Having Cerebral Palsy and sensory issues combined, means there are days where I feel I’m struggling slightly.
I still have the usual stresses made all the more difficult because of combined sensory issues, but I will explain in more detail how SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) interferes with my every day issues, which those around me find non-challenging every day issues.
We all know about the 5 senses. Sight, sounds, smell, taste and touch. I am affected by four of those senses, but add to those senses, Proprioceptive System (muscle/joint movement where body is in space), Vestibular system (balance) and Interoceptive system (state of internal organs). I deal with six of those senses.
The wiring of an SPD brain is different. For anyone who struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder, these Disorders are non-negotiable and don’t present in the same way for everyone. Occupational Therapist A. Jean Ayres noted that ‘SPD is like a neurological traffic jam in which the senses don’t work properly,’ particularly if challenges aren’t dealt with or met swiftly.
We’re constantly using our senses and where those senses happen simultaneously, all of which are vying for our attention, it’s easy to become irritable or emotional, particularly when we have too many sensory processing issues to deal with. Sensory Processing Disorder co-exists alongside most or all of my senses and therefore it’s easy for those senses to become automatically heightened.
Any SPD issue will challenge an emotional response. For me it’s always a response of panic and irritation as my thoughts and senses begin to spiral out of control and issues begin to feel out of my depth. While spending many years failing to understand and grasp my issues, those around me tend to see no problem with my struggles.
For those like me who carry the burden of SPD, we’re often seen as awkward and irrational, making a mountain out of a molehill on some of our issues, where in reality, we play hostage to issues that need addressing when they arise and can’t rest until those issues have been sorted out and mentally cleared.
Others have very little understanding of these facts, but still go on to form opinions. In the meantime I have to cover all angles just to get through the day and to avoid illness. It’s a balancing act, not always easily achieved. I have to plan ahead, everything has to be just right or illness sets in.
All the details pertaining to any issue I have highlighted by SPD must be ironed out and cleared when they arise, so that I begin to feel comfortable again, without the need for panic.