Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Why I Have Not Had my Son Diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder.

I am listing to/watching: Will Young “85 Proof” (album)
Mood: loved, groggy,
Time: 8:48 am


I know what you are thinking, “aren’t you in school for psychology?” The answer is yes I am. To some the fact that I have not had my son diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder is flat out weird. However, I have my reason. A lot of people do not know this but for something to truly be classified as a mental illness it has to have two components:


  1. It must be against cultural norms. When I hear this I hear conform, believe it are not many American disorders do not translate into other countries or even its sub-culturals in America. Schizophrenia in some Latin cultural's is okay, talking with “spirits” or hearing “spirits” is not only okay but not seen as normal.
  2. It must cause distress or effect that person’s life in a negative way. This is the end all be all of a disorder for me, if it causes some kind of pain the person needs help. But like with Schizophrenia in some Latin culture’s if it not causing them or another harm why label them as ill? Why should they have to carry that around? Before you go to thinking “Well they really should see a doctor” think about it like this. Being gay was a mental disorder that only followed being against cultural norms,  the same is true for many sex “disorders”. They are not causing distress outside of the fact other people have an opinion about it. I don’t feel that is enough of a reason to call something a disorder. You have a foot fetish, like wearing women’s clothing, or whatever I don’t care.




When it comes to Noah I think if he was a girl a second thought would not be given about if he has a Sensory Processing Disorder. He does not hand paint, play in the mud, touch stuff that you would think a boy would touch (everything). If you toke away his sex most people would just think he is a clean child. What we are seeing here is labeling and gender stereotyping and one of the reasons he has not been diagnosed. He should not be diagnosed as ill because he knows what feels nasty to him, it may be more than what other children feel, but every child is different. The second reason he has not been diagnosed is because is it really having a negative effect on him? I did not force him nor allow others to force him to do things he is not okay with. As his mother I feel it is my job to make him love all of himself even his texture sensitivity.

I am not saying I do not believe in the diagnoses of mental illness I have a mother with PTSD, bipolar disorder, and OCD so I strongly believe if you have something going on in getting help. However, I feel adults don't always deal with labeling how is a child supposed to? Remember everyone is different.

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Shakirah
Shakirah

Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.

14 comments:

  1. Both my kids are Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and altho it's not exactly the same thing as people who have SPD, they do have their similarities. I think it's nothing to worry about! You're doing a great job it seems :)

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    1. Thank you, I have not heard of HSP. I have to look into that.

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  2. As someone who likely has SPD and was never diagnosed, I think you are doing a great job! My mom never understood why I couldn't stand jeans or why shirt tags drove me insane, but she made sure that I was comfortable and accepted that I couldn't deal with some stuff. I was never made to feel weird or crazy and now that I see some of the same symptoms in my middle son, I know exactly how to treat him . . . like a normal kid with some different needs.

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    1. Good for you and your mom. I had many issues with textures as a child so like you I was ready for it when I saw it in my son.

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  3. Yes, everyone is different and people are too quick to want to put us all in a comfortable little box. My daughter suffered extreme anxiety issues after my husband's death (she was only 8 at the time and witnessed his suicide) and people kept trying to interfere with my decisions as her mother. I did what I thought was best for her--often the exact opposite of what the well-meaning outsiders were advising--and now she's on the Dean's List in college and is a neuroscience/pre-med major. So I didn't screw her up by trusting my mommy instincts and doing what was best for my child at all times--regardless of outside busy bodies. :) I'm not familiar with texture disorder, but I commend you for accepting your son as he is and not trying to make him "get over it" or some other nonsense. Good for you...and good for him to have you as his mom.

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    1. Thank you, your daughters story is inspiring.

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  4. Iman, really admirable how you are bringing up your son!! Love this part, "As his mother I feel it is my job to make him love all of himself".

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  5. I agree completely. My daughter has extreme anxiety with different senses, mainly taste and sound. She's 7 now, and can break down to shaking and tears in a public bathroom because the sounds of all the vents and the unpredictability (for her) of the loud automatic toilets is just too much. Right now it's tough for her, but do I really want to get a diagnosis, something she will be labeled with for life, if it's something we can help her learn to manage and cope with on her own? Her social anxiety is horrible when she's scared and uncomfortable physically, but other than that she has no problem making friends, she's outgoing, and everything opposite of what most people would classify as a social anxiety. There's a lot more to her anxiety than what I described here, but basically, why burden her with a label if she doesn't need it? We all have things that scare us. I develop an amazingly strong anxiety to power tools. It doesn't hurt anyone and I've learned how to manage (we own a reel mower instead of a power mower so I can feel in control of it, lol). Over all, great post, I love it, especially as a fellow psychologist who comes from a family with a lot of involvement with mental illness.

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    1. My son also has issues with public bathrooms. I think teaching them to deal with things in their own way is more empowering (like your reel mower)than a lable. I am very happy your daughter has the support she does.

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  6. I think you've take na progressive approach to your son. I imagine you will monitor his situation and if more support is required you will seek it out when the time comes. But I agree with you on so many points. Over medicating a child because he/she has a quirk isn't the way to go. Look up famous people with ADD and see what they've accomplished. How you decide to teach your child how to manage his quirk is best. Until it becomes a danger or a hinderance go with your instincts.

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    1. He has out grown some of his texture issues, much like I did as a child. He has also became more willing to try different things. I will keep an eye on him and if I see any signs of distress when he starts kindergarten I will have him diagnosed.

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  7. I'm glad you did this and placed your child's health above the stereotypes/critics out there. I loved how you mentioned how if your son were a female, he would have received a different reaction; it's interesting to note how people treat others based on their sex. Anyways, I wish both you and your son the best.

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