Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sensory Processing Disorder and summer

Most kids look forward to getting out of school and enjoying summer break.

Most kids revel in the lack of a set schedule during the summer.

Most kids love to be able to sleep in and stay up late.

I am not most kids.

Do not get me wrong. I enjoy not being in school and I enjoy being able to sleep late in the mornings. The problem is, without a schedule I do not know what to do with myself.

See, if I am unsure of what is happening I get anxious. The anxiety builds and then I am hyper and things that I can usually control start bothering me.

One may ask how that has anything to do with sensory processing disorder and that is a very good question. The reason I need some sort of schedule, even a flexible one, is so I can regulate myself. The goal for me is to be able to live as close to a normal life as possible and the sooner I learn to do that, the better. Learning how to control my sensory issues, which include auditory, visual, and tactile defensiveness, is key to being able to function in society.

I mean really. It is not like I can start throwing myself on the ground or against a wall when I need vestibular stimulation. It is much better for me to swing or jump on a trampoline. Yet, those activities are not always an option depending on where I am.

Through trial and error we have discovered that for me it is quite beneficial to be active first thing in the morning then have a break where we work on some summer school activities, after that more activity.

The activity ranges from playing outside on the swing set to organized play to going to a playground or even swimming. There are some activities such as baseball, football, and soccer that I am unable to play because of my heart, but other than that I can play most games outside.

I have a bicuspid aortic valve with stenosis, so we have to be careful about contact sports and activities.

The key to relieving anxiety and minimizing SPD issues is being flexible and acknowledging limits. There are mornings that I wake up and I just do not want to do anything, thankfully my mom can see that and she is flexible with her schedule most days to be able to accommodate it. When she cannot, she has a backup plan. Mom seems to always have a backup plan.

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