My Son Isn’t Misbehaving — He Has a Sensory Processing Disorder

The school director then called me in to have a meeting about Camden’s behavior. There we were, his two classroom teachers, the director, and myself all sitting at a kiddie table when they asked if I had heard of Sensory Processing Disorder. I went home and googled things until I fell asleep. It was like we had found the missing piece of the puzzle that is Camden. We learned that SPD deals with the nervous system and is like a traffic jam in the brain. When the brain tries to communicate messages to the body about things like sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell, the child has trouble organizing all of that information into its correct responses and instead reacts inappropriately. In other words, the software and hardware are all there, but they sometimes don’t work together and cause “glitches.”

There are several types of SPD. Some children can be sensory-seekers, others are sensory-avoiders, and some are both a sensory-seeker and a sensory-avoider. If we must label Camden, he is considered a sensory-seeker. He craves deep touch and fast movement and is always running, jumping, and hopping. He seeks out deep pressure to his muscles, tendons, and joints, which is why you’ll find him crashing into a ball pit at the indoor playground or smacking himself into the padded walls of the jungle gym. Cuddling, hugging, and squeezing helps him feel more organized and focused.

Can you imagine what life must be like for him? Like someone or something else took control of your body? His sensory threshold is so high that he’s constantly looking for some kind of physical input to help him feel grounded and calm. And although he may look calm sometimes, it doesn’t mean that his body is. He’s almost always in a constant state of high arousal.

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