10 Lessons I Learned While Parenting Through Sensory Processing Disorder

It’s been eight years since a team of therapists from early intervention diagnosed my oldest son with a sensory processing disorder. Before that evaluation, I had never heard of sensory processing disorder or the acronym SPD. At that point in my life, my family life was so chaotic. Most nights I would get into bed feeling utterly exhausted and defeated. I felt hopeless!

Today, our world is totally different. My oldest son has gone from severe SPD with a major speech delay to pretty much like any other typical fifth-grade boy who loves to talk. (My daughter says that he is making up for those four years he didn’t speak.) My youngest son was also diagnosed with SPD when he was 18 months old, and today he no longer exhibits symptoms.

In the past six years, I have talked to thousands of families from all over the world through my nonprofit, SPD Parent Zone. A majority of those families are just starting out their journeys and feeling the same hopelessness that I had felt after my son was diagnosed. I started SPD Parent Zone so I could make it a little bit easier for those who followed in my footsteps. I wanted to provide them with answers and hope. Here are lessons I’ve learned that I share with those families:

1. Believe in your child.

All that our children need is for one person to believe in them. I always felt that if I didn’t believe in my children then no one else would. Sometimes it’s going to be very hard to believe, but keep on believing. Even if your situation looks extremely hopeless, continue to believe. Believe in their diagnosis, not their prognosis. Believe they are more than their labels. Keep pushing forward, blocking out all the negative comments from other people that don’t understand. Remarkable changes will happen. Believe that it is possible. When you believe, you begin to take action. When you take action, you bust down those walls. The most important of all — when they see you believe in them, they will begin to believe in themselves. That’s when the miracles happen!

2. Believe in yourself.

Always trust your intuition. We intuitively know that something just doesn’t feel right with our children. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of it, and other times well-meaning people like doctors or family can cause us to stray from our intuition. No matter what, always trust in that feeling. The doctors and teachers are experts, but you are the expert when it comes to your child. No one knows your child better than you do. Trust in that and act on it…the sooner, the better.

3. Surround yourself with people that understand your child.

This is a biggie. I’ve found the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” to be so true. Finding that village can sometimes be very hard, but if you keep searching you will find them. It took our family a couple of years to find the right school and team of people for our children.  When we found those people, our children began to instantly thrive. These people are out there and they will make your life so much better. If you are having trouble, check out the STAR Institute’s Treatment Directory for a list of the experts who live in your area.

It’s also extremely important to surround yourself with people who understand you and what you are going through. There are countless families all over the world going through the same situations you are going through. You are not alone, and you are not crazy; you are amazing! You can learn valuable lessons from those people. If you’re having problems finding these people, please contact me anytime. I’m more than happy to help you find them.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *