Explaining SPD... How, When, Why And How Much To Tell Our Children About Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Pt 5
Your first paragraph ...
(Continued from Part 4)
SPD... A Gift? Different Perspectives
To be honest, there are times that I have wondered if my daughter is at all capable of empathy for other people. I worried about that. Many times she does not seem to tune into, nor appreciate, other people's feelings or experiences...even now at 11 years old. Maybe it takes so much energy and concentration to "be on guard" (defensive) all the time she doesn't have the energy left to focus on other people's comfort or discomfort.
But, luckily, I now know she IS capable of it, and it is a DIRECT result of/relation to her SPD. She feels the noise sensitivity of her dog, she sees other kids covering their ears with loud noises and knows exactly what that feels like, she empathizes with her dog's anxiety when he knows he is about to be left home alone for the day, she understood gravitational insecurity when she saw an autistic girl's panic from square floor tiles in an office building, she understood a sensory seeker when she saw him bouncing like a Lemur all the way across the floor (on his feet, bouncing in a crouched position) for 3-5 minutes at a time. She understands other kids that are "picky eaters", she understands why things are harder for some people; from learning to moving, playing to talking, smelling to hearing.
Would she feel compassion and empathy for these people or animals if she did not have SPD? Probably not... IT IS IN HER "UNIQUENESS" THAT SHE understands them.
The hardest part for my daughter to REALLY truly understand is how a sensory seeker could have the same "problem" as she did, the sensory avoider. It IS a hard concept to understand from a child's point of view! But once she "got it" she didn't run away from them. She could bond with them on a different level than most...they weren't quite as "annoying" to her anymore. Sometimes they even balanced each other out as they became friends!
So...the more YOU know, the more your child should/can know, the more you can help your child overcome any obstacles and accentuate their gifts/strengths.
SPD does not have to be a burden...it can be a gift! YOU can make it that way for your child...it's up to you. Please help them understand, let go of YOUR fears, and give them the gifts of self-awareness, a listening ear, compassion, and self-esteem!
You'll know when it is time to talk!
How do other parents explain SPD to their children, and why? Don't miss these precious stories!! Different Parent's Perspectives: Explaining SPD To Children
How To Explain SPD To Your Child
- When, why, and how to explain SPD to your child... Check out what these parents say!
Related Resources and Further Reading
Coping With Emotions In SPD
- A reader asks about coping with emotions in SPD
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