Think? I can prove it!

by Laurel

Of course it is, and I'll tell you how I know. My son was dx'd at 9, after a friend whose dd had delays and SPD convinced her OT to see him. From what my friend told me about SPD, I knew in my gut that this was what we were dealing with. So did the OT, when she evaluated him. But, I had to know that my son thought so too. I told him what the OT said and asked if that sounded like him. He said "You know how every time we go to the mall, I get in trouble?" This startled me, because I'd been trying to figure that one out, He got agitated in the Gap from infancy, and as he got older, he'd walk along with his arms outstretched, banging into people. I said "yes! why is that?" He said "Have you ever noticed it only happens on the upper levels?"

He may as well have punched me. Of COURSE! The open atrium layout of malls aggravates his gravitational insecurities! The key here is that he consistently acted up at the mall, but ONLY on the upper floors. And he did this in one form or another from the day he was born. If that isn't proof, what is? The OT said the wood grain floors and music at the Gap make it even worse.

From the time he was about 6 weeks old, I had BEGGED my son's pediatricians for a referral so he could be evaluated to find out why he was so uncomfortable in his skin. No one would see him without a referral until my friend used her clout as a paying customer to get her OT to see him. In all, we had 50 pediatricians and every one denied this on the grounds that his milestones were advanced ( wildly advanced). It's flat out discriminatory that this happens - children at

the high end of the IQ spectrum are every bit as prone to SPD as those at the other end. Advanced milestones are NOT a good thing. They are a sign that child is out of sync. I even coined the term farenders to highlight the fact that the two extremes have a lot in common. My son does have an extraordinarily high IQ, but I now believe that his milestones were sped up because of his SPD. He was born with a pincer grasp, probably because he braille'd my womb for months - I think he was trying to hold on. He rolled over very early, which I think is because we were told to lay him on his back ( by his sister's birth the advice had flipped to tummies) Gravitational insecurity made this frightening to him. And he talked at 4 months, matching the earliest on record, which I think was partly due to a drive to make his needs known.

The only place I have seen another child behave like my son is in the movie Young Edison, starring Mickey Rooney. Even thought that movie was made in the 1940's, they noted the distinctive traits - Edison did what my son calls mouseholing - crawling into small spaces, and burrowing his hands into his pockets. The movie gives explanations for this ( he was hiding from creditors so he crawled in a cupboard, etc) but anyone with a child like this knows that wasn't it at all.

SPD runs in my family, but my son got it worse than anyone else. He's now 19 and finishing his first quarter of college. We ended up homeschooling him from first grade on, because teachers were so insensitive to his needs (both intellectual and sensory) He was always upset that we could not take other kids with us, and decided to become a teacher in order to give kids like him hope.

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