Taking the holes out of a waffle
I have just discovered this website, and the condition of SPD very recently. My middle child has been having some problems at school, and was referred to a very nice OT, and it is through working with her, that he has been diagnosed as having SPD. I am still reeling from the shock of this, and going through a whole wave of emotions, from sadness, to relief to guilt.
Evan is a beautiful, very loving, very bright and articulate little boy, but he struggles to pay attention in class, he struggles to focus long enough to learn to read and his hands seem too floppy to be able to hold a pencil well enough to write. He struggles to sit still and listen in the classroom, instead he removes himself from the other children, and fiddles around with himself, sucking his clothes, or twirling, or getting up and wandering around.
Although his teachers have had concerns for a while, and we had several meetings with an educational psychologist, it was very difficult for me to see anything was actually wrong, it was like listening to stories about a stranger, they would ask me questions like, do you think he understands what is said to him? or does he have hearing problems? which just irritated me, he is not stupid, he understands perfectly well what is said, though I admit sometimes I have to call his name 20 times to get his attention, its like he can just block it out.
A few days ago I spent some time, unbeknown to him observing him from outside the classroom door, as I watched him it was the strangest feeling, it was like watching a different child, and when I had a meeting with the OT the next day, and she explained about SPD, it was like everything fell into place, and it all made sense, it was a horrifying realization that I had been in denial, I was so used to some of his quirks, that
I almost didn't question them anymore, and the pieces I hadn't seen, like how he behaves at school, all suddenly fell into place, and why I didn't see them at home, because of the nature of the condition, it was less severe at home.
Honestly I thought he was just downright awkward, just deliberatly difficult and nothing more. I cant believe I didn't see this, or someone else didn't before now, and I thank the universe for the OT who suggested to his teacher that he may need an OT, whilst witnessing some of his quirks, whilst in school dealing with another child in his class.
He has always been extremely picky when it comes to food, mealtimes in our house have been dominated by crying, moaning, and lots of fretting that he is going to waste away, although he looks very robust and healthy in fact, sometimes I wonder how he survives at all, on tiny amounts of food, when I can persuade him to eat only a few bites each meal, only of certain foods, and how he can like something one day, and not touch it the next when accompanied by another food. How he sometimes gags at food, or even just the smell of food. (parmesan had to be banned for a while, and it was never even on his plate, but the smell of it on someone else's food, would have him gagging and leaving the room)
So through all of this trauma and uncertainty, what made me laugh? Well, Evan was fiddling with his food, as usual, which happened to be potato waffles, which he does usually like, when I asked him what he was doing, he said he was taking the holes out because he didn't like the taste of them.
I had to laugh really, what else could I do, even Evan admits its totally crazy, but thats just the way he is,and he is such a lovely little boy, I wouldn't have him any other way.