A boy’s thoughts on Sensory Processing Disorder

Why I want to grow my YouTube Channel

I thought about YouTube a lot for a long time. I loved to watch some of the show on YouTube and thought, “I can do that.” Then I thought, “is it hard”?  I asked my Nana and my dad if I could do it and they said Yes!. My Nana said she had a camera and knew how to do editing, so it would not be hard to make videos. We had to decide what my channel was going to reflect. 

I have sensory problems- and I love to travel with my Nana, so I decided it should be about those two things. I had a very hard time in 3rd grade as I was disappointed a lot of the time because I could not do the science or fun things. My Nana made sure I did those things at home and so much more fun stuff. We put these on my channel also.

I thought “I need people to understand I have sensory problems” I want them to understand what that means and why I act like I do some time.” I don’t mean to break things or get mad, but I do.” I thought If people knew me and saw me on YouTube when they saw me in person they would say “I know you and I understand you have sensory problems.” I know you struggle with sensory overload, noise, hearing, and touch so I will keep that in mind when I play with you.”

“I get so tired of being the only kid who always, and I mean always gets hurt.”  I fall when people push on my, I touch things too hard and they break, I give high five’s those sometimes-hurt people. I get into trouble for all these things at school. I thought if I made a channel telling people how I am they would understand. What I found out is other kids have sensory problems but don’t have my Nana to work with them. They still struggle with their issues regarding sound, touch, sights, and feelings. Sometimes I see them struggling so I help them a little bit. I still have problems because I am not all the way normal but I can help others. I still break things but I know I am getting better so my anger is not as bad and I can control it better. 

My dad would say: “stop that tantrum, and he would fight with me (yell or get mad). Now, he understands it is a sensory meltdown and lets me have time in my room to calm down. I get over my disappointment or anger in a few minutes- not an hour like it used to take me.

I still get sent to the learning lab when I am struggling, or I go to my special ed teacher. I don’t want to leave the classroom, but my teachers say,” You have to stay caught up because we can’t slow down for you. If you can’t stay caught up, go to the learning lab or Mrs. H.” I have to go even when I don’t feel like it but if I stay in the classroom, I will have a meltdown trying to keep up, listen, work, and focus. So that is why sometimes I have to go even when I don’t want to because I can’t keep up and it bothers me, I get frustrated and anxious, the other kids distract me, and I get angry with a meltdown. 

Part of my problem is all the noise in my classroom. While everyone is working at home,  home-based schooling is beneficial to me because I can catch up on my work. No one is mad at me or yelling at me or telling me to keep up, be quiet, do my work. My Nana sets out my work, she tells me what to do, and if I have questions, she will stop what she is doing and help me until I understand. Sometimes I get to use games, Legos, blocks, or other things to help me learn. She also reads to me, and I read to her. 

I don’t like school because my teachers don’t help me all the time. Sometimes they do, but when I get behind, they just say, “you have to keep up.” That is not helping me, but the other kids need to stay on track. I like my teachers because they are nice and usually let me do fun things. Last year was bad but this year was better. I don’t think I missed many fun things this year. 

I like homeschooling because I get to work and catch up. I can take brakes when I need one. I get to go outside and run my energy out of doing sensory exercises to help me with the rest of the day. I don’t have many meltdowns, and I don’t fight with my dad as much. I don’t think I have had a bad meltdown and fought with my dad during my homeschooling. 

I also learn more because my Nana gives me more work and fun things to do. I get to do science experiments, learn about my world, and we even learned about World War II. I don’t learn as much at school because I can’t hear, keep up, and struggle with my friends. I miss my friends, and if I am not in school, I won’t be able to see them as much, but I am making new friends in my neighborhood.

My friends are mean sometimes, so I think if they saw my YouTube channel, they would understand and know what I struggle with because I get so tired of people saying: “what is wrong with you? Why are you falling all the time? Why do you have meltdowns?” If they watched my channel, they would know why I do those things. They would also know I don’t try to do them, and when I fall, it really hurts a lot. 

If people watch my YouTube channel, they will also understand other kids. The latter have sensory problems and be nicer to them. 

If you do not understand sensory processing disorder, you can find information online or ask an occupational therapist. Sensory Processing Disorder is not in the DSM, so a clinical therapist or psychologist cannot diagnose it.  Most children with this disorder may be considered high functioning autistic or just a problem child. People will mistake meltdowns for tantrums. Kids with this issue may not receive the help they need in school, as it is not an education diagnosis. Your Pediatrician will put in a referral for an occupational therapist who will diagnosis the disorder; after the assessment, your ped’s doctor will make the call or ask for continued testing. Once this happens, your doctor can submit a 504 and his recommendations for the school. 

It is not unusual for kids with sensory processing disorder to have anxiety due to the amount of sensory input, the pressure to be normal, and the lack of help in place for them. Christian did not mention he works his O.T. daily. Before school, he would do some small motor skills. For example, vestibular and proprioceptive exercises for balance and focus. We also work on memory and deep breathing. He could make it through lunch when he had time outside and could do the exercises he knew would help him continue his day. He is unique in the fact he understands what exercises he needs and can administer them if the opportunity arose.  Not given the time or opportunity to do what he needs to alleviate meltdowns. When that happens, he has a meltdown. 

While at home during this time of home-based schooling, he is allowed the time to regroup, take a breath, and focus. He has learned he is much smarter than he thought and can do the work he struggled within the classroom setting. He also is reading more, comprehending what he reads, and writing better. 

He lacks the social engagement school offers; however, he has neighbors, friends, and family who help fill that lack. However, with the pandemic, he has become fearful of being left, lost, or sick when we are out in public. His is not unique to sensory processing or even special needs, and it is just a new normal to deal with while in this unique and challenging time. 

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