Having a child with sensory processing disorder (SPD)

I remember when I was little my mom enrolled my sister and I into a ballet class. I was super excited to finally be able to be like the beautiful ballerinas I seen on tv. I loved ballet class, my sister though? Not so much. I remember my sister screaming before every ballet class. The tags were bothering her, and the tights were too tight. At the time I just thought she was being over dramatic, now I know and recognize this as sensory processing disorder.

Sensory processing disorder a condition where the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses

Noah was a clingy baby (and is a clingy toddler). Every time I put him down he would scream. I would let him cry occasionally, but he would scream for hours if I had let him. I couldn’t do anything without Noah. I couldn’t eat, sleep, shower, do chores, or even get dressed. Noah wanted me to hold him for all of that. Eventually I got a boba wrap which helped us a lot. I was able to carry him on me and still get things done. When I wanted to take a shower I would leave part of it open so he could still see me. This was just the beginning signs of sensory processing disorder for my son.

Around six months Noah was ready to start purées. At first he liked them all, but as time went on he stopped eating all but three flavors. Sweet potatoes, pears, and bananas. He would spit out anything that wasn’t those three things. Eventually Noah was ready to start solid foods. Again, he started out eating most of what I offered him and then he stopped. At first he would eat macaroni&cheese and applesauce. Sometimes I would get lucky and he would eat the applesauces with veggies blended in. One day he decided he was done with applesauce and only would eat macaroni and cheese. I had mentioned something to his pediatrician, who said he’s a toddler as long as he’s eating he is fine. His weight was a bit of a concern because he’s so skinny, but they were satisfied because he was following his own growth curve. I knew something else was going on though, and so did my mother who had also dealt with this before.

Noah loved bath time as a baby. He would splash around and play with his toys. Bath time was fun! When I was feeling nice I would even put bubbles in the tub and he would play with those for hours if I had let him. One day Noah started screaming during bath time though. I thought it was just a fluke, maybe he was in a bad mood that day. But it continued. Bath time became miserable. He would scream every time water touched his skin. If it touched his hair? Prepare for a World War III.

Often times on my day off or after work I take the kids to the park. Noah has always loved playing on the playground, and if other kids are there? Even better! One day I decided to take Noah on the swings. He screamed. I pushed him to show him that this was okay and it was fun. It wasn’t fun to Noah though. He screamed even harder. As a baby he hated them too, but I had thought maybe he was just too young for the swings. It was obvious now there was more to it than that. As I said before Noah loved playing with other kids on the playground. If there were too many kids though he would freeze up. He wouldn’t move from the spot he was standing. One time it took me an hour to coax him down from the top of the slide. I would’ve gotten him but I had his sister with us. It would’ve been too hard to climb up there with her.

Noah has always loved to chew things. When they’re babies you just assume it’s because they’re babies. When Noah was roughly 2 he had a wooden toy that he chewed in half. I thought this was alarming. Eventually he started chewing everything. My bathroom door (as shown). Books, puzzles, toys, dressers, blocks, anything you think should or shouldn’t be chewed my son has chewed it.

It took me forever to get Noah to accept a sippy cup. He loved the bottle nipple. My stepdad found a sippy cup with a spout similar to that of a bottle nipple. Thankfully he took to that. Unfortunately, that is the ONLY sippy cup Noah will take. He won’t take the ones with cute Characters or cool colors. He won’t even take other sippy cups with nipples like a bottle. It has to be the thinkbaby sippy cup.

We have been in occupational therapy for a few months now. Noah has shown some huge improvements. He can now take a bath without screaming. He will now at least try new foods. However, he still chews on things and still will only take that one sippy cup. Yesterday I accidentally broke his sippy cup. Noah was up screaming all night because he didn’t want a drink in a different sippy cup. Even a soft spout one.

The reason I mostly wanted to write this, is to let you moms know. If you think something is off about your child, something probably is. Having a child with a sensory processing disorder is HARD. I have to think before I do anything. Is this going to overstimulate him? Is this going to be too loud? Will this upset him? I get overwhelmed and touched out very quickly because Noah still wants to be touching me at all times. If your child has SPD you are not alone, and I see you.

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6 thoughts on “Having a child with sensory processing disorder (SPD)”

  1. Thank you for writing this. When you and your sisters were little there wasn’t much awareness. Your sister and tights was terrible for her and the ballet teacher wouldn’t not make any exceptions for her. Now there are tag-less clothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have my boundless sympathy and admiration. Writing about this is a good way to increase awareness. I do feel looking back my eldest had SPD, even though he didn’t have all the symptoms. Chewing generally is seen as a sign of anxiety, isn’t it? He never chewed toys, or doors, but did chew his shirt when he started school. The front of his shirt was sometimes soaked through.

    Liked by 1 person

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