Luke is my 2nd to youngest. He was the one we thought was going to be our last, because he was the last one we “planned” for.
He is smart, and funny, and wild. He has eyes so dark, you cannot tell where the pupil ends and the iris begins, and the most beautiful dark curly head of hair.
He is my mama’s boy, through and through.
Yesterday, after almost 2 years of evaluations, pediatric neurologists, child psychologists, occupational therapists, & applied behavioral therapists, we finally received an Official Diagnosis.
My amazing little boy has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
SPD is something I have heard very little about.
It’s sort of difficult to explain, but I’ll try.
Basically, people with SPD can receive sensory stimuli but they perceive it differently than the “average” person.
For example: A dim light can be blinding, a muted voice can be ear-piercingly loud, a playful tickle can be painful, or a burn or cut can be painless. Something that seems fun like a birthday party can be so over-stimulating that the person with SPD completely shuts down, unable to speak or process any more information. They might retreat to a quiet dark corner, or they might just start screaming and flailing from sensory overload.
Since our Luke was born, we have known that he was different than the other kids. As a baby he cried more, was harder to soothe. He didn’t like tummy time and couldn’t hold his head up until a lot later than the other kids had. We needed assistance with nursing for his first few months and he’s still not easy to feed. He only eats certain foods because other foods “feel funny in his mouth”. When barefoot, he toe-walks.
He’s easily agitated by the smallest things. At 5 yrs old he still sometimes cries when I vacuum.
He’s never slept well. I personally think he just prefers the quiet & calm of night time, as opposed to the lights & sounds that abound during the day.
He doesn’t like to play in groups, or with kids who have big personalities or are more wild than others.
Luke hates being dressed- even the softest cotton t-shirts feel scratchy on his skin. He is very easily overwhelmed. Trips to the grocery store sometimes end in him just laying down in the middle of an aisle, unable to take any more. He spins to soothe himself, he hops & flaps his hands. He can’t stand the sun in his eyes, even on an overcast day he will ask for sunglasses. He can’t sit in an average chair and he’ll tell you it hurts to sit down.
He may have SPD but that is not all there is to Luke. He really is amazing. He’s been labeled Gifted and pretty much everyone that meets him falls instantly in love. He can add 3 digit numbers, read to himself, and he knows every word to almost every Beatles song 🙂 He is loving, and compassionate and is the best sharer out of all of our kids.
All these little things add up to make life a little more interesting for Luke, and for the rest of us.
But he is my Lukey, and I am just so happy to know more about what is going on in his brain.
I’m not going to be sad about this diagnosis, because now we will be able to really get the tools we need to help him live a happy, successful life. And that’s a good thing.
I’ve never really done a personal post like this, and I wasn’t sure if I should. But maybe there will be somebody out there who reads this and says “Me, too!”. If you are that person, or know somebody who is, please contact me. Support & advice & resources would be so appreciated.