My parents don't think I have SPD

by A.M.
(Oklahoma, USA)

I am 14 and I believe I have spd. The only problem is that when I try to talk to my parents about it they snap at me and shut me down like I'm saying there bad parents or something.

From the time I can remember, I've had symptoms, but my parents just shrugged at them and adapted. Your crying over your sock seam? Suck it up, it's just a sock and we need to get to school, your brother had the same problem when be was your age.

You don't like bright lights? Don't look at them then. You can't wear gloves because the rubbing in-between your fingers? Put some lotion on them. You can't deal with loud places? Put some earplugs in, you get used to it.

They laugh at me like I'm trying to get attention when I'm trying to reach out to them about it. My brothers also have some of these symptoms but never as bad as me. The only problem is that because of that, my parents think it totally normal. Since they don't let me talk to them about what I'm going threw, I haven't been diagnosed and they get bad at me for the things I do.

Just yesterday I went to a play with my mom and grandparents and I felt very overwhelmed so I asked my mom if I could sit on the outside so I wouldn't feel as cornered in, but she said I was acting ridiculous and down right rude because sitting on the edge would mean sitting away from my grandparents.

After this, I was having anxiety's and trying to calm down and me mom asked why I was acting so weird, I said it was because I felt really claustrophobic and she said to ask to switch seats with my grandma with would put me on the other end, but I didn't want to make my elderly grandma have to crawl over people upon my weird and outrageous request. I told my mom this and she acted like I was being outrageous myself, so I had to distract myself with crumbling and uncrumbling my pamphlet while trying not to break

out into tears.

Most people with spd get it diagnosed when they are toddlers by their parents, but my parents seem to think I'm just a weird problem child but not with being rebellious or anything, just with the different sensory problems I have.

My mom and dad both are always mad at me because the only things I eat are macaroni and cheese, chicken strips, potatoes, and spaghetti with out sauce. I get tired of people asking me why I can only eat a limited number of things and having no answer for them.

My first brother will eat anything you put in front of him no matter what it is and no matter the temperature, and seems to have opposite symptoms as me, witch make him stand out like a sore thumb, but everyone thinks it's his personality, except me of course.

My second brother used to be like me, needing special socks, being a picky eater, just overly sensitive in general, but he seemed to grow out of it by the time he was a teenager. Now he's in the Navy and doing dandy with a strong social life and very outgoing personality.

I'm the only one that it's having a negative impact on, but my family calls me a conspiracy theorist and shuts me down. I have learned to manage my symptoms but it helps to have support and for people to be aware. I want to have a reason that I don't let people touch me, why I have to rock back and forth when sitting still, why I need to sleep with a zillion blankets on me in the summer, why I can't eat pizza without sauce and why I can't go to places with my friends because I'll probably have an emotional breakdown. but I can't tell them why because if I say it's because I have spd, than I'm afraid I'm lying about a serious issue, because if I haven't been diagnosed than there's no way to know if I really have it or if I am a conspiracy theorist.

It also doesn't help that my parents are divorced, and since it happened my symptoms are getting worse.

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Feb 21, 2022
by: Anonymous


I am really sorry you are struggling so much. I am a 29 year old woman with SPD who was not diagnosed until 23. I remember in High School feeling physically miserable. I was getting nearly daily migraines and was overwhelmed by smells and lights at school and home. No one was really giving me the help I needed, other teens used my sensitivities to torment me, and sometimes my Mom was the cause of the overwhelming smells. So, I became depressed since I felt physically miserable and didn't feel I had a support system.

Now that I have told you I get it I want to give you some suggestions and cautions. When I was little, I had sensitivities but, in my teens, and 20s they have gotten a lot worse. I didn't get help until my symptoms completely prevented me from completing schoolwork. You need OT or yours will get worse as you age too. Maybe try talking to your pediatrician about it. Please don't take offense if I misunderstood, but if you are talking about conspiracy theories stop. Your health is a priority and other thoughts may need to be put on hold so your family can better understand that you have a legitimate need that isn't being met. Maybe try writing your parents a letter. Really take some time with it and write a few drafts. Try articulating clearly. "When I am touched it feels like a bug is crawling on me. This feeling lasts a long time even after the touch is gone. I know that there is not a bug on me, and I am using this analogy to help you understand how I feel. Please understand that being touched is overwhelming and disorienting for me. Despite this, I still value intimacy in our relationship." Be honest and vulnerable; take the time to write to understand yourself better first. For me the foods I will not eat have a waxy texture. Maybe all the foods you can handle have a certain texture. Once you can express and start writing for your parents remember to express that you care about them and your relationship with them.

There is a particular kind of sheet called lycra. It wraps around the whole mattress and provides more pressure than a weighted blanket. I am never going back to normal sheets again. Check it out buy one for yourself (link below). I wish you all the best and will say some prayers to send some graces your way.

Feb 12, 2022
by: Anonymous

I have never been diagnosed with SPD or autism although I have significant symptoms of both. I had to self- diagnose because my parents were not understanding and professional diagnosis can cost thousands! I struggle with sensory overload on a daily basis and it can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. I have a few tips as I am in the same situation.

- get or make a fidget toy. If your parents won't let you buy one, there are many different options! It doesn't need to look pretty- it could even be a hair elastic.

- go to the bathroom for a break. Finding somewhere quiet for a little while can help you reset.

- Tell a teacher or some other adult who will take you seriously. Have detailed examples of overload or sensitivity and explain why that affects your life. It is also good to have them talk to your parents because they will probably take them more seriously.

I wish you the best of luck, and peace! Sensory issues are a lifelong struggle, but you are strong.

Feb 07, 2022
I believe you!
by: JT1975

I've had SPD ever since I can remember. My earliest memories are from when I was about 4 years old. For me, it mostly affects the palms of my hands. I absolutely CANNOT deal with the way my hands feel (and all the other symptoms it gives me, like the horrible dryness, goosebumps that cover my body, my teeth even ache, my mouth feels dry as sandpaper) after they've had water on them. The longer the water has touched them, the more torturous it is.

I can't touch anything dry, especially things like newspaper, clothes, etc). If my hands get pruney (like how they normally do after swimming for a long time) it's like being in my own little personal hell. It usually takes 2 to 3 hours for my hands to "recover" (building up the natural oils that were washed off by the water) and go back to normal. None of my friends or family are like this.

I'm now 46 years old and through the years have learned techniques to deal with it... Like, lotion, lotion, and more lotion! I have dozens of bottles of lotion in my house. If I lotion my hands after they get wet, I'm good. My husband knows about my condition and always buys me tons of lotion for bdays, Christmas, etc. ☺️ Family support is hugely important.

Also, wearing thin latex gloves immediately stops the horrible feeling. It also affects the bottom of my feet at times as well.

I didn't have the internet when I was growing up and thought I was literally the only person on earth who dealt with this. Turns out, I'm not.

My advice to you... Try to learn techniques and ways that you can learn to make it better. It probably won't ever go away completely, but you can get to where it doesn't make such a bad impact on your life if you figure out ways to ease your symptoms. I know it's hard to deal with, especially when you don't feel validated.

I'm glad you have this support room and we all believe that you are suffering with this! I would also suggest that you talk to your school counselor or any other trusted adult (aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc). The more people you involve, the more your parents can begin to learn and understand what you're going through. Show them your post and all these replies if you need to.
You can learn ways to turn SPD from a huge struggle down to an occasional and minor bother. Good luck!

Jan 11, 2022
I totally relate to this!
by: Anonymous

I've been having sensory issues for ages now but whenever I mention them to my parents they just say I'm overreacting and making these issues up in my head. I hope you manage to get diagnosed wishing you the best.

Jul 04, 2017
I believe you
by: Anonymous

I agree with the other parent. Talk to a teacher or trusted friends parent. Read more about it to see how you can help yourself. It makes since you are feeling anxious you are asking for help and being ignored.

Sending good energy your way and a hug. I have a 8 year old that was recently diagnosed and I can see how hard SPD makes his life. I am trying to get help for him and for me. Hang in there and trust yourself.

Apr 30, 2017
My parents don't think I have SPD
by: vicky (UK)

As a mother of a 13 yr old daughter with SPD , it makes me very sad when I read stories like yours where parents are ignoring the fact that their kids clearly have SPD.

You are not being awkward or difficult as everything you've described are classic SPD symptoms.

If you can't talk to your parents about this ,do you have any school Councillors that you could chat over how you're feeling ? Show them this website too in case they're not aware of SPD and then see if they can advise on how to broach the subject with your parents .

I hope your parents see sense soon and I wish you the very best 😄

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