Nine years ago my oldest was born. She challenged all my pre-existing ideas that I had about being a parent. She is kind, gently, loving, protective, smart, funny, sensitive to other people’s needs, she is an incredible daughter and the most amazing big sister and Yes mixed in with all of that she also has SPD (sensory processing disorder). But SPD does not define her. It does not make her the person she is. She is that amazing person even though she struggles with lots of everyday things that most people take for granted.
Her SPD does play a large part in our life. It has changed the entire way we parent and they way our family works together. It is the reason we chose to home-educate and it is the over-riding factor that influences how we structure the days and weeks.
But her SPD has also allowed her to be the amazing big sister that she is. She understands her little brother better than anyone else and she will often remind me when I have missed something – “mom you are not noticing that piercing sound that is distressing us” (in case you do not read my blog her younger brother also has SPD).
We have come a long way in the nine years since she was born. I have read a lot about SPD and we have worked with three brilliant Occupational Therapists who have helped both the kids and me deal with how SPD affects them. But although she is managing so much better the truth is she will always have SPD. It is not going to go away. She will get better at dealing with situations but it is going to stay there a part of the unique combination that makes her who she is.
We will continue to find more ways to help her, that will never stop. What I have come to realise is that I need to change my attitude towards SPD. As much as there are days when I HATE that they have SPD and I still cry about it I need to help them view it as positive so that as they both grow older they do not become ashamed by it.
As much as I want my daughter to do have good body image I also want her to have good mental health and for her that means accepting that SPD is a part of her and that it is not a negative thing. I need to let go of the final twinges that I have, the final little thoughts that linger because my kids may not fit the typical “normal ” kid criteria but that is just FINE with me.
We have two kids with SPD and they are AMAZING !!!