Just Realized At Age 53 I Probably Have SPD
by Linda Silvis, LMT
Funny how you can live over 50 years and not realize how much you are compensating and adjusting for all the "quirks" of having sensory processing problems...
I was born premature and isolated in a rocking incubator for 10 weeks without any human skin-to-skin touch (in those days they did not touch the babies and used gloved hands only when changing, feeding, etc.)
I did not cry as an infant no matter what was going on around me. I did not talk until two years old, I never crawled, and did finally walk around age two. I have felt uncoordinated in a lot of activities my whole life, I just figured I was a klutz! My mother was a piano teacher and for all her efforts I never could play with two hands at once, no matter how slowly.
I used to HATE having my hair brushed and could not tolerate being touched that much. To this day, I have to "wipe" kisses off (something I hide from my husband of course!) I could only successfully "go" in a public restroom if I closed my eyes and plugged my ears to block out the noises. Sometimes even the mild odors in bathrooms will make me want to vomit!
I was a daydreamer in school, couldn't sit still or quietly for very long. I learned to read early but always scored low on comprehension. To this day it is hard to read a book without wanting to skip around
or read the same sections over and over. I listen to books on CD and can remember them effortlessly!
I have always been motion sensitive. I used to be so terrified by escalators and elevators I used to scream! I also hated tall playground equipment. My legs used to shake violently just going up the stairs to the slide! Today, I suffer from chronic vertigo.
As a young adult I was a professional clarinetist and had to memorize most of the music because I could not process watching the orchestra conductor and looking at the music at the same time. If there were any spontaneous subtle changes in his direction, such as faster, slower, etc. it was very trying and exhausting to flow with them and keep from playing any wrong notes.
For the past nine years I have been a massage therapist and about five years ago I began learning about CranioSacral therapy. It really changed my life. After receiving this treatment my proprioception, my coordination, my anxiety levels, panic, all have abated and/or improved tremendously. I am a practitioner of CST now and I have worked with autistic as well as SPD adults and children. I didn't realize there was such a disorder until my CranioSacral therapist told me about it recently!
I would recommend any of the wonderful therapies that are out there today - I wish they had been around 50 years ago! I would have been a lot more comfortable in my own skin.