Sensory Processing Disorder

My child is just like yours. My child is exactly like every other little boy on the planet. There is nothing wrong with my sweet 7 year old boy. He loves candy and riding his bike. He enjoys video games and his electronics are just as fun for him as any boy you meet.

He has some issues to overcome and he will; I’ve no doubt he’ll come out of this ahead of everyone and their expectations.

For seven years, I have flipped back and forth between loving my son and wondering why I got saddled with such a child. There were days I wanted him gone – by any means possible. Typically after having dealt with him at his worst – where he was over active to the max and wouldn’t do a thing I asked or told him to do. Oh, there were times I hated him and wondered why I had ever decided to have a child!

When we moved from Idaho Falls to Montana, I did not expect for all of my problems (and his) to double, triple even. I never thought that a few days of misbehavior could turn into a teacher acting as if she hated my child and wanted him gone from her classroom. I never expected that I would have to fight a teacher about treating my child with equality and not writing him up, yelling at him or otherwise treating him badly! Of course, I understood her but I never imagined she could be so vicious in her dislike of my son. Mama bear came out in full force and, while we were having problems at home, I was ready to fight her – hand and fist – to treat my boy better!

We started taking him to doctors. We found out his I.Q. is pushing the really smart side. We found out that, while he may have some mild ADHD behaviors, that was not the problem. Through all the testing and problems, we finally settled on what was causing this wonderful boy to be such a handful at times.

Sensory Processing Disorder is an explanation for why a child could turn into a devil spawn when in a crowded place with lots of noise. Their little brains get overloaded and they act out in an attempt to deal with it. Because we now know this, my son is allowed his electronics when we are out and about in crowded and louder than normal places.

Sensory Processing Disorder explains why he got in trouble for knocking artwork off the walls at school. His deep seated desire to touch forces him to run his hands along the brick walls of the school. It’s really not his fault the artwork is in the way. Later on in life, he’ll know to avoid knocking the artwork off the walls. Right now, he just needs to touch. His need to touch greatly outweighs the average childs’ need to touch … except he lacks the natural born ability to regulate his touch so it doesn’t hurt or cause damage. He must be taught what he was not born with.

Sensory Processing Disorder explains why he, at times, has so much energy, he can’t seem to control it himself. Instead of playing for a few minutes and being content, as the average child would, he has to receive more input from play. His joints must acquire more. By having him “push hard enough to knock down walls” or “knock over a tree,” it activates chemicals in his body that do not self-regulate at this time and calms him. Over time, he’ll learn to self-regulate himself and his body will adjust accordingly.

Sensory Processing Disorder, Dsypraxia subset explains why he can’t seem to do any tasks that require the full function of his hands and fingers. His o’s are written backwards, his letters and numbers do not always get closed properly and, instead of a teacher marking every answer wrong because of this, we work to teach him the control he was not born with.

He was born with some parts not as developed as other children. He can’t handle too much background noise, can’t get the same physical exertion as an average child by a few minutes play (he needs extra minutes) and has trouble with his hand control. He hugs hard enough to hurt to get the same feel-good sensation as an average child does with a soft, loving hug. He has periods of time when his body screams for some activity and he’ll have to learn to stretch and push against hard objects to activate his joints.

But, he’s my son. I no longer hate him (at times) and I love him more, now that I know the way. Knowing the why goes a long way to helping fix and correct. He is exceptionally bright and can go far in life – if we can get him to self-regulate what he does not naturally self-regulate. He’ll have to learn to handle things like loud times and busy places when other children naturally figure it out.

He’s my son. We’re done with the evil teacher who treated him like crap for seven months. We’ve got a teacher who understands for his 3rd grade school year. Caiden will excel. He can’t not. He’s too bright to let something like this hold him back and, now that his mom (me!) understands, it’ll go a lot smoother in the future.

Medical bills be damned, we’ve finally pinpointed it and are working to make it better.

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