by Elaine
(Atlanta, GA, USA)

My now 14 year old daughter had/has many of the signs of SPD. From age 2 to 7 years of age it was a problem 1st putting on socks along with issues putting on shoes, but it was never as extreme as what I've read here. It would take an extra 10 minutes for socks then another 10 for shoes to feel right to her. I would just let her work and rework the socks then shoes till they felt more comfortable. She still hates the feeling of knee socks though and even in the cold weather she insists on wearing her socks no higher than her ankle. She almost got in trouble at her private school which has a dress code, but she unrolled her knee socks and endured the feeling for about an hour. By then, she'd left the concerned teacher's class and rolled them back down.

Clothing was an issue as well and I found myself touching the fabric of clothes and dismissing the items because I knew she wouldn't wear it if it wasn't soft enough. She hated jeans till she was 9, but now is happy to wear them when they are just the right texture. I catered to her needs for years. Even then I knew she had a mild case of SPD. Then time came for wearing bras and it's been a pain finding some that she will wear. For the longest time she'd only wear sports bras, but has found a couple of acceptable bras.

Food was never a big issue, but she always preferred chicken over any other type of meat. Smells were a bit of an issue, but she usually "got over it." Texture is her issue. If a fruit is just a bit too ripe & soft (like peaches or plums) she won't even take a bite. She prefers those that are almost too tough to eat. She's just learned to eat proper yogurt. She used to only eat the one that came in a tube, but still won't eat mashed potatoes.

She's never been a big one for hugging...unless it's her doing the hugging and you only offer her a mild hug in return or when she'd come sleep with me and I could hug her while she slept. Her father recently grew a mustache, but now she refuses to even hug him because of it.

Gives her "the creeps." She's slowly coming around to the idea of having people hug her. I'd always attributed this issue to the fact that she (and her oldest sister) had her umbilical chord wrapped around her throat just before birth. This though is where we see the worst of the fight/flight issue even to this day.

She has two older sisters and I learned from them that by having them hug me tight while I brushed their hair and always starting at the ends of the hair working my way up to the scalp, they didn't "ouch" too much. She was the worst of the three, but would hug for dear life and has now gotten over the hair brushing bit and is now working on straightening her own hair.

Now we're having to deal with the period issue. Just this past weekend she had her period and complained about the feel of the pads. Saturday the kids were going to the pool and she wanted to go too, but had the pad to deal with. Her oldest sister's friend sat her down and went over the procedure for inserting a tampon after I had a brief discussion with her about it ("It's weird having to talk to your Mom about that sort of thing.") She finally succeeded in getting one in, but complained almost the entire time about the way it felt. Everyone kept assuring her that she'd get used to it, but she hasn't used one since complaining that it was such a weird feeling. Finally one of her oldest sister's boy friends told her to stop complaining cause it made him feel uncomfortable hearing his little "sister" talk about that sorta thing.

I guess I'm relieved to see that her situation could be worse. I'm relieved to see that her situation seems to be getting better rather than worse. There are still certain fabrics (mainly courser cotton) that she still won't wear, but by and large her clothing choices are expanding. I guess we've gotten her through her problems by being supportive and patient (although the socks & shoes issue did get tedious till we found both that she liked) and not pushing the matter too hard. She knows and understands her issues and is working toward letting go.

Doubt this was helpful, but hopefully encouraging that, for some, the symptoms of SPD CAN get better.

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