I always thought I was retarded as a kid...

by Katie

I'm 22 years old now and when I was 6, I was diagnosed with spd. All my mom said was that I have something called "sensory integration disorder" and that i would have to work harder to keep up with other kids. i didnt understand what it meant. i assumed i had a mental problem and that i was stupid. as a kid, i didnt think about the fact that the name has "sensory" in it not "mental" i just assumed i was weird and no one else was like me. looking back on it now, i see what it really is and it's not as bad as i once thought.

i never liked hugs. if someone tried to hug me i would shrug them off or just not hug back and then feel dirty for a while. i liked chewing on things like shirts and blankets. i still catch myself doing that sometimes and people look at me like i'm crazy. i think during my childhood this disorder was misunderstood. my mom told my 3rd grade teacher about it just so she would understand. she came up to me in the middle of class and grabbed my shoulder pretty hard. i did not like touch at all and that really bothered me

i still remember feeling strange as she did that. while she touched my shoulder she announced to the class that i was "special" and she needed to do this sometimes to get me to pay attention. i never liked that teacher.

anyways, i'm married now and i kind of forgot i even had this till it popped into my mind and i decided to research it. i found this website and realized that i still do a lot of the stuff. i wrote it off at nervous habits but now i realize what it really was. i never even told my husband that i have this, i think he just thinks my chewing on blankets and needing a blanket when i sleep (even if its burning hot outside) were just little quirks i had.

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Aug 03, 2010
Similar Thing Happened.....
by: Anonymous

I had no clue that my son had SPD until recently (he's 7). I always knew he was sensitive emotionally and physically and just ignored me because he didn't want to do what I asked him to do. In Kindergarten his teacher embarrassed him in front of the entire class by announcing that she wanted to have one of the other kids in the class could help him figure out what he was supposed to be doing. It was a year and a half before he even told me about it. All I could think of was he must of felt terrible when she announced that and embarrassed because it took him so long to tell me about it.

I think teachers need to be more informed about potential learning or sensory issues kids might have and have a better way to deal with kids that are acting differently than other kids in their class. He tries very hard to be normal, so he doesn't get treated different than the other kids and has a major breakdown if he feels he is confused about what the other kids obviously already know what they are doing in class. Kindergarten teacher was clueless and thanks to his 1st grade teacher he is getting the help he needs to succeed.

Jul 29, 2010
Been there
by: Dan Travis

Hi there Katie,

Your story sounds a lot like mine. I too was diagnosed as a small child (18 months), but grew up with pretty much the exact same understanding (or lack there of) of what it meant for me. I was told I had 'Sensory Integration', but I never thought about it. I also thought it was mental, and didn't even think about the word 'sensory'.

I researched it a couple years ago, when I was desperate for answers, and found this site. Since then, I have found other sites, read as much as I could on the subject, and joined online support groups. I now actually run a few sites of my own, including:
www.SPDLife.org - first site for adults with SPD
www.SPDInternational.org - my new SPD social website/group

I am glad you were able to find someone who is so excepting of you for who you are (your husband). Not all of us are so lucky, especially at 22, myself included. Feel free to check out either of those sites, especially SPD International. I'm trying to get that one moving and bring people in (I'm on there as D1G1T).

Thanks for posting and sharing. Take care :).

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