A Teenager's SPD Journey
by By Mari
I was diagnosed with this disorder at the age of 5, along with hypotonia. I'm 14 now and can honestly say I don't clearly remember most of my symptoms or treatment. What I do remember is being different from all the other kids and knowing it. My mom could never figure out what was wrong with me until one day the gym teacher brought up all the problems I'd been having in her class and suggested looking into a diagnosis.
I received occupational therapy for quite some time. The little I do recall includes constant over annoyance from clothing tags, sock seams, loud noises, certain tastes and smells, balance issues... I just finished reading the checklist and was able to mentally check off over 3/4. I never understood my problems or realized they had such a large impact on my life. I don't like bringing up my problems, but today decided to tell a close friend of mine about my disorder. When this website came up as a result, I was surprised to see all the problems I thought were normal. It turns out sensory integration dysfunction has continued affecting me so much throughout life. I thought my problems from this were limited to my early childhood, the inability to wear jeans until fourth grade, and now, in freshman year, my still severe problem with loud noises. The descriptions are so accurate of how I used to, and sometimes still do, feel throughout the day.
This is an excellent
resource for both parents and those who have sensory integration dysfunction. I've always had issues with hypersensitivity, and occasional hyposensitivity, but I never knew it was part of this. It was so difficult for me to focus on friendships with all the other noise and additional distractions around me as a little girl. I was so variable; one day I was being a daredevil and the next I was tripping over flat sections of a sidewalk. I could hear horribly loud noises no one else could, and had a tendency to get headaches and weird stares for hearing noises one one else did. I reacted oddly when people touched me and was an extremely picky eater due to smells and textures I hated. Even vision problems affected me.
I never felt normal; I was always apart and still have some social difficulties. I fear rejection; I experienced so much because I was "strange" that I have difficulty trusting people and admitting anything to them. However, I have improved over time.
I have wonderful parents who were able to get help in time and a fantastic set of friends who care about me no matter what. Children, teenagers, and adults are all impacted by sensory integration dysfunction, but we can all overcome its problems with help! Please continue working on this website, I know it has helped me realize my problems but also the fact that I am not alone and that there are people out there who want to help.