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

We feel somewhat satisfied knowing that we aren’t bad parents who just didn’t discipline well, but instead finally have a reason for his behaviors and have a plan. Before I understood what SPD was, I was always making excuses for my son’s behavior. He may look like an out of control little boy to you, but he’s trying his best to give his body what it’s asking for. What you don’t see are those quiet, gentle moments at bedtime when he snuggles up close to me and says, “I love you, Mommy.” You don’t see the way he softly pats his baby brother’s head and says, “Aww,” as he bends down and gives him a kiss. And you don’t see the way he runs at full speed into his dad’s arms each night yelling, “Daddy!” as he walks through the door from a long day at work.

Camden is a bright, intelligent, and compassionate little boy — a little boy we finally understand in a way we never did before. SPD isn’t a disease, it isn’t a learning disability, and it won’t affect his development. He’ll grow up and may never even remember this time of his life. But I hope the next time you see another child having a public meltdown or crying hysterically because their foot accidentally touched the sand or playing too aggressively at the museum’s water table, consider that maybe they’re not just misbehaving, but rather dealing with an invisible disorder. Camden is a little different, but being different is OK. The diagnosis does not define who he is. We’re on this new journey together, and we’re now seeing the world with new eyes.

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