My Story/Couple of Ideas/Quick Question (Sorry it's so long)...
by Kaleena 'Kali' Chamberlin
Hi, I'm a 20 year old female college student with SPD. Most of all my senses are affected at one time or another, but the main ones are auditory/textile/and motor functions. I went through the checklist just to see and I checked over half of each one. I have some problems socially as far as being able to relate to a good share of people until I get to know them, which results in nervous, twitchy, shaky and awkward behavior at times and I prefer to stay a loner and don’t really like most people in my space unless I know them, and even then, don’t touch me and please, please don’t whine at me. I’m sort of low end on the emotional side. I don’t do well with overemotional or personal people, and I have trouble expressing my own self. At least in person.
Online I do better. I can be very defensive, (not violently) aggressive, and due to the textile, I dress in jeans and a t-shirt, boots, and wear my hair short, and am therefore repeatedly referred to as a 'young gentleman', which is highly irritating, but at the same time I’m usually very friendly and sort of blunt. I can’t really explain, but I hope some will understand how it works. I was diagnosed at 3 and I've grown up having therapy for it and I've gone from not being able to stand the sound of a radio in a store as stations clicked over or the hum of a fan or the volume of the TV to being a music teacher in training under one of the best saxophonists in the world (after a bit of convincing from him), and a totally awesome choir director. I know this doesn’t work for everybody, but hey, I got lucky. The few friends I got are the best I could ask for. I've done some research on SPD (as it is sometimes hereditary. My father and my grandmother have it and there is even some stories of my ancestors clear back from Germany who are believed to have had it). I don’t know if it’s possible for it to change as a person gets older, as now instead of conversations being loud, several people at once becomes just a blur of sound, that leads to shaking, blurred vision, and a headache. It only happens with voices. And I’m rambling...
Basically I just wanted
to say hi, offer a random story and any suggestions on how to cope with some things or anything that might as my professor often says, be 'utilitarian' in use. As I get older and continue in college I'm meeting more and more people with this disorder, from fellow students to some teachers, some who are hypersensitive, some who are hypo, and others who are both and have strikingly similar symptoms to my own. Umm, I guess that was it. If I can offer any suggestions or you just want someone to listen, talk to, and or rant at, I’d like to offer help or virtual ears feel free to search for me on facebook and send me a message. :) The agreements to post says I can't post my e-mail address.
I hope these suggestions may help somebody. Anybody?:
Hearing: Shooter headphones (the kind used for hunting or construction), are good for thunderstorms and the 4th of July or fireworks in general, (which are complete murder). Noise canceling headphones are also awesome. Music psychology? (Don’t believe it). Music therapy? Works. Ear plugs? No way, no how. Some know what I mean.
Textile: Gross as it is, playing with things like slime, GACK, silly putty, or anything of the sort does help SOME people get used to certain textures. Others it may still drive crazy. I understand both.
Microfiber blankets are soft and wonderful and stores should carry more of them. If you like soft stuff, buy one... Or two...Or three... Or four...
Motor function? Sadly, here, I wonder if anybody else has any suggestions? Mine are still poor. I can still look at something and trip over it, and I can run five paces and then I’m done. When you come from a family where most of them were in the military and you're the runt that can't catch a ball... Seriously? Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve this? Please? If I'm ever running late to teach a class.... That'll be hysterical.
The most important thing is to A: View it as a superhuman ability! Like Wolverine from the X-Men!
And B: Keep a good sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine. Honestly I don’t really care for the ‘disorder’ thing. Dysfunction does sound better, I agree. (Gosh, this must be over a page. Sorry this so long. I’ll stop. Thanks for listening/reading and letting me share after 20 years). :)