Taste, Touch, Sight, Sound, Smell, and SPD

Dear Oliver,

Thinking back to when I first met you.  When I had no clue that you would be so incredibly interesting, intense, and dare I say…different.  Thing is, I love different.  I love things that are not quite what people expect.  I love people who think differently and who are out of the ordinary.  I want to write to you about something called sensory processing disorder or SPD.  Most people who are autistic have this and it’s an interesting disorder that affects the senses.  You can read about it here http://www.spdfoundation.net/about-sensory-processing-disorder.html.

There are children who are referred to as sensory seekers and that is where you fit in.  You cannot get enough.  You taste everything, you touch everything, you look at new things at every angle possible (even upside down), you spin and love to be upside down or twirled around.  You can’t get enough of the feeling of where your body is in space.  You climb on every thing and try to figure out how everything works.  It’s like everything on earth is completely new to you everytime you see it no matter how many times you see it.  Life if so intense for you.  You can make anything spin.  You are the most magnetic little person I have ever encountered and sometimes it can be overwhelming to the point of feeling so helpless that tears fall steady down my cheeks because I know that there is nothing I can do to help you when you are lost.  There is no way to show you how to use a fork because you just can’t sit and watch.  You do not mimic me and if I try to engage in an activity with you, leave me and go do your own thing and I am left to watch you play with your toys your way which is the right way baby.  This leads me to therapy…

Thursday you have an appointment to meet with the occupational, speech, and behaviorial therapists.  They will be coming to the house to teach you and hopefully you will be able to tell me that you love me one day.  You do come hug me and let me hold you which I cherish immensely.  I am afraid though.  I am afraid that they may change you into someone the world wants you to be and not the Oliver that you are.  I am afraid you might act out and start having meltdowns which are very rare right now.  I don’t want you to change Oliver.  I let you be who you are because that is the way God made you.  I do want you to talk and learn to do things other children can do, but ONLY if you want to!  I love you just the way you are and I am praying that putting you in therapy is the right thing to do.  I don’t want to let you down.  Slowly you have been coming around and doing things that you would never normally do.  Eye contact is more frequent and touch in the form of hugs are daily.  You are making more sounds and you even sing.  I think I am doing a great job with you by not forcing you and letting you come into your own.

I need you to know that I am not getting you therapists to force you to fit into society the way the world says you should be.  I am doing it because I want to help you and connect with you.  I want to understand.  The backyard is your garden.  We planted all kind of beautiful plants and trees.  There are signs out there and a rock with your hand print on it.  There is a pool and a sandbox.  It’s your sanctuary.  Like you walk through the looking-glass into your wonderland.  You love it out there.  Yesterday an ant caught your eye and you tried to make it stop moving.  It eventually went into a crack in the cement and you were looking at that crack so desperately trying to get your friend to come out of hiding. Oliver don’t you ever change.  One day we will live by the sea and the sound of the waves will be there to calm you when things get intense.  I will be there with you holding your hand even if it’s spiritually.  I love you Oliver.





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