Living With A Child With Sensory Processing Disorder

As I currently sit here typing I listen to the normal humdrum of my apartment. Things like a neglected dripping faucet left on by one of the children. The Xbox blaring from my two preteen sons bedroom. The low humming of my refrigerator. And then there is the constant little squeal,beep or high pitched screech that my middle son, let’s call him middle for convenience sake,who is living with autism and sensory processing disorder. He was diagnosed about 3 years ago and we have been learning the ins and outs about this disorder ever since. Actually I’ve been aware that “something was off” for quite some time, not even realizing what an uphill battle we would face with my beloved bighearted little man.

I thought that I would share a little bit about living with someone who experiences day to day life with this and what it’s like to raise a tiny human with this interesting neurological condition. I have found myself researching for hours learning about what it is that makes him act the way he does and how to properly deal with all the baggage this carries along with it. Going back to the high pitched squeals coming from the boys bedroom ever couple of minutes. I don’t really notice so much anymore but sometimes I sit and take it in and I wonder how the teachers or other students at school must feel having to try to learn alongside him. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be for them. I do however get to feel the wrath of how frustrating and isolating it can be for my poor middle.

He makes these noises when he gets overwhelmed with emotions, and it can be any emotion, happy, sad, anxious or angry which is usually the worst. This really loud noise also comes with a twitching of his shoulders and neck which makes his head cock back while he makes a strange face. It is completely uncontrollable on his part. Sometimes when he is actually conscious that he is doing it he will try to be quieter but that seems harder for him to do and I would rather him not feel like he’s being annoying or can’t be himself anyhow. So I try my hardest not to say too much as I now understand why he’s doing it. I however can not go into his class each year and explain these phsycological differences to these other children who are obviously annoyed and distracted by him, rightfully so.

It is hard to watch my pride and joy try to feel included and belong to groups and be himself. Acceptance is not something children learn easily. I’m grateful to the handful of friends that Middle has met and stayed close with over the years. We have been lucky to live in the same house in the same little community for their whole school lives. My three children all go to the same school and have since kindergarten so the staff and teachers know them well. The school has been one of my biggest advocaters and supporters when it comes to Middle’s journey. I couldn’t be more thankful to them.

This isn’t to say that Middle has a bad day every day or no friends at all. He does have the handful of friends that heinfrequently brings into my home with him here or there.He also likes to follow his older brother and little sister around and their friends seem to tolerate him usually. Than there are the other days, the darker ones, where he sits alone playing with his lego building immaculate masterpieces to obsess over for months to come. I watch my child, sitting contentedly in solitude, and ponder if he will have a true life one day. A normal career, a wife or raising children almost seem so far out of reach for him. I stop and remind myself of all the amazing people that live with Autism that have some pretty amazing accomplishments under their belts and it raises my spirits a little.

  • Dan Aykroyd – Comedic Actor.
  • Hans Christian Andersen – Children’s Author.
  • Benjamin Banneker – African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer.
  • Susan Boyle – Singer.
  • Tim Burton – Movie Director.
  • Lewis Carroll – Author of “Alice in Wonderland”
  • Henry Cavendish – Scientist
Did you know the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas was diagnosed with autism.? Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas earned 91.5 since it’s been produced in 1993.

I wonder if he realizes that he doesn’t have as many friends or go out as much as his siblings. He really doesn’t mind most of the time. Or at least I can’t tell if he does. He usually prefers to be alone working on lego or shaping clay into some pretty cool things. He is so talented at things like that. He loves his game systems as well. Mostly Minecraft building his own worlds and creations to show off to me or his brother. He doesn’t even play online with people. He can. He just doesn’t for the most part. I like my alone time, actually would give my left arm for just 10 minutes of peace and quiet most days, but I don’t like not being invited or people avoiding me because I make weird noises or act a bit differently.

I have always told him that he can do whatever he puts his brilliant mind to and he believes me too. Even if I doubt my words at times I don’t think that child ever does. He tells me he’s going to be an Astro engineer and work for NASA when he grows up. He knows so many facts about planets and space that it simply blows me away. There’s another thing about him. When he likes something he becomes completely obsessive with it. He learns everything he can about it and loves to tell everyone all about what he has learned. This child comes out with the awesomest facts during conversations that I have no idea how he knows or where he learned it. First it was Thomas the train and all things trains, we have probably about 150 little trains and all the accessories, and then we did dinosaurs so I know all about the brachiosaurus and why he had a smaller brain. He also made a trek noise and held his arms in like a tree thrusting his head forward growling while he went through this phase. Now it’s NASA and outer space. It’s been this way for about two years now, and he has added so much to his collection like all of the planets done in paper mache and a replica of one of the space shuttles. I embrace this part of it. I truly enjoy learning so much from him and his unique perspective.

I have learned to choose my battles with middle when it comes to food and eating, I try to always offer him healthy fruits and vegetables but usually have to sneak them in sparatically hoping and praying he doesn’t notice which he usually does. He’s very picky and gets obsessed with particular foods. Peanut butter sandwiches and grilled cheese with tomato soup are his favs right now. He won’t eat pasta or rice. He doesn’t like hamburger unless it’s in certain hamburger helper or actual burgers. He loves chicken nuggets but won’t eat chicken unless it’s canned or lunch meat. He loves grapes and cucumbers. He will also eat eggs for me, only scrambled though. It’s difficult to buy groceries in my home that’s for sure! He would survive on ensure and Doritos if I let him I’m pretty sure!

Have I covered most of it yet? Oh yea his sleeping patterns. This kid loves his sleep. Even more so than his junk food and that says a lot as his favorite food group is Doritos and Cake! His brain doesn’t shut off so he can sleep however until at least 2:00 am. He rolls back and forth humming to himself. He gets up to go to the bathroom 20 times, each time I fear a new shampoo bottle has been opened and poured into a random spot, likely a tub toy I won’t find for a week. He tells me stories either standing beside my bed as I type away looking up every cpl mins to take in his important points or he will yell them through the tiny hallway until I respond by either yelling at him to go to sleep and then feel guilty the rest of the night. Or just give in and listen pretending to be interested. I know he will not stop telling me until he gets his point across so I may as well just listen to the stories and take in his uniqueness.In the morning waking him up is a whole other episode. Every single day! I literally have to stand him up out of his bed and start to dress him myself most days because he is too busy complaining and will make the whole house late. The smallest inconvenience sets him off and he whines for hours. So needless to say I usually have clothes all laid out and lunches made the night before in case he finds some sort of inconsistency and needs it changed.

Being a mother to a child with autism and sensory processing disorder has been a very difficult journey filled with many nights of tears shed, researching without a real idea as to what I actually wanted to know, and very little guidance. Sure there are Drs that give us a little guidance but it’s not like they are here for the day to day stuff so they can tell you how to react or that these habits are normal for a child with autism. I have to figure that stuff out all by myself. It gets stressful and truly hard not only on the mind and heart but on the pockets. Buying all those special groceries that he has decided is the only thing the food groups consist of for the month. Not to mention all of the newest obsession toys, games, clothes and movies that he will have a meltdown over if he doesn’t get.

It has also been a learning experience and taught me to love someone unconditionally and that to me is worth all the fear, money and research in the world. I could do without the heartache I feel deeply for my isolated little sweet boy. But honestly I don’t even think he notices half of the things I’m worried or stressing about. He is doing just fine with his space obsession and unique tics. As long as his family listens to him and includes him, which we always do, he is the happiest boy I know. His beaming smile and energetic go get them attitude shows this in his day to day life eagerly.

That makes me wonder if the worries I have aren’t the same for him because these are things that society has made me believe in. Only the future will tell and I hope you guys will be here to follow Middles journey with me. He truly is amazing and I can’t wait to show off his talents and make him feel like he has his own special place on the web to do so! We’re excited to share our Autism/Sensory Processing disorder story with the world! Thanks for being here from Middle and myself! And remember always be your unique self! Nobody can do it quite like you do!


Published by kristaiswriting

Writer, Mother of three, Wanderlust Soul, Freelancer, Blogger, Cat Lover, Sharing my Journey

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