Sensory Processing Disorder

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon/evening trying to figure out how school was going to run for us this next semester since we are starting the new program. As I clicked on every possible link of the school’s website, I came across the parent forums. I read through and happened upon one posting about a single father with his two children, who he homeschooled. As the posts continued, others began to share their story as to why they choose to keep their children home … and one particular post caught my attention. It spoke of a lady whose niece was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. As I began to read through some of her examples of the child’s behavior, I could relate to most of it. So, I decided to look into it for myself.

sensory processing disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder

You would just have to know me to understand … most people just think I’m a bit weird or “far fetched” in some of my actions … but after reading through this I was almost excited knowing that I’m not the only one … and there could actually be a warranted, medical reason as to why I have these behaviors! This website has a pretty exhausted list as to some of the symptoms … so I’m just going to hit on the biggest issues I seem to have that effect my everyday life (keep in mind that I fit into one extreme or the other … you may understand after reading through the list yourself).

SENSORY MODULATION:

  • bothered by clothes; certain materials, tags, seams, pantyhose, ties, belts, turtlenecks, have to wear shorts or pants exclusively, etc. **Especially under garments! They drive me insane!
  • bothered by “light touch”; someone lightly touching/rubbing your hand, face, leg or back
  • distressed by others touching you; would rather be the “toucher” than the “touchee”
  • difficulty going to the beach; the sand blowing on your skin or getting on your body
  • avoid touching anything “messy”; if you do, you have to go wash your hands right away and/or only touch it with your fingertips
  • hate to wear shoes and/or socks **can’t stand my toes “sticking together”
  • a thrill seeker; loves fast and/or dangerous rides, leisure activities, and sports
  • difficulty riding on elevators, escalators, or moving sidewalks
  • seek out fast, spinning, and/or upside down carnival rides
  • restless when sitting through a lecture, presentation, or movie
  • difficulty eating foods with mixed textures, or one particular texture
  • prefer foods with very strong tastes and flavors, particularly spicy foods
  • bites lips or inside of cheeks **especially when in public; have to carry chap stick everywhere
  • love to sleep with multiple or heavy blankets on top of you
  • becomes nauseated or gags from certain cooking, cleaning, perfume, public restroom, or bodily odors
  • identifies objects by smell, have to smell everything, judge whether you like something or someone by smell
  • very high or very low energy level
  •  avoids crowds and plans errands at times when there will be fewer people **my poor family
  • notice and bothered by noises other people do not seem bothered by…clocks, refrigerators, fans, people talking, outdoor construction, etc. **the dishwasher is my most bothersome noise
  • sensitive to loud sounds or commotion
  • can not attend certain public events or places due to excessive noise

SENSORY DISCRIMINATION:

  • difficulty finding things in your purse or pocket without looking
  • bothered by hands or face being dirty
  • has to touch everything
  • difficulty heating food to the correct temperature, feeling if it is too hot or too cold
  • difficulty judging distances about where your car is in relation to other cars, in parking spaces, or near a curb (fail miserably at parallel parking!!)
  • difficulty concentrating on or watching a movie/tv show when there is background noise or distractions
  • can not complete concentrated tasks if noises present
  • sensitive, or over reacts, to sirens, dogs barking, vacuum cleaners, blenders, or other sudden/loud sounds **again, the dishwasher, a small toy, anything can drive me crazy
  • lethargic, hard to get going, appears “lazy” and unmotivated
  • become engrossed in one single activity for a long time and seems to tune out the rest of their environment ** particularly my computer
  • spend hours at a time on activities
  •  great difficulty settling body down for sleep or waking up in the morning

SOCIAL / EMOTIONAL:

  • dislikes changes in plans or routines, needs structure **THIS IS HUGE for me
  • may be described as “stubborn”, “defiant”, or “uncooperative”
  • can’t seem to finish anything
  • difficulty making decisions
  • rigid and controlling
  • prefers solitary activities, avoids groups
  • impatient and/or impulsive
  • difficulty with authority figures
  • trouble relating to and socializing with peers and colleagues
  • easily frustrated
  • needs sameness and routines; needs to know what to expect
  • have panic or anxiety attacks **especially in public places
  • plagued by fears and/or phobias
  • OCD-type qualities; can’t let foods touch each other on your plate, have to wear clothes a certain way, will only do ____, repetitively does ____, can not do _____ without doing _____, has to have ____ like ____
  • hates surprises
  • avoids eye contact

Can you relate to any of these? Do you know anyone that suffers from this? I am curious to find out more about it and how others cope? Now wonder I am so “strange” to those around me! It can overtake your life and it holds me “prisoner” within my own world. All of this coupled with my hypoglycemia … ugh, my poor family!


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