When you have a child that has SPD, Sensory Processing Disorder, you learn to look at the world a different way. My son Henry has SPD. We are making great strides in some areas, and there are other areas which are a battle for him which makes a battle for the family.
To have a child that screams like he is getting beat when water from a shower or the wind hits him in the face. These are two things that hurt him physically to the core. I get frustrated over this water thing. Here is my son that will jump off the diving board with no assistance in 9 feet of water over and over and over but hearing the shower running brings on a full panic attack with hives. Food is our big stumbling block in our home. Everything is yucky, everything smells yucky and most of the times my son won’t even be in the kitchen with us when we eat. I feel so bad for him and I know the smell of bread, or a roast makes him feel physically ill. Taco’s are his favorite all around. He loves taco meat and he loves salsa will eat it by the gallon. Taco night is a great night in our house. No gagging and no crying. My son also craves sensory input. What is that you ask? He will bounce of the couch, crash into walls, crash into me- anything to get that deep pressure input his body is craving. He loves to spin and spin and spin till his poor mother is feeling like she just got off a tilt a whirl ride. He will hit his forehead with his hand, or a toy, or even his taekwondo belt. He is craving that pressure.
With the sensory challenges we have in our home last night was a night of small victories. It was just Henry and mom last night and his hair was getting a little unruly. It actually looked like he was growing horns on the top of his head. Not a good look. Now cutting hair is on the same order as a shower. We really can’t go to a shop to have it done it takes to many people to calm him down and it is just to much on my nerves also. So I cut his hair at home. This is usually my husband holding Henry and Greta trying to calm him down as I quickly use the clippers to cut his hair. Last night I got the crazy idea I would do this alone. So Henry agreed and he sat so good and he listened to Frozen music on his iPod. He did WONDERFUL. His haircut looks good and there wasn’t one tear shed by either of us!!! I then explained I needed to get the hair off his neck and back but I would have him stand in the tub and I would just pour the water on him. That got a few tears while doing it but no major meltdown. We ended up celebrating by a great big bubble bath with Frozen music blaring through the house. He was happy, clean and a new haircut. Now that is major success in my book.
When you have a child that looks at the world through different eyes you need to train your brain and eyes to look to see things a little different also. It might not make sense to you, a neighbor or the woman casting a frown your way at the store but it is your boy and you will protect him and nurture him anyway you know how.