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  • Writer's pictureMarlena

The many faces of SPD

This is what SPD looks like in my house daily. I cut his hair to avoid the issues at the salon, when possible. As long as he wants it fully buzzed off, I do it. If he wants a special cut, then we have the discussion about the salon and why he has to let a professional do it. To save the stress for him, and me, he opts for a buzz cut when the weather is warmer. When it is cooler, he will go forever without a hair cut to avoid the stress.

Then there are the days that he wants to seek input in various ways. A lot of times it is through bouncing and crashing. Sometimes he wants to cuddle. He seeks input to his body as a way to calm down and keep his body regulated. The OT referred to this as proprioceptive input. (If you don’t know anything about the 8 senses we have, proprioception is one of them. People with SPD sometimes have a hard time regulating this particular sense.) My son is a seeker and an avoider. This means, at times, he seeks, or craves, input to his body through any means he can get it, even ones that aren’t safe. He will jump off of things, run into things, spin, bounce, cuddle as a means to receive input, etc. But, he’s also an avoider. At times, he will hide and curl up inside blankets or hoods, cuddle as a means to escape or calm, wear headphones, etc. I have to pay attention to his cues and be very in tune with him to avoid a meltdown in situations. These are things that take time and have taken me years and a lot of reading and research, as well as conversations with doctors to learn how to do. BUT...most importantly, I learned most of this through my instincts and following his lead. SPD is hard. It is not medically recognized as a stand alone diagnosis. I know people think I’m crazy. I know they think I’m a helicopter mom. I know they think I’m making these things up. But I don’t care. This isn’t about them. It’s about him. His happiness and his future are everything. And that’s all that matters.

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