I was sitting her clicking on my computer and I checked an email from someone. It was from someone I did not know but who was signing up to order my book. You see she has a daughter with Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD. But the email read further that although she was a teacher, if someone had not told her about SPD, she would not have known about it, and isn’t such a relief to know you are not alone, or really a bit crazy for thinking that something is just not right about how your child is able to handle things. This email got me thinking, yet again, just how bi-polar the area of SPD and its co-morbid disorder of dyspraxia can be. There are those who know nothing of it, be them educators, therapists, support staff in the schools or even relatives or those that know TOO much. and that would fall into the area of parents and caregivers who, on a daily basis, are immersed in these disorders.
For those in the latter group, we know just how hard life for our special children can be and we want nothing more than to help them grow, learn and succeed. Sometimes we advocate for them, other times we stay just a bit ahead of them to smooth down any rough patches before they get to them and even other times we hug them and wipe away tears when life simply gets to be too much for them to handle.
For those in this latter group, myself being one of them, I want so much to reach out to the other side, to the OTHER group. I want so much to help them become aware of these disorders. To be able to see them in young children, older children, such as Elizabeth and even in adults, who may have grown up knowing something was wrong with them but not finding out until late in life.
I want so much to reach them because aren’t they the very people who will be side by side with our children in this thing called life? To have awareness raised and basic knowledge of these disorders shared can make all the difference for these special people who work so hard at life.
An opportunity to educate arrived today in the form of homework for Elizabeth’s health class. They are talking about stress and anxiety, along with time wasters that can result in disorganization and ultimately more stress. The homework asks questions such as “What stressors do you have everyday?” ” What things make you anxious” “What time wasters are you most guilty of that my be causing you un-do stress/anxiety? What are some solutions? This homework got me thinking….how can we answer these questions without explaining the disorder she has and how they affect her life? I just now asked Elizabeth if she would mind if I sent in more detailed information about her disorders, her life and struggles as perhaps, a platform for her teacher to understand HER stress, the stress and anxiety that SPD brings. Elizabeth said yes, so after I finish this blog, I am going to do that next.
I know, you know and anyone living a life with a person affected by SPD know how much work it can be from the time they get up until they go to sleep and even sleep can be affected, but sometimes, I must admit, I forget just how hard it is. I forget because Elizabeth has a good day or succeeds at a new task and then I rejoice, hug her and say a prayer but in all that I sometimes I forget the depth of the work she did to do these things.
If I can forget and like you, am living it daily, imagine how easy it is for those who only see her one hour a day. That is why it is so important to reach out to the OTHER group, to use any opportunity to help them understand. Because understanding will help to open many avenues for our children. Let us help them to learn, and remember.