This is my story that I wrote months ago when stating my cause for the addition of SPD in the DSM-5.
I am a 19 year old with Sensory Processing Disorder. My condition was recognized when I was young. My mother went to an online forum about picky eaters. She described how I was and that I didn't seem obstinate about eating certain foods; I was very apologetic. It was almost like I couldn't even put the food in my mouth. A woman replied to her that I'm not a picky eater but I had this condition (then labeled as Sensory integration dysfunction), and she referred my mother to a doctor in Kentucky who was doing research. My mother and he sent emails to each other, and he agreed that I have it.
At age 15, it was clear to me that I had this disorder. I am both hypersensitive and hyposensitive, making life difficult. I have always had trouble performing physical tasks in school, even if I understand directions. I still do not have my driver's license. Although I am very cautious, driving has overwhelmed me, and the local driving instructor obviously can't identify that I experienced major anxiety every time I took the test and especially can't identify that I have a motor impairment. I have not gone back since he flat out said that I was a “dangerous driver,” and I sobbed in my car after he got out and walked away. Online symptom checklists describe exactly how I am now and how I was during my early childhood.
I live in a small town in Oklahoma. Barely anyone around here has heard of Sensory Processing Disorder, and even fewer can understand what I go through. My mother is a psych nurse, so I'm very fortunate that I have someone close to me that can have a better understanding. I am currently in college and majoring in psychology. My Intro to Psychology instructor, Kimberly Hughes, is one of the few people who have encouraged me. She has a lot of background in psychology, so I hope that many other experienced professionals firmly believe in my condition. I truly suffer from low self-esteem and other social/emotional issues.
I've heard stories about young children, other teens, and even college professors who know they suffer from this condition. Sensory Processing Disorder needs to be included in DSM-5.