Having cerebral palsy and sensory issues combined, means there are days where I struggle. 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 everyday issues, which those around me without SPD, may find non-challenging every day issues.
We all know about the 5 senses, sight, sounds, smell, taste and touch. My SPD affects four of those senses. The wiring of an SPD brain is different. For anyone who struggles with SPD these disorders are non-negotiable and don’t present in the same way for everyone.
The best description I have read, is by Occupational Therapist A. Jean Ayres PhD, who likens SPD to a ‘neurological traffic jam’ in which certain parts of the brain don’t receive the information needed to correctly interpret sensory information. For anyone who has SPD if challenges aren’t dealt with or met swiftly it would be easy for them to panic.
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 panicked, particularly when we have too many sensory processing issues to deal with. SPD co-exists alongside most or all of my senses and therefore it’s easy for those senses to become 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. Whilst I spent many years failing to understand and grasp my issues, it felt like those around me saw 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 addressed and mentally cleared.
Others have very little understanding of the facts, but may still sometimes go on to form opinions. In the meantime, I must 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 can set in.
For me all the details relating to any issue I have highlighted by SPD, must be ironed out and cleared up when they arise, so that I begin to feel comfortable again, so that I can initially avoid the feeling of panic.