Living with SPD

Two years ago my five year old daughter was diagnosed with SPD or Sensory Processing Disorder. It means that her brain processes the stimuli around her in a different way than it does other people. Hers is a mild one; the extremes can often be confused with Autism.

Living with SPD means a little trip to the museum of natural science can spark a mini freakout. When we went during our recent vacation, she walked in, looked around, and stated that she wanted to go home. I had to pick her up with her trembling and sit her down on a bench in the Paleontology hall (think lots and lots of dinosaurs--who wouldn't be intimidated). I listened to her for about 5-7 minutes describe the bones, the pictures, the colors of the lights, the way the exhibits looked--and then she said she was ready. And then I could barely keep up with her happy self.

Living with SPD means that to be in my parent's pool means she wants to grab a hold with both hands on the side and not let go. The fear from the sensation of the water too close to her neck was too much for her. It took three straight days in the pool and about 15 minutes of working with her--hold on to the side with one hand, then, pretend surfing on momma's knees like surfer Barbie, then finally, trusting that she can kick and use her arms to swim with me holding her waist. (But she had no qualms at the beach on day four--go figure).

Living with SPD means taking her to dance class and waiting for her to stop murmuring with her hand clutched to her mouth as she gets used to the room and the people. Every week. I tell her that it is okay for us to leave but she LOVES dancing and wants to stay. So, I wait until she says it is okay. She begs to stay. And while I sit fatigued for the next 45 minutes, she dances and laughs as if the first five minutes had never occured.

Living with SPD is tiring.

Living with SPD takes understanding and more patience than I think I have at times.

Living with SPD means that I am so incredibly grateful and thrilled when she sings and performs in front of people at school shows even if she looks down sometimes (but still with a smile on her face).

Living with SPD means finding the places where she feels safe and watching her thrive.

QUESTION: What is a challenge for you?

This is for Jenny Matlock's alphabet party for letter L.

27 comments:

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Erika, you are such an amazing mother! These little stories make me smile because you are there to help her though every one. She is so very lucky to have you with her through her journey with SPD!

Duni said...

I admire your perserverance and non-stop patience! You're handling the situation perfectly and that's why your daughter thrives! Don't forget to congratulate yourself once in a while :)
p.s. I only found out 5 or 6 years ago that I belong to the 10% of highly-sensitive people in our society. No wonder I felt overwhelmed by so many things as a kid. Even now...but I have it under control.
hugs,
Duni

EG CameraGirl said...

Sounds like your daughter has the right mom, one who will help her deal with SPD.

Ann said...

I think you need a great big pat on the back for being so understanding and patient. I think living with SPD requires you have a very special mother and it sounds to me like your daughter has one :)

edenhills said...

Truly you are a very patient person. She's very lucky to have you.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

She is so pretty, what a sweetie....

Hang in there....

Rose said...

I'm glad that you understand SPD and are doing what you need for your daughter! She's very lucky to have you.

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Your daughter is beautiful and will teach you much ~ hope you being gentle with yourself as well ~ Wonderful post ~ Great photos ~ (A Creative Harbor)

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

I'm sure that is incredibly challenging but so worth it for both of you. What a wonderful, patient mommy you are.

Judy Nolan said...

Your daughter is so luck to have such a patient and understanding mom!

storybeader said...

erika - you have such patience. Other moms might not understand the way you do. Your daughter is so lucky. And beautiful! {:-D

Sandy said...

Such an amazing mom and
such a wonderful, happy,
loving child your daughter
must be. knowing you are
there for her is the reason
for her being.
Bless you
Sandy

Sheryl Hastings said...

I had no idea what that was. She's a beautiful little girl and it takes a special person to be her mom. You are so lucky to have each other.

Riet said...

You are a wonderful mother and your darling daughter is so lucky she has you. You are patient and understanding, and that is what she needs.
Wonderful L blog

JDaniel4's Mom said...

She is so blessed to have you as a mom! I are so patient and caring with her.

Splendid Little Stars said...

What a beautiful girl! How blessed you are to have each other!
In this life there are many challenges. Having someone to walk through them lovingly with us is such a blessing! I know you both have much to learn from each other. How wonderful!
I know your patience is tried at times and you feel tired. Have heart! This will all come to good, I'm sure.

Sue said...

She is blessed to have a mother who helps her brave the world around her and emerge victorious.

Well done!

=)

Lori said...

What a darling girl! I think you are very understanding and patient. What a gift!

Ann said...

you are a wonderful mum, I understand how you feel, I have 2 special needs children.

BeadedTail said...

Your daughter is such a beautiful little girl! You are a wonderful mom to be so patient, understanding and proactive with her SPD to help her thrive. You both are truly blessed to have each other! And the two guys in your life too of course! :)

zongrik said...

so much patience...amazing

lamb's wool

anitamombanita said...

You are definitely a blessing to her as a mom. But I'm sure she's been a blessing to you also in many small ways. She's adorable!

Susan Mystery said...

This is such a great post and you are a wonderful mom for taking the time to do what you do to make sure your daughter feels safe, even if you just want to go and do the things you want with her, without the time needed. It is also amazing that you have found what works for her to feel safe and you do it! You are an amazing mom, keep up the great work you are doing with her. Believe me when I say this, she will thank you one day, major.

I have generalized anxiety, which means that I like your daughter can feel overwhelmed easily, but I have found what works for me, like listening to my iPod on a crowded bus, for example.

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

I really like the last photo--to me it shows that she is ready to embrace her world--and having you there to help her with the rough spots is making that possible for her.

Annesphamily said...

Together the two of you will conquer this! What a patient heart you have being so ind and caring each step of the way. I have never had to experience a challenge such as this so I feel blessed but am always grateful that I have lived one more day! I think we need to live life fully but take it one day at a time. Your story was so inspiring. God Bless You both! She is so beautiful.

Kathleen said...

One day at a time! She will blossom and grow into a lovely lady just like her mama =)

Jenny said...

What a lovely girl. Her smile just lights up the whole screen.

I've not heard of SPD. It sounds like you are quite knowledgable about this, though.

There is nothing more difficult than seeing our children struggle with things.

I suspect with you in her corner, though, she will have a much easier time with her journey!

Thank you for sharing this.

I will remember this post.

Mom Hugs and A++++