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). :)

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Jun 06, 2012
by: Kali

Okay, as far as brushing your teeth try the gel. I use AIM or Colgate cinnamon flavored. If those are to strong try either the spiderman or animal kingdom kids toothpaste. Both contain fluoride. Also, the Listerine Total Care Zero, 6 in 1, without the alcohol works great on your teeth, but doesn't have that intense feel, but numbs your mouth just enough that the 'swish' feeling isn't annoying. Try the Icy Mint flavor (purple color). Don't get the Crest version because it turns slimey and it feels gross.

Other then that it's hard for me to say because I have some inner mouth damage from loosing my balance and getting in a fight with a coffee table when I was young. :) Try gnawing on like a stick of jerky or something similiar, and maybe rubbing your gums to get them used to the feeling. Also try a 'soft' gage toothbrush. Oral-B makes a good one that has sort of a triangle shaped head.
As far as the shower thing goes, that's kind of a rough one. I have a hard time actually feeling water. Have you tried maybe getting one of those movable shower heads with the different settings? Going out in soft rain maybe? And perhaps getting a sprinkler with a low setting or a squirt gun. Something to get your skin used to the feeling of the water hitting it. Also try the baby brush thing. Try it every day as close to the same time as possible. It's not quite the same but it toughens the skin. Hope these ideas help. :)

Jun 05, 2012
brushing teeth
by: Anonymous

hi i found your page really helpfull i am 26 and have a huge problem with showers and teeth brushing. Any helpfull hints or thoughts would be appreaceted.

May 28, 2012
P.S. on the replies comment
by: Kali

Okay, sorry, I was going to add this to the end of my reply but I got in a rush. I know it says you're not supposed to offer your e-mail but the one I gave is a secondary account I don't use for anything important and I wasn't sure how else to offer a way to talk. Sorry for the extra post.

May 27, 2012
Replies to first two comments
by: Kaleena 'Kali' Chamberlin

Marjory - Okay, honestly swinging and being upside down still makes me nauseas, , and once in a great while I still put my hands over my ears, but that’s gotten a lot better since I started music classes. What helped the most was a class called ‘A Survey of Music’, where students are taught to listen to the differences in major and minor and different instruments and the changes in melody and harmony. I confess I never tried the actual listening therapy to my knowledge, but I’ve heard of it. I still cover my ears when an ambulance or fire truck goes by. I wouldn’t say that we really grow out of it so much as we get used to it and don’t notice it as much. It sounds like you have things under control and he’ll be great.  Glad to hear from you.
bUBBY- Sure, you can reach me on facebook, or e-mail me at I actually had to google ABA therapy because I’ve never heard of it, but when I did it reminded me of something we’ve actually been experimenting with on campus with new students called the VAK system, which suggests that there 3 different ways to learn, 8 different sub divisions, and even more subdivisions of the subdivisions. The higher a person scores in one area, the more likely they’re able to learn something through that area, like say if a person learns aurally, or visually, or through kinesiology. I realize it’s something completely different, but it might be something to look into later if she has trouble learning something one way. For now I hope the ABA practice is working okay. Mom informs me they did something similar with me. When I’d do something I was supposed to in therapy, I’d get candy for it. I don’t even really remember. That was fifteen years ago.
For your granddaughter’s hair the first thing that comes to mind is what I did. I cut it short and bought a cheap comb at the dollar store instead of using a hair brush because I couldn’t stand ripping the knots out anymore. My mom suggests maybe getting a baby brush if you don’t want to do that.
As far as toilet paper, I’ve never actually had a problem with that. My mom thought that maybe you could try baby wipes, or maybe an extra soft brand of tissue. Hope some of these suggestions will help. Best wishes.

May 25, 2012
My story couple of ideas
by: marjory from Glasgow Scotland

How great it is to hear from some one who just gets it. I am a mum of an 8yr old, who you couldnt cut his hair, cut his nails, hands and feet and you definately couldnt swing or put him upside down or he would scream the house down. He would also hold his hands over his ears. I was told by my doctor that he would grow out of it?????
He started mainstream school at 4 1/2 and i got in contact with my health visitor and explained everything. She asked what i wanted her to do, refer me to everywhere and everyone. IE; occupational therapy,speach and language therapy, podiatrist, and a hearing test.???
In the meantime i kept on cutting his nails, brushing his hair, and showering his hair. We found a great barbour and he kept with us.
O.T. diagnosed reduced proprioception, i believe you call it SPD. Excersice, in the morning and in the evening, what a difference in co ordination, handwritting, etc. Aspergers was also diagnosed last yr. I have also put alot of work in myself, we found out about listeneing therapy and done this, and what a difference this made, it was the TOMATIS listn therapy. GREAT. HE doesnt jump or scream at sudden loud noise anymore. I also looked into coloured lenses and got them too. I believe that the upper body excercise is the best therapy for my son. I cant believe how this can help him so much. Oh talking to my child we worked out between us that a tight squeeze at bed time also relaxes him. That is wrapping his quilt around him and lying on top of him. He says its BRILLIANT. So good luck and keep with it you have to fight for everything.

May 25, 2012
by: bUBBY

I have a grandaughter who has SPD, OCD and Aspergers. I would love to talk to you to see how in the future she will be able to cope. Right now she is getting ABA terapy. Its the only thing I think that will help her. We cannot brush her hair, she actually looks like Medusa. Should we force her to do the simple things like brush her hair or wipe after going to the bathroon. She can't stand the feel of toilet paper. and the list goes on. Any suggestions from you would be helpful.

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