Jesse's SPD adventure
by Jesse Pearlstein
I have struggled with SPD for my whole life but I can tell you despite the challenges it is possible to still lead a rich and fulfilling life with hard work and the proper support.
My birth was fairly normal though it became evident that I had some developmental delays. I have been told that at the time I had some physical struggles with tasks such as crawling and being able to hold my head up.
As a child I displayed a lot of odd and troubling behaviors such as
leaving the house with clothes on inside out.
not noticing there was food on my face.
walking into oncoming traffic completely unaware.
becoming easily confused and struggling to complete menial tasks.
struggles with fine motor skills and coordination
bumping into objects
not being able to locate things that were in my field of vision
and many others.
In school I found that in some area subjects I excelled, however in others like math I was way behind my fellow classmates and had difficulties with basic problems. My physical difficulties held me back as i found i often wasn't able to do things as easily as many of my classmates. I was frequently scared of a variety of different situations and would find often withdraw in order to protect myself and limit my exposure to things i found unpleasant. Socially it was difficult at times and I often was picked on as a result of being different
then everyone else. Fortunately I have a strong supportive family and have had a few good friends over the years that have really helped me out.
When I was in 8th grade my parents decided to go ahead and get me tested. When the results came back I was diagnosed along with a specific learning disability as well as Sensory Processing Disorder. adolescence and college were not always easy as a result of my difficulties but i managed to graduate even making deans list a few times. Since college I have had a variety of wonderful rich experiences that I wouldn't trade for the world. I picked up everything I had and moved across the country to California where I worked for an Americorps program for two years serving underprivileged children. I got accepted into the peace corps and lived in the Dominican Republic for two years in a small rural village where I learned Spanish and made incredible friends.
I am currently in graduate school where I just earned a 4.0 GPA in my first semester getting my masters in Social Work. The struggles haven't necessarily stopped. The things that were difficult for me as a child continue to pose problems for me today and I don't expect that to ever go away. However, despite everything I have been able to experience things that many people only wish they had the courage to do. With good support and the willingness to take risks anything is possible.