acceptance · autism · my children

Sensory Integration Dysfunction

Sensory Integration Dysfunction is a “real” issue that many children face. Yet it is not widely known. Not all in the medical field see or deem it as “real”. But for those of us parents whose children are wired differently it is all to real in our day to day lives. It is however started to be recognized as a separate condition. Before it was thought only to affect autistic children or misdiagnosed as ADHD. The most basic was to explain sensory integration dysfunction is a someone who has difficulty procession everyday sensations and show unusual or ‘odd’ behaviors.

Two of my daughters have been evaluated for occupational therapy to address their sensory issues. Since this coincidently is happening during Autism Awareness month, I figured I share my story with you. If something sounds familiar please get your child help. Don’t let them drown in the world around them. If something sounds familiar, my heart also goes out to you. From one parent to another, I know how it is. You are not alone. When discussing this disorder, there is much to say. So I am not going to focus on the disorder itself but the effect it has on my daughters.

My middle daughter is definitely wired differently. I used to think she was just quirky. But it turned out to be so much more. She has already done occupational therapy. We already knew about Autism. We got booted from the state program because she didn’t have “delays”. She’s an exceptional student at school. But when she comes home it is completely different story. I guess not being able to function sometimes isn’t enough of a delay. My daughter has the inability to calm herself at times. She is over sensitive to crowds, lights, noises and just about anything else you can imagine. An ant to you is just an ant. To her, it is a paralyzing fear. Just for a moment imagine the world as a fun house full of mirrors. That’s her day-to-day world. That’s how she intakes the world. She has jokingly been referred to as Wolverine from Xmen by her uncles because she doesn’t register pain like the rest of the world. She had hit her head, was dripping blood, had to get staples and she just looked at me like I was crazy because I was upset. Then she can get the smallest cut and scream. You’d think she was dying. I very foolishly didn’t think she would need more occupational therapy. We were doing great. BUT it NEVER goes away. It’s always there. And she has been having an awful time processing and digesting the world.

My youngest daughter is also wired differently. Her hands CAN NOT have yuckies on them. Her clothes can’t be dirty/messy. She won’t wear shoes. She’s always fussing about how she “don’t like” her clothes. She avoids being touched. (unless its a person she really likes)  She won’t eat ANY meat. Well unless you count bologna but we all know that’s not meat. She will only drink warm milk. She really only wants to eat foods that are harder, like cereal, crackers, cookies, chips, etc. She will not eat mushy foods like mashed potatoes, cereal with milk, melted ice cream, etc. There are alot of things she will not touch because she doesn’t like the way they feel. She ,also like my middle daughter, can not calm herself easily. She doesn’t have the appropriate sense of her own strength. For it to register for her is difficult. The touch she puts out is very hard. But you can barely touch her and it registers as hard for her.

This is a brief view into my daughters worlds. I’m sharing this to get across to other people who every “bad” kid you see, my not really be bad. Maybe they are just different from you and the rest of the world’s perception of how they should act. And just maybe their parents don’t know what’s going on or are chosing to stick their head in the sand hoping it will go away. It is a very overwhelming parenting situation to be in. And realize as an outsider, you have NO IDEA what either that child or parent is going through unless you are walking in their shoes. But I must say, the love they reciprocate for helping them and understanding them is amazing. I love my daughters for who they are, not who other people think they should be.

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