Meet Real Kids With SPD

Some studies estimate that Sensory Processing Disorder affects at least one in every 20 kids, and potentially as many as one in every six. Meet real kids and learn how SPD has affected their lives and their families.

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Bennett, 4

Christina is a freelance writer who lives in Southern California with her husband and three boys, one of whom was recently diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and mild Autism. Christina uses her love of design, adventures in parenting and teaching background as inspiration for her writing on numerous parenting websites including her personal blog, Mommy Loves Coffee.

I knew something was "off" when Bennett was 18 months old -- I was three months pregnant and that's when the high-pitch screaming started. Right after my third child was born (and Bennett turned 2), I started to think that I didn't know how to parent this child. I was at my wits' end and decided to push for a second opinion. While that doctor dug a little deeper, we ended up hearing the same words: "It's a phase he's going through." Two years went by and during that time I was constantly frustrated, my patience was hanging on by a thread and I continuously doubted my parental instincts and myself.

We finally pushed for a third opinion shortly after Bennett turned four. Two minutes into our appointment the words "Sensory Processing Disorder" came flying out of the doctor's mouth. Suddenly everything made sense. We began to understand why Bennett would only eat one specific kind of baby food and nothing else until he was 17 months old. We knew why the cries of his baby brother, the doorbell ringing, the vacuum cleaner and the loud roars of a football stadium sent him into an inconsolable tantrum. We knew why he needed to play with his head resting on the floor or why he had to sit in my lap to sit still for longer than two minutes. Suddenly, things started to make sense. And I knew why things were so hard. It wasn't his fault -- it wasn't my fault.

We've been receiving in-home behavior therapy and weekly occupational therapy for six months now. It's helpful knowing the cause, but it's a long and slow road while we patiently try to figure out every little thing that makes up who he is.

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Comments on "Sensory Processing Disorder: Every family has a story"

Kathryn June 26, 2012 | 12:08 PM

I have SPD, certin textures mosly in clothing(i cant wear jeans or anything tight), crowded rooms and loud noises set me off.Also I love fidigiting with stuff and crave sentation in my mouth.I never go anywhere without my noise reduction headphones,fidgits and chewbles.

Tammy June 25, 2012 | 9:52 PM

Thank you all so very much for sharing, I sat here and read story after story and had to share with my husband, who after the 1st couple stories, said that's exactly like our son. We have been getting some behavioral help for awhile, but our pediatrician doesn't seem to think he needs OT, and it can be overwhelming at times. We just LOVE our boy who is kind, Loving, smart, a wonderful friend, but doesn't understand gentle, or personal space. God bless you all and thanks again.

Gabbie g June 25, 2012 | 5:17 PM

He reminds me of Allen, my 5 year old son, he also has SPD (moderate now) it was severe but therapies, lots of love & me putting myself in his place have helped him. Thank you sor sharing

Christina June 25, 2012 | 5:15 PM

I agree! It's so nice to know you're not alone when going through something with someone so close to your heart.

Laura June 25, 2012 | 11:03 AM

Great stories and great kids! SPD affects a lot of families and it's nice that it's becoming more of an "open" topic. It had a huge impact on my son's life and our family's life and I know some people often just thought we were "strange." Thanks to all of these parents for sharing their amazing kids and inspiring stories with us.

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