Our Journey To Discovery....

by Lara Taylor
(Hanover, MA)

Our son Bryan was the BEST boy anyone could wish for. He was our third child and was so easy to tote around with us everywhere.....UNTIL he turned 18 months. Our world turned upside down. Everything became difficult. Breakfast in the morning, getting dressed to get out the door, getting him to bed at night. You see, Bryan would whip his plate of waffles on the floor (syrup too) because they were too crispy.....freak out at the feeling of his clothes, socks shoes......and need to be lain down beside or (GASP!) driven around for hours. These reactions coupled with the fact that Bryan had serious speech delays (for which he was picked up at our local school for Early Intervention).

This behavior went on....we made accommodations....he had his own toaster set to the correct setting so his waffles would always be the same, he wore Crocs with no socks even in the winter for over three years and I slept with him for the same length of time.

We put him on a hockey team and every time he got bumped he would freak out. Clearly, a non-contact sport would be the best thing for him, we thought. We kept saying "oh, its just the terrible twos" which turned into the terrible threes and then continued on to the frightening fours. Frightening for us because there seemed to be no end in sight for this "phase".

The beginning of our "Aha!" moment began when we were on vacation at Point Sebago with a number of families from our town. Another mom came up to me after witnessing some of Bryan's "episodes" and asked me if I had ever considered if Bryan may have Sensory Issues....I said "Um, no. Any by the way what the heck is that?" She suggested that I read the Out of Sync Child and see if any of it resonated with me. Well, I never got the book....heck Bryan will grow out of it right?

Fast forward a few months and another woman called me up out of the blue and told me her story....urging me to read the Out of Sync Child. So now I am thinking "Why have two seemingly random women asked me the same thing???" This time I went out and bought the book.

My son was jumping off the pages at me. I was having AHA moments left and right. Bryan was evaluated and diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, predominately tactile with some auditory issues. He receives OT services every week and I have recently started the brushing at home. The differences are unbelievable! Is he the same child? I cried a few months ago when he put socks and sneakers on for the first time! He is now a very good hockey player and loves to "check". He now reacts appropriately (for the most part) to food cooked too little or too much.....even though he will only eat 5 or 6 things. As for the sleeping? We are still working on that. We pawned him off on his brother about 9 months ago and recently bought him a vibrating body pillow......we will have to see if it helps. Bryan only has one good friend and often times prefers to play alone. I hope that as he becomes more comfortable with himself this will change.

He is off to kindergarten in the Fall and it is our hope to have him in his own bed by then. Wish him luck!

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Aug 21, 2008
Hanover too!
by: Carrie

Hi Lara, I hope that you might see this comment. While researching SPD I came across this website and randomly selected your story. I had to respond since we live in Hanover too. My son is almost 4 and was just diagnosed with SPD this summer. For the past 2+ years, we've faced similar struggles (and different) to those you described in your post. In June, we started OT twice a week and we've seen some slight progress. We're actually switching to a new OT clinic and I'm cautiously optimistic that this clinic will provide us with more support and ultimately more success for our son.

Since his diagnosis, I've tried to find as much information on SPD as possible and have joined a Massachusetts yahoo group. If you know of any parent support/information groups in our area, or have any interest in starting one, please let me know. You can email me directly at carriebellerby@yahoo.com. Thank you for sharing your story. It certainly provided me (and I'm sure many others) with hope and optimism. I wish your family all the best and hope to connect with you.

Jul 23, 2008
That's great
by: Jessi

I had a child who completely changed after a diagnosis and starting therapy as well. In fact, I was told by his developmental pediatrician when she re-evaluated him after 4 months of therapy that kids like him were the reason her job was so rewarding. She even said the words, 'this is not the same child I saw 4 months ago'. He was cooperative and didn't have a single melt-down through the whole evaluation. 4 months before, there were only a few minutes of the entire evaluation when he wasn't having a melt-down. Isn't it fantastic. My son also had major speech issues which we are still working on, and I think those issues just compound the SPD issues because they can't even tell you what it is that's causing them to break down every five minutes. I'm so happy that you are finding some joy and peace in your life because I can 100% relate. Good luck!

Jul 23, 2008
Good Luck!
by: Anonymous

Good Luck Lara and Bryon with school next year. It is a great opportunity for you both to meet new people and gain friends.
The first year wasn't the best for my son, BUT his 2nd yr was fantastic. He will be in grade 1 next year ( we have SR. and JR. Kindergarten in Canada) and things are looking good. The principal and teachers know who I am and that I am a strong advocate for my son. I am involved with school activities as much as I can be. It has helped us both and we have made so good friends
Once again GOOD LUCK!!

Marcie and Lynden

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