by Mary Oja
I was born with my cord around my neck. When I was a young girl and I would go on a walk, my mom had to have one hand on my shoulder because I would fall off curbs. I was a lot different than any of her other kids: I didn't talk till about age 2, and I was extremely clumsy.
In elementary school, I didn't have many friends and people couldn't understand what I was saying when I talked. I was in special education during first grade because of how I wrote. I pushed too hard on the pencil while writing. I was very much the loner. Because of this, I went to professional speech therapy when I was 14.
During therapy, I learned I had a swallowing problem. I ate like a 65 year old women. Well I "graduated" therapy. I was then sent to a neurologist because my doctor didn't like how my hands looked. He had me run and saw that it was weird. I also could not squeeze my hand in a fist. I then got sent to occupational therapy and built my body stronger. Even then, I was still different.
Then I turned 16 and tried to get my drivers license. The only reason why I got my permit was because the drivers teacher knew my parents. I couldn't drive, I was going over the center line. My mom asked my eye doctor about prism glasses, and instead he recommended eye therapy. We had to travel 200 miles away every single week just so I could do my therapy. It was awful, I got such bad headaches from the therapy.
Finally, my senior year of high school, my friend said she might know whats wrong with me. She was working with young kids that had SPD and said my symptoms were similar. I read more about it and did the checklist. It sounded so much like me. I finished my eye therapy and passed my drivers test the first try(even though I almost failed parallel parking.) I was the leader of our JROTC battalion, and was master of ceremonies for our veterans day ceremony. There was over 1000 people there. I'm in college for nursing, and now find that reading a textbook is much easier and I get more out of it. I am still clumsy and stink at sports, but I'm much better off now. I haven't ever gotten an official diagnosis, but I'm positive that I have SPD.