause problems? Yes, but you are alive to tell us about your experiences! And, perhaps you have a reason for going through this... maybe you will find the strength down the road to help others in the same situation. Your understanding of SPD and how it has affected you will definitely help others if you allow that to come, eventually.

So... stick with the therapy and MAKE SURE your OT knows your reactions to the therapies she is having you use. They NEED to know and monitor this so they can adjust the treatment accordingly.

I am sorry for your losses, struggles, and pain. Grieve them. Treat them. Treat the SPD. Don't give up... you need this therapy. And when you keep going, this will have a major influence on your life, in such a positive way.

Also, make sure you read my NEXT newsletter (The SPD Companion) that will be coming out (October 2007), as it will be about the struggles of adults with SPD and what they can DO to help themselves! Should be just what you need. If you haven't signed up yet you can do so here... it's FREE...
The SPD Companion Newsletter

One last thing... if you want some great support through this process of "recovery", know that we have a wonderful support group for adults with SPD online! It is a fast growing community and you may find it helpful to be with others that can validate you and share experiences. You can help each other! Here's the link if you want to join...

Adult SHARE, SPD Support Group

I do hope this helps some. Let me know what you think, ok?

Hugs to you. Keep up the hard work in OT! It WILL get better.

Take good care.

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