Sensory Processing Disorder

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A Day At The Beach With Your Sensory Sensitive Child

Making Waves: OT Tips and Tools for a Sensational Beach Trip ☀️

Going to the beach can be a fun and memorable activity for the whole family, but can also be a highly sensory experience. There are so many kiddos who WANT to enjoy time at the beach, but are hesitant because of all the sensory components involved. While the sun, sand, water, and crashing waves can seem like a great day out, if your child has auditory, visual, or tactile sensitivities, these sensations can be uncomfortable, aversive, and even downright scary.

It is important to acknowledge the challenges that neurodivergent children may face when going to the beach and to normalize the use of strategies to help them navigate this new environment. Tools such as sunglasses, water shoes, spray sunscreen (“rubbed on” vs sprayed on), rash guards, swim caps, and ear plugs can help. Preparatory heavy work activities, including deep pressure massage, digging in the sand, towel tug-of-war, and carrying heavy buckets can help your child’s nervous system receive sensory information without the overload.

Check out our latest blog post for some tips and tools you can use to help mitigate sensory challenges.

Making Waves: OT Tips and Tools for a Sensational Beach Trip...

#SensoryProcessingDisorder #Autism #AutismSpectrumDisorder

Making Waves: OT Tips and Tools for a Sensational Beach Trip ☀️ — King's Day Out

Going to the beach can be a fun and memorable activity for the whole family, but can also be a highly sensory experience. While the sun, sand, water, and crashing waves can seem like a great day out, if your child has auditory, visual, or tactile sensitivities, these sensations can be uncomfortable,
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Feeling Isolated and Excluded

I am feeling profound sadness because I am learning that my daughter is being systematically excluded from my husband's family. Despite my persistent efforts to integrate her into our extended family's social circle, she is constantly excluded from birthday parties and playdates.

Time and time again, I extended heartfelt invitations for my husband's cousins (they were all raised like siblings in the past) for them to join us and bring their children to my mother-in-law's house for my daughter and their children to have a playdate (as me, my husband and my daughter live in another city), and always invited everyone for her birthday parties. I always made it very clear that I wanted them close, and that my daughter loved to be around them. Yet, despite my repeated reminders, they consistently disregard her, almost never extending an invitation to her for their own events or celebrations.

Recently, I learned that one of their children was hosting a birthday party to which my daughter was not included. I could not understand why.

The one time she was invited, it was a bittersweet experience. She stood on the sidelines, as the parents who were hosting the party called the other children of the family together for a group photo, and simply left her out, they did not call her for the photo. During the same event, my daughter struggled with the noise and commotion of the party, and she would always ask to go to the bathroom or somewhere calm or put her hands in her ears to try to calm herself, despite the challenges, she insisted she wanted to stay because she was so happy to be included in the party. Instead of offering comfort or understanding, the grandmother of the child who was having the birthday party (my husband’s aunt) laughed at her distress.

My daughter, like my husband and myself, is neurodivergent. I can't help but wonder if her differences – her unique way of experiencing the world – are what drive this hurtful treatment.She is extremely sweet and well behaved, she just has a hard time with noise (and she gets nervous just when it is extremely loud, she attends other birthday parties of her classmates and she is completely happy). And she also has a hard time socializing, so probably her cousins don't think she’s fun to be around. But there is nothing wrong with her, it hurts as hell to realize that perhaps her adult relatives don't want her around because of her unique way. Me and my husband are not fun to be around, we are strange to most people, and I understand that the adults of the extended family don’t make an effort for us to be around, but extending that exclusion to my daughter is heartbreaking.

Does anyone have a similar experience? I am so sad and feeling so isolated by this experience, I would like to hear it from you. Thank you for your time.

#Neurodiversity #Depression #FamilyAndFriends #ADHD #Autism #SensoryProcessingDisorder

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20 Sounds I’m Sensitive To As A Person With Sensory Processing Disorder

Sounds are life. I wish I wasn’t sensitive to so many of them, but that’s the reality. I don’t know if my hearing is better than most (probably not), or whether the sound is just turned up really loud in my head. It’s embarrassing holding my left ear closed and crouching down until the sound passes during theatre rehearsal when the intercom comes on above my head, or being delayed during a fire drill because I can’t tune the noise out enough to move. It’s embarrassing being warned by your parents when there’s about to be a loud noise, and there are things it’s hard for me to do, like go outside to see the fireworks or going to a football game. There are things I love that happen to be loud (like my dog, who’s really quiet in general, but whose barks are deafening) and celebrating the Fourth of July and New Year’s because I love my country, but find fireworks hard to tolerate. In the long run, though, what matters is being with the people I care about (and making sure I’m at least not cut off from the noises that warn me from danger). I’ve learned to deal with SPD and the challenges that come with it. I have some heightened senses, and that’s okay. I’d like to give some perspective about what it’s like to live with sensory anxiety.

So here are my top 20 worst sounds (in order from worst—#1—to most tolerable—#20):

1) fireworks

2) Thunder

3) The lawnmower (when I’m near it)

4) The fire alarm

5) ice makers (sometimes)

6) really loud music or TV

7) the buzzer at volleyball, basketball, or football games

8) yelling/screaming

9) dogs barking

10) balloons

11) nail gun

12) drums or tuba

13) trucks with loud engines

14) the whistle at recess

15) the crackly Botox machine

16) microphones (sometimes)

17) cursing

18) the intercom (sometimes)

19) most ringtones turned up really loud

20) sirens

#SensoryProcessingDisorder

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When A Boy Mocked Me for My Sensory Processing Disorder

My sensory processing disorder is different than some others. It mostly manifests in eating, sound, and touch. I cannot handle anyone touching me around my shoulders or hips; it hurts too badly. Sounds are difficult to tolerate. My least favorite sounds are screaming, cursing, the fire alarm, thunder, fireworks, and balloons (to name a few). I am a picky eater, but shrimp, eggs, and marshmallows are foods I cannot stand the texture of, and most meats except for chicken and turkey.

The problem with sensory processing disorder is that it can make it hard to tolerate the world. Our world today revolves around sound. Thunder, talking, car engines, etc. are all part of our world today. Food is an important part of both family life and the world, too. My parents are endlessly patient, but because the textures of some foods are hard for me, it is hard for them to parent a picky eater (and understandably so).

In my experience, a lot of people think that sensory processing disorder is made up, but it is so very, very real. They say, “Oh, you’re being too sensitive” or “it’s just anxiety.” I am diagnosed with anxiety and am an HSP (highly sensitive person), but my struggles with sound, touch, and texture are because of SPD. Because touch bothers me so much, I got misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was 9 years old. A lot of people aren’t aware of sensory processing disorder.

This problem presents itself at school, too. Never mind the fact that at theatre rehearsal, when the intercom came on over my head, I clutched my ears and rocked back and forth until the announcement stopped. Never mind that I can’t focus during a fire drill because I have to hold my ears closed.

It all came to a head one day in choir. (I love music when it isn’t too loud—so, no rock music for me.) But I am the dorky musical theatre kid. I was unlucky enough to be seated by an extremely hyper and inconsiderate kid who was screaming across the classroom to his friends. I don’t think he has ADHD; he’s the kind of kid who talks just to hear his own voice — the problem is that he does it loudly.

After cradling my ear into my shoulder for a few minutes, I really couldn’t take it anymore. I had tried to be patient, but I just couldn’t do it.

”Um…” I said hesitantly, “can you please stop screaming? It hurts my ears.”

The boy looked at me incredulously. “I’m hurting your ears,” he repeated in that way that tells you when someone a) either doesn’t believe you or b) doesn’t care. He started talking loudly again just to spite me, screaming over to the girls in the corner, and I held my ears closed.

“Please,” I said again. “I’m sorry to have to ask this, but can you please be quiet? I have sensory processing disorder.”

The boy wrinkled his nose at me, looking like he’d just smelled something bad. “Sensory what?” he said.

“Sensory issues,” I said finally, knowing he wouldn’t understand the term sensory processing disorder. A lot of people don’t. “It means that loud noises hurt my ears.”

The boy looked interested now. “So that means it hurts when I do this?” he asked, leaning over. He came really close to me and screamed directly in my ear. I jerked away, holding my ear, a lump in my throat. I had been through bullying and teasing before due to my cerebral palsy, but this was plain mean-spirited about my sensory processing disorder.

The boy started pointing and laughing at me while I blinked back tears, trying to recover from the assault on my ears.

My goal here is that we need people to understand what sensory processing disorder is. It is real, it is important, and it is not the fault of the people who have it.

We need to raise awareness. Are you ready? I am.

#SensoryProcessingDisorder

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5 Middle-Grade Books Promoting Neurodiversity

YA books are great, but people need representation at every stage in life. Not only every stage of life, but in all walks of life. Neurodivergence is a topic that is often overlooked in children’s literature. So here is a list of 5 books tackling neurodivergence:

1. “Focused” by Alyson Gerber
Clea can't control her thoughts. She knows she has to do her homework . . . but she gets distracted. She knows she can't just say whatever thought comes into her head . . . but sometimes she can't help herself. She know she needs to focus . . . but how can she do that when the people around her are always chewing gum loudly or making other annoying noises? It's starting to be a problem—not just in school, but when Clea's playing chess or just hanging out with her best friend. Other kids are starting to notice. When Clea fails one too many tests, her parents take her to be tested, and she finds out that she has ADHD, which means her attention is all over the place instead of where it needs to be. Clea knows life can't continue the way it's been going. She's just not sure how you can fix a problem that's all in your head. But that's what she's going to have to do, to find a way to focus.

2. “Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.” Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

3. “Muffled” by Jennifer Geranni

Amelia does not like noise. In fifth grade, she has to learn to play an instrument or, as she sees it, make noise on purpose. To help Amelia cope, her father gives her a pair of earmuffs to wear. When she makes a new friend in trombone class, the two form an unlikely friendship that helps Amelia find a way to let in the noisy world she’s muffled for so long.

4. “Tune It Out” by Jamie Sumner

Lou Montgomery has the voice of an angel, or so her mother tells her and anyone else who will listen. But Lou can only hear the fear in her own voice. She’s never liked crowds or loud noises or even high fives; in fact, she’s terrified of them, which makes her pretty sure there’s something wrong with her. When Lou crashes their pickup on a dark and snowy road, child services separate the mother-daughter duo. Now she has to start all over again at a fancy private school far away from anything she’s ever known. With help from an outgoing new friend, her aunt and uncle, and the school counselor, she begins to see things differently. A sensory processing disorder isn’t something to be ashamed of, and music might just be the thing that saves Lou—and maybe her mom, too.

5. “Fifty-four Things Wrong With Gwendolyn Rogers” by Caela Carter

No one can figure out what Gwendolyn Rogers's problem is—not her mom, or her teachers, or any of the many therapists she's seen. But Gwendolyn knows she doesn't have just one thing wrong with her: she has fifty-four. At least, according to a confidential school report (that she read because she is #16. Sneaky, not to mention #13. Impulsive). So Gwendolyn needs a plan, because if she doesn't get these fifty-four things under control, she's not going to be able to go to horse camp this summer with her half-brother, Tyler. But Tyler can't help her because there's only one thing "wrong" with him: ADHD. And her best friend Hettie can't help her because there's nothing wrong with Hettie. She's perfect. So Gwendolyn is hopeless until she remembers the one thing that helped her mother when her own life was out of control. Or actually, the twelve things. Can these Twelve Steps that cured her mother somehow cure Gwendolyn too?

📚 Happy reading! Remember, everyone is valid 💖

#themightyreaders #Neurodiversity #AuditoryProcessingDisorder #SensoryProcessingDisorder #ADHD #Dyslexia #Undiagnosed

(edited)
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Middle-Grade Books Promoting Neurodiversity

YA books are great, but people need representation in every stage of life. Not only every stage of life, but in all walks of life. Neurodivergence is often ignored, especially for younger readers.

So here are some books promoting neurodiversity:

1.”Rules” by Cynthia Lord

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules—from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"—in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: “What is normal?”

2.”Rain Reign” by Ann M. Martin

Rose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his “special-needs”daughter. Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.

3.”Because of The Rabbit” by Cynthia Lord

On the last night of summer, Emma tags along with her game warden father on a routine call. They're supposed to rescue a wild rabbit from a picket fence, but instead they find a little bunny. Emma convinces her father to bring him home for the night. The next day, Emma starts public school for the very first time after years of being homeschooled. More than anything, Emma wants to make a best friend in school. But things don't go as planned. On the first day of school, she's paired with a boy named Jack for a project. He can't stay on topic, he speaks out of turn, and he's obsessed with animals. Jack doesn't fit in, and Emma's worried he'll make her stand out. Emma and Jack bond over her rescue rabbit. But will their new friendship keep Emma from finding the new best friend she's meant to have?

4.”Mockingbird” by Kathryn Erskine

In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful.

5.“A Kind of Spark” by Elle McNicoll

A neurodivergent girl campaigns for a memorial when she learns that her small Scottish town used to burn witches simply because they were different.

6.”Caterpillar Summer” by Gillian McDunn

Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond—Cat is one of the few people who can keep Chicken happy. When he has a "meltdown" she's the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She's the one who knows what Chicken needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat has been the glue holding her family together. But even the strongest glue sometimes struggles to hold. When a summer trip doesn't go according to plan, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they never knew. For the first time in years, Cat has the opportunity to be a kid again, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken or strained relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another's shoes.

7.”Muffled” by Jennifer Gennari

Amelia does not like noise. In fifth grade, she has to learn to play an instrument or, as she sees it, make noise on purpose. To help Amelia cope, her father gives her a pair of earmuffs to wear. When she makes a new friend in trombone class, the two form an unlikely friendship that helps Amelia find a way to let in the noisy world she’s muffled for so long.

8.”Tune It Out” by Jamie Sumner

Lou Montgomery has the voice of an angel, or so her mother tells her and anyone else who will listen. But Lou can only hear the fear in her own voice. She’s never liked crowds or loud noises or even high fives; in fact, she’s terrified of them, which makes her pretty sure there’s something wrong with her. When Lou crashes their pickup on a dark and snowy road, child services separate the mother-daughter duo. Now she has to start all over again at a fancy private school far away from anything she’s ever known. With help from an outgoing new friend, her aunt and uncle, and the school counselor, she begins to see things differently. A sensory processing disorder isn’t something to be ashamed of, and music might just be the thing that saves Lou—and maybe her mom, too.

9.”Focused” by Alyson Gerber

Clea can't control her thoughts. She knows she has to do her homework . . . but she gets distracted. She knows she can't just say whatever thought comes into her head . . . but sometimes she can't help herself. She know she needs to focus . . . but how can she do that when the people around her are always chewing gum loudly or making other annoying noises? It's starting to be a problem—not just in school, but when Clea's playing chess or just hanging out with her best friend. Other kids are starting to notice. When Clea fails one too many tests, her parents take her to be tested, and she finds out that she has ADHD, which means her attention is all over the place instead of where it needs to be. Clea knows life can't continue the way it's been going. She's just not sure how you can fix a problem that's all in your head. But that's what she's going to have to do, to find a way to focus.

10.”Fifty-four Things Wrong With Gwendolyn Rogers” by Caela Carter

No one can figure out what Gwendolyn Rogers's problem is--not her mom, or her teachers, or any of the many therapists she's seen. But Gwendolyn knows she doesn't have just one thing wrong with her: she has fifty-four. At least, according to a confidential school report (that she read because she is #16. Sneaky, not to mention #13. Impulsive). So Gwendolyn needs a plan, because if she doesn't get these fifty-four things under control, she's not going to be able to go to horse camp this summer with her half-brother, Tyler. But Tyler can't help her because there's only one thing "wrong" with him: ADHD. And her best friend Hettie can't help her because there's nothing wrong with Hettie. She's perfect. So Gwendolyn is hopeless until she remembers the one thing that helped her mother when her own life was out of control. Or actually, the twelve things. Can these Twelve Steps that cured her mother somehow cure Gwendolyn too?

📚 Happy reading! Remember, everyone is valid! 💖

#themightyreaders #Neurodiversity #AutismSpectrumDisorder #AspergersSyndrome #AuditoryProcessingDisorder #SensoryProcessingDisorder #ADHD #Undiagnosed

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Hello 👋

Hello everyone. I’m new here. I’ve been battling a severe depression for over 9 months. I have sensory processing disorder, ADHD, OCD, Bipolar 2 and GAD. Since I’ve been in this depression, it’s like my other issues are worse. I’ve been in torment and am exhausted from it. I’ve tried so many different medications and so far, none have brought me out. I’m praying that the current meds work. #Depression #Bipolar #ADHD #GAD #SPD #OCD

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Hello 👋

Hello everyone. I’m new here. I’ve been battling a severe depression for over 9 months. I have sensory processing disorder, ADHD, OCD, Bipolar 2 and GAD. Since I’ve been in this depression, it’s like my other issues are worse. I’ve been in torment and am exhausted from it. I’ve tried so many different medications and so far, none have brought me out. I’m praying that the current meds work. #Depression #Bipolar #ADHD #GAD #SPD #OCD

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Disability & Fan Expo

Hi, I'm an autistic person with pain conditions. I'm planning on going to Fan Expo in the summer and I couldn't find out whether or not OTC pain medication would be allowed to be brought (something like Tylenol, Excedrin Migraine, that sort of thing)?

And if anyone has any other tips/advice for being autistic and going to Fan Expo, that would be also much appreciated. I'm already starting my game plan for going to this event.

#AutismSpectrumDisorder #Autism #AutismSpectrum #Migraine #Headache #SocialAnxiety #SocialAnxietyDisorder #SensoryProcessingDisorder

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