8 year old can't cut finger nails, highly emotional, feels more pain than others
I have a son who I believe to have SPD. To the world he seems perfectly normal, bright, sporty, well behaved kid. Often after a few minutes of being home after school he seems to collapse into negativity and huge reactions. It is only lately that he himself realizes that he does this because he needs to release the forced behavior during the day. He has a great fear of doing anything wrong...so much so that he doesn't relax...even the slightest annoyed look I have on my face can set him off into tears. He is highly sensitive and thinks far too much, at least he searches for deep reasons why people do things or say things. He may think a kid is angry at him, when I check with the other kids mother, it seems the kid has no clue to what we are talking about...and he isn't angry at all. I'm trying to get him to realize that his instincts are slight exaggerated...that not all are as sensitive.
Physically he has big reactions if he is hurt.so much so that a stranger might think he its close to death. Even a headache can be devastating for him. Cutting his nails is like torture for him. Now we only cut in the morning so that he is more often distracted by daily activities than before bed.. he can't sleep by feeling the pain of freshly cut fingernails. I tried filing instead of cutting...but he still complained....he also can't
put on his coat or zip it up claiming his fingers are useless. now we cut only one finger a day...that helps the most. What an amount of energy needed to parent, but I love him...and there are definite benefits. You can talk with him on a much higher level than most kids, and share great moments of humor. My goal is that he really knows himself and find humor in all our own peculiarities, and enjoy life.....and to have painkillers so no one has to suffer too much.
When he was a baby I remember searching the Web trying to find out why my baby cried each and every time he woke up.....that happened until he was 4...I was sure there had to be a reason...now I believe it to be part of the Spd...highly sensitive to changes in sleep and waking, he still struggles...but at least with less tears.
My advice to parents of young kids with spd is to be understanding and patient...to educate their child and family and others that he or she just feels much more and they may suffer much more, so although their reactions are large to the less sensitive, there is a perfectly good reason for it. Much like you can't change your height or hair color, you can't change how they feel. Validate their feelings, and help them find a safe place to rage, extra hugs when there are tears. They need someone solid around them when they completely lose control.