*Featured image is my Tallulah in the ball pit at work. She is a certified support animal that usually visits nursing homes, but she will at times, visit the kiddos.
My business revolves around kids. Many of these kids have something called SPD. SPD is short for Sensory Processing Disorder. Some kids run around purposely bumping into others, climbing, jumping, falling, touching everything, and overall, getting into the personal space of others. Others are super shy, don’t want to touch anything due to how it may feel, they might not want to eat certain foods, the seams in their socks and the tags in their shirts are more than just bothersome, they’re torture. You have sensory seekers, sensory avoiders, and some kids can be both. This is the short version of SPD. I could go into more detail, more signs to look for (If you want more info, please just request it in comments. This is what I do, and I love it), etc, but my post isn’t about the kiddos I work with. It’s about me. Of course. Ha!
I can totally relate to these kids. It’s probably why our business is usually a kiddo’s favorite place to be. Today I woke up feeling really “off.” This wasn’t a good thing because I had to get my son to A&M for his tour. My typical outfit of choice includes yoga pants, with either a short or long sleeved shirt. This is what I wear to work, and since I knew I’d be riding in the car, then walking a lot, I wanted to be comfortable. I went digging for my yoga pants, realized it’s time for laundry, but eventually found a pair. I pulled them out, looked at them and was already bothered by them before I even put them on.
First of all, they were a bit shinier than my other ones. That meant they will fit a bit differently. They also seemed to collect more lint. I went digging again, but to no avail. These pants were my only choice. I put them on questioning whether or not I should just wear jeans. I mean, the seams in the legs were a bit off in these pants, and they didn’t flow as nicely as my others, seemingly stiff for yoga pants. I must have lint brushed them 4 times before we even made it to A&M.
These little things may seem like nothing to you, but considering I was already feeling discombobulated, these pants made me crazy. On this day, anyway. On any other day, they might have been fine. I still had to wear them and deal with them today though.
It would never be as bad as the time I realized, on a plane, that my yoga pants were on inside out.
Consider this post if you have a kid having a cow because their clothes are “bothering” them, they aren’t trying to be difficult. Kids react to these situations in inappropriate ways (screaming, crying, refusal to wear clothes) because ummm, they’re kids. I mean, how hard is it to cut the tag for them? Or turn their socks inside out, or maybe forego the socks altogether. It’s not giving them their way to do these small things. It’s showing them that you do hear them, and that you care about their comfort. Pick your battles people. These sensory issues are real.
I’ll post what pictures I could get of our A&M visit, later this evening. I took my camera but my son was mortified that I was taking pictures with my phone, so I decided to go easy on him, and leave the real camera in my bag. He’s really no fun as an 18 year old, but I picked my battle on this visit. He will deal with my real camera at UCSB and UW.
*I want to quickly address the issue of SPD as a diagnosis for those who believe that everything is now given a diagnosis. Yes we ALL have sensory issues and they were never given a name. The problem comes when the sensory issues have an impact on our quality of life. It didn’t exist as a diagnosis “back in the day,” and we probably just thought the child was incredibly difficult or stubborn (I know this because that was my daughter). Just like OCD, ADHD, Autism, and other issues that cannot be “seen,” unless they’re severe, and then it just appears that the person is weird, or spoiled and self centered, SPD does exist and can be a huge problem if not addressed. Like I said, I can write more about this if anyone expresses an interest. This is my personal blog, but I am happy to indulge!