After finding out that Habanero’s diagnosis I joined a Facebook group of people who are also challenged by Sensory Processing Disorder. It’s been really great to see some of the questions on the group – believe it or not there are actually over 78,000 members. So posts move pretty quick; some days it’s not much I can relate to and others having me laughing or crying at the relate-ability. Today was one of those days; a mom posted about how she is exhausted that her two and half year old won’t stop moving. He’s a seeker just like the Habanero, and she was writing because she wanted some confirmation that she isn’t crazy to get upset when people say things like “he’s being two” and “he’s all boy”. Since when did being an exhausting, constantly moving… sometimes P.I.T.A become expected because of gender? This really irritates me.
Having a seeking temperament for us too means that our son is constantly moving, constantly getting into something – and always restless. Though many would claim this is pretty typical age appropriate behavior for us it is more extreme. On any given day you will find our child climbing a ladder, ripping the curtain rods out of the wall, drawing all over the house and throwing trash everywhere because he’s looking for stimulation. It is exhausting and particularly more difficult to handle when you are alone and have a second child to look after. I’m pretty sure if I were a stay at home mom I’d go crazy.
I think the average parent gets a good taste of some of what I am talking about when their kids are out of school for the summer, but multiply that. I enjoy spending time with my children but having to constantly stay on guard and one step ahead is really tiresome. Even a simple task like walking through a parking lot into a store or an appointment becomes a chore to keep my child focused enough on the task at hand to complete it. It’s a daily struggle of constant distraction and frequent mood swings.
Recently I decided to share my son’s diagnosis with my family on social media – after making my first blog post here. I am not quite sure what I was expecting, I guess you could say I wasn’t expecting anything but I wanted to raise awareness for this disorder that seems so overlooked. So I posted an image of brain activity in a person with SPD compared to Autism. So many people have heard of Autism but no one really knows what SPD is when I mention it. I thought it would be a good first post. I got all of 3 responses from my HUGE friends list of 130. 3. That’s it. I get more “oh how cute” when I post pictures of my kids.
I’m not quite sure what to think about the lack of response from my Facebook friends – as they are mostly family members. I would say probably 100 of my 130 are all family because I don’t like to randomly add those that I hardly know. I wasn’t really looking for sympathy or encouragement or even really any understanding. Just a response. Just an acknowledgement that I’m struggling with something out of the norm. I got mostly nothing…
Even questions would have been welcomed. One family member commented on my post. I guess it’s good to know that at least 1 in 130 cares! *SIGH*