My child's SPD Journey
IN the beginning:
My child came to us when he was three days old. We picked him up at the hospital. He was the last of our six adopted children. He appeared to have a bluish tint around his mouth, but we were told that all of his respiratory tests were normal.
AS he developed, I noticed he has marked stiffness in his arms and his legs. It was difficult to feed him because he didn't like the nipple of the bottle in his mouth. He wouldn't take a pacifier, if I put it in his mouth he would spit it out. He cried quite frequently and always had the facial appearance of being angry. It was difficult to comfort him.
I took him to the pediatrician who assured me that his is normal and every child develops differently.
As a toddler:
When it was time for typical children to crawl, he didn't. He went from the sitting stage to the standing stage. However, he always tiptoed - never putting both of his feet on the ground. Taking him to the grocery store, or any shopping center was a disaster. I would have to leave the store in the middle of my shopping due to extreme temper tantrums.
Luckily I had a friend who was a registered nurse and work for early intervention in my county. She assessed him and immediately referred my child to a specialist. The specialist diagnosed him with Cerebral Palsy and Sensory Processing Disorder. He had to wear braces on his left leg and inserts in his shoes.
Immediately he was receiving services such
as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
As a preschooler:
He would prefer wearing socks instead of shoes when walking. He also continued walking on his tip toes. He didn't potty train until he was four years old. When he talked, he sounded as if he was speaking a foreign language. He became very active and became overly physically active - such as climbing very high in trees, bumping into walls, jumping from very high places etc.
However, he was also very sensitive to touch, loud noises, and busy environments. I could not take him shopping or to church without experiencing severe temper tantrums.
Transition time in school was very difficult for him. A light touch from another child would result in my child hitting the other child. He would get into trouble during recess, lunch, and gym - any unstructured time was difficult for him. These physical responses would result in write-ups and in school suspensions.
I have found that many teachers do not know or have even heard of sensory processing disorder. It has been a difficult journey to educate the teachers regarding sensory processing disorder. I know that every time something negative happens, my child's self-esteem is destroyed. Children with SPD cannot control their actions when they escalate. Intervention and adjustment to their disorder is the only way to prevent these occurrences.
Be an advocate for your child:
My son is now 10. He is doing much better, but it is always two steps forward and five steps back. Be an advocate for your child, fight for his rights in school.