Wife of a SPD Adult, Mother of a SPD Child
by Amanda Quist
I am an Occupational Therapy Assistant. I got married the same year I started my schooling. I remember my husband doing the strangest things our first year of marriage and not knowing why. He could hardly handle me being in the same room as him at night and would get agitated very easily when we were in crowded or noisy places. His mother told me about the struggles he went through as a child and how hyper he would become for what seemed like no reason at all.
When I was taking my pediatrics class the teacher covered what was then known as Sensory Integration Disorder. I remember raising my hand and saying “I think your describing my husband”, and her giving me a very strange look. From that day on I became very interested in the Sensory system and tried to learn as much as I could about it. I went home that day and was excitedly telling my husband what I had learned and he proceeded to get very annoyed with me. Over the next year any time I mentioned it he would say, “Stop trying to diagnose me”.
Then I did a field work where SPD was very common among the clients I worked with and the supervising OTR was very educated in it and implemented it in her practice. When I told her about my husband she gave me a video that helped describe what SPD was. She told me to tell my husband I needed to
watch it for home work and to ask if he would watch it with me. My husband is an attorney and I thought it would be the last thing he would want to do but to my surprise he agreed. About half way through the video he hadn’t said anything but suddenly turned to me and said, “I wish my parents had known about this, if only they had known my childhood would have been so different”. After that he asked me what he could do for himself. I explained the different sensory needs and he felt that exercising daily would really help him, and it has. He is now very in tune to what his sensory system needs, is able to sleep through the night, and has even handled a new born baby very well.
Now my husband is a real advocate along with me for our son. My son is only 11 months old but I already feel he is further along because I know what SPD is and he knows how SPD feels. Sometimes he is more on top of it than I am (even though I work in pediatrics and come in contact with children with SPD continuously). If my son seems to be getting agitated my husband will put him in the jumper or take him for a walk out side where it is quiet. And if I make any suggestions for our son my husband is usually 100% on board. I am very grateful for that.