C has been having individual occupational therapy sessions for his SPD for two weeks with the same therapist that led his group sensorimotor therapy that he enjoyed since February. His speech therapy was finally approved, too, so we can address his language processing and feeding needs. He had his first session with both of them together this week. Things went quite well. They pushed him and he rose to the challenge. He was close to going over the edge at one point.
The three of them sat on the floor to do a puzzle together. They were taking turns picking a puzzle piece to put into place. C struggled to relinquish control to let them take their turns. His OT described to me that he always has it in his mind how he wants things to go to accommodate his processing. To let someone else put a puzzle piece in means not only sharing but also giving up control of the order to which the puzzle is completed. When the speech therapist told him to ask the OT which puzzle piece she’d like for her turn, he shut down. He was stretching his limits with sharing, so prompting him to ask a question was just too much for him to handle and he withdrew. He is very intelligent, but is challenged in his ability to process language and produce word recall.
That’s when it hit me: he is like me x100. In the past year, I’ve already realized that I have some sensitivities similar to SPD. Unexpected noises startle me more than usual and I am much more sensitive to touch. But this realization struck me a little harder.
When I’m not in control, I get anxious. I need things to be done a certain way. I anticipate things to happen a specific way and get thrown off a little when they don’t. I can hold conversations just fine, but if I’m put on the spot with a question my mind literally goes blank. I can’t process it, become very uncomfortable, and withdraw. I’m intelligent but have always had a more difficult time verbally than with written language.
I guess they’re right – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.