Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SPD, what is it?

October 1st is here. Most people think of October of Breast Cancer Awareness month, very worthy cause so be sure to get checked. But did you also know it is National Sensory Awareness Month? Most people don't. For me it is a great month to help raise awareness for SPD, Sensory Processing Disorder. My daughter was diagnosed with SPD last year; we finally got some answers on quirks my husband and I were seeing. We still struggle day to day in controlling meltdowns but at least we can tell a meltdown from a tantrum, though to most they look the same. Little Bit is super sensitive to noise and visual. Too much noise or visual can cause her to get overwhelmed and if not calmed down, she could have a meltdown, which to her is biting her arm or throwing things.

We were, ok I was, very nervous about her starting kindergarten and how she would react to the structure and how they would react to her. I am so thankful for her teacher and counselor as they have worked with her to help her day go smoothly but still help her learn the skills she needs. She still has trouble writing but she is getting there. She has her bad days (some really bad days) but overall she is doing well and progressing.

SPD is nothing to take lightly. Most just see a kid who is not being disciplined at home or is out of control. To an extent, she is out of control because she has no control over how she feels when she has had too much. Think of your computer, when you have 10 windows opened and trying to make it do 10 things at once, it bogs down or freezes up. That is Little Bit, she can't do it all or she will just get overwhelmed and shut down. I have to let her kick and scream until she lets it all out. You know how you feel when you need a good cry, this is her times 100. So when I am at the store and she is screaming and I seem to be ignoring her. I am not, I want waiting until I can tell she is calming down and she has gotten out the frustration she is feeling. And don't judge me when you see me give her a paci or put her in a stroller at age 5. The paci is something she likes to chew on to calm down; taste is important to her and the feel of something in her mouth helps her calm down. The stroller is her escape. She can sit in there, eat her snack and unwind so she can get back to having fun. Yes I have days where I feel like I can't take it anymore, but I have to look at my daughter and remember she can't control it. So next time you see a screaming kid, don't judge the mom for not having control, remember sometimes it is what is best for the kid to scream it out. Educate yourself before you judge.

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