What if the parents don't know?

After hearing of this disorder, I'm convinced that my 14-year-old niece has many of the symptoms. From the time she could speak, she has been super picky about what clothes and shoes she will wear, and what foods she will eat (only white foods, basically). She is a bright girl and her social skills seem okay, but she is totally resistant to new activities.

For example, she has refused for years to learn to ride a bike, which has been a real disappointment to her dad. My husband and I, along with my mother-in-law, try to ignore these behaviors because we have been assuming they are things she does to "control" her parents, and because we are embarrassed by the meltdowns that occur when her parents push her to try something new.

If she does have SPD but her symptoms are relatively mild compared with some described on this website, should my husband and I bring this up with her parents? We only see them once or twice a year, and we are afraid they will be offended if we suggest our niece has a "disorder." I wish I had known about this disorder a long time ago. It explains why she never wore any of the clothes we bought for her, never tried the skis we got her for Christmas, etc.

I am concerned about her lack of proper nutrition and exercise (she spends most of her time reading, watching TV and playing video games) but maybe the problem is bigger than that.

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Nov 05, 2009
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by: Anonymous

My daughter sound alot like your niece. We didn't realize that SPD also affected her balance and she too was resistant to riding bikes or most other physical activities. It's touchy you know, most parents can't handle that there is something "up" with their kids until it reaches a level that can't be explained away. It's not that we are blind to it, it's just so incredibly painful.

If her parents are questioning that there may be more going on then that's a perfect segway to tell them what you've found. If your niece is depressed or in emotional pain then obviously you can gently recommend exploring SPD. But honestly you know your family best, and as long as everyone understand that you are coming from a non-judgmental, loving place then go for it! Be ready by printing out info. that you feel pertains to your niece. Don't overwhelm with too much stuff just try and make your point your not trying to diagnose her just share knowledge.

Remember this isn't new many adults have SPD and have learned to successfully navigate through life. As a matter of fact, while exploring the different kinds of SPD I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't start seeing other family members in the descriptions! We all have quirks and things that bug us (noisy malls give me a splitting headache)it's when it negatively effects our day to day that there needs to be some intervention. Best of Luck!

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