Dexter Has Sensory Processing Disorder

So Dex has SPD.
If you’re wondering what that is here is the long version : Sensory Processing Disorder explained
But basically what it means is that his brain doesn’t process the input in the “normal” way so appropriate reactions don’t always occur.
He has very poor body awareness.
He has very low self esteem.
He has some serious anxiety.

My beautiful, little four year old.

In a way it’s a relief because I knew something was going on.
And then it’s heartbreaking, thinking of all the things he will go through that he doesn’t understand.
Like when he comes home from daycare and tells me that he just wanted to love his friend today but his friend wanted to love someone else and didn’t play with him.
Or when someone picks on him for eating his favourite food. It is so much more than kids being kids.

I know he’ll be fine.
I know he is smart and clever and all those things.

But you can’t help but think “That’s my little boy. What happened? Why does he have low self esteem? did I not praise him enough?”

And when you tell a family member and they tell you that they’re “not judging, but it’s probably because you like to play video games so you don’t get outside enough with him.”

I didn’t get a manager’s position at work that I applied for.

It’s just one of those times where everything feels like it’s piling up.


15 thoughts on “Dexter Has Sensory Processing Disorder

  1. For what it’s worth, you and Pat are two of the most active parents I know. There is nothing wrong with having hobbies and people need to back off.
    I hope you’re OK. Dex is a fabulous boy 🙂 xx

  2. Oh love. 2 of mine have APD (straight Auditory Processing Disorder), which includes some similar issues with emotions and interacting with peers thanks to the inability to process sounds and words correctly anf quickly. It’s a struggle. Feel for you xxx

  3. I know things seem difficult right now, but just know that he is so lucky to have you as his mother because you will never stop loving and appreciating him for who he is, and that is why everything will turn out just fine

  4. Jess, Dex is one of the most beautiful, charming little boys I have ever met in my life. SPD or not, he is going to turn out just fine.

    Sending you love from across the sea!

  5. So true what they have said Jess. Im proud that you are the mother of my grandchildren. I know some days are hard, & I wish we lived to closer to give you a break. Once I sort my stuff out, maybe they can visit one weekend a month or so. I would love to have them xxxx

  6. My eldest son has SPD and was diagnosed age 4. There were so many DR appointments, so much worry and was an extremely emotional time. It was so hard on us and him.

    People don’t understand and it is so painful when family members are unsupportive or just think it is a discipline issue.

    My husband and I worked really hard to make sure that SPD issues were separated from naughty behaviour and that the first were addressed through developing his coping skills.

    It is so hard but you always have to be their advocate and support them in everything they do.


    • That’s the biggest thing I’ve found! Family think I just tolerate “naughty” behavior because if he “goes to have a sook or something like that” they just tell him if he is going to be like that he can go home. Obviously he wants to stay and play so he tries extra hard and being “good” And just dealing with all the extra stuff means his little brain has a meltdown at home when he gets home but they don’t see that.
      They think it’s just me.

  7. My son was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum and I spent a lot of time reading up on … well, The Whole Internet. SPD fit the bill for him in a few ways – pretty much covers things for him to be honest. My personal feeling is that currently ASD gets you funding pathways that SPD itself wouldn’t (which has pros and cons) and I STRUGGLED with the emotions that followed. Did I create this in him? Was it because I was on medication during pregnancy? Do I make babies that are a ‘bit broken’? Then I worried a lot about his social skills and future anxiety. I really did a number on myself. But it came from a pure place, because I love him so much. As with you and Dex. Family said, “Well, you always let him play on the iPhone” or my favourite, “He’s got you so worked out. What a faker!” and I was heartbroken even when I knew it was bull! My son is sweet, smart and we are as close as a mother and son can be. I bet you and Dex are the same. We know how much you love him. It’s good to share the fears, I think. Good on you. I hope it feels better when people reach out, mate. Best wishes xxx

    • Thank you ❤
      I have definitely learned that for every short sighted response to this there are hundreds of parents that will rally to my defense.

      I knew that he was. I've known for a while now so I'm okay with it.
      The self esteem thing is hard because I feel like that part is my responsibility but I know that's not what's happening here so I'm trying really hard.
      I was talking to the OT today and to be honest I've read up on adults with SPD and I fit the bill to a tee. Anxiety, depression, feelings of alienation and all the rest of it.
      I asked my Mum all through my childhood and well into my teens to take me to see someone because I didn't feel things the way other people did and I just didn't feel right.
      She always brushed it off. I guess now I know why. When I was talking to the Ot today about it – she didn't question me at all about it but suggested I right it all down to give it as examples to my parents so they could know sort of what he s going through.


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