My sensory problems

The sensory system of a child who has suffered a brain injury at birth is likely to continue to be at a more immature stage of development, compared to that of a child, without an injured brain.

Because I have Cerebral Palsy I deal with abnormal sensory perceptions, which means my senses are dulled, distorted and amplified in one or more of the sensory modalities. Throughout my life I have always been aware and consider myself immature in most stages of development compared to my peers with an uninjured brain.

There are two areas that are involved in these sensory changes:

Sensory over-amplification: For those of us who deal with sensory over-amplification may have one or more of the symptoms associated with their particular problem. It’s the person who hates bright lights. A child with sensory over-amplification will avoid physical contact and might detest certain fabrics or textures.

Sensory under-amplification: is where not enough visual auditory and tactile messages are being processed by the brain. This person will appear not to notice some or all sounds, or in other cases it is the child who is fascinated by loud noises. These children are separated by a sensory system, which dampens down incoming sensory information.

Auditory integration problems are the same. The child hears what you say, but the brain doesn’t process it in a way that is considered normal. It may take several minutes for what you have said to “click” with that person and for what’s been said to make sense and in some cases a different interpretation will be indicated.

Of course, this is different from having a physical inability to see and hear things. When a child has a visual processing deficit, it means that they have a hard time finding the words for objects they are viewing. Sometimes if they are asked to go get an object, they might look right at it and then say they can’t find it.

It’s how the brain processes the information it receives. The problem lies not with our own difficulties, because we cope with them, but with other people’s perceptions and frustrations on what we get to deal with. Although I can understand other people’s frustrations, it is clear a lack of understanding on their part will make things much harder for people like me who have issues to deal with.

Because we haven’t signed up for what we deal with, others should at least demonstrate a little understanding and compassion so that they try to understand, what it is we have to deal with.


18 Jan, 2015

2 thoughts on “My sensory problems

  1. My son has sensory processing disorder. He and we cope fairly well with it.

    We’ve learned how he “operates” and adjust when we need to. He is a visual learner and very smart when it comes to academics.

    His problem lies in the frontal lobe of his brain. He doesn’t have good judgment, especially when it comes to danger. He would run out in the road if he could and he doesn’t understand that he can hurt others.

    He also has ASD, ADHD, and ODD. One of our main problems right now is potty training. He is 7 and still in diapers. He just doesn’t understand the whole going om the potty thing.

    Good post Ilana. Lots of good information.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I certainly resonate with what your son has to cope with.

      My sensory difficulties cause me all sorts of difficulties in every day life that would not be experienced by someone without those difficulties. My brain processes information in a different way and in some cases fails to process information altogether.

      It’s wonderful that you know how your son operates. I believe that’s half the battle and part of the problem for others when those close to them don’t understand the signs.

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