I was asked to provide some more information about SPD and what those of you who love Joshua can do to be more understanding of his needs. I am all too happy to help.
What is SPD? That is a hard question to answer. I do have a favorite website that is a great resource for me to answer this question. http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/join-us/ Feel free to check it out if you would like to. It gives alot of good information.
Another great resource is http://theinclusivechurch.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/5-things-to-know-about-the-mother-of-a-child-with-autism-part-1/. I really like her posts.
Personally, SPD means that we have a hard time dealing with crowds of people. Things get too loud and it is difficult to deal with. The typical reactions are usually either to cry or start trying to yell louder than the noise. Sounds like this can literally cause pain to the ears of a child with SPD. So, if you see us avoid crowds or have to make a quick exit you will know why.
Some children with SPD also have unusual behaviors such as rocking or spinning. They don’t get enough “sensation” from thier environment, so these things are done to get more sensations. In our family, we do occupational therapy to help with this. Some of the things we do are brushing therapy, to help desensitize Joshua’s skin, as he is hypersensitive to touching. As with loud sounds, touching can actually hurt. He prefers to be touched with a strong hold verses light touches.
Another challenge for some is walking and talking as a result. You might notice that Joshual is catching up in these areas, and we are working diligently in both areas. He has made some great progress recently with motor skills, and we will start speech therapy soon.
One mom of a child with SPD said that her son has “super powers”. I totally agree. Kids with SPD have super senses, and that can be a good thing and a bad thing, as you can imagine. All children are made unique by God and are given certain gifts and abilities. Each person’s weakness can also be thier strength.