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Whose Kid is THAT?

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Shoppers are staring. Spaghetti sauce is covering aisle 6... (sigh) and my shoes.

woman watching girl screaming

Michelle Kemper Brownlow: His siren-like scream has moms from three counties speed-dialing Child Protective Services. He flails his body, hits his head, and screams louder. The moms who haven't called for backup are giving me "that look." Admit it, you would be, too.

There goes my Mother-of-the-Year award, and all because of three simple things: the squeaking wheel on the cart, the tag in his shirt, and his feet dangling out of the basket of the cart. My name is Michelle, and my 4-year-old has sensory processing disorder. Not many people have heard of SPD. I hadn't until three years ago.

According to the Diagnostic Manual for Infancy and Early Childhood, approximately 5 to 10 percent of children who have no other issues have sensory processing disorder. Most of us have no trouble interpreting the world around us using our five senses. A child with SPD, however, has difficulty responding to everyday sensations because those sensations are magnified exponentially. The result appears to be horrendous misbehavior, but in reality, is a "fight or flight" reaction that borders on fear and terror.

Imagine the squeaky wheel of the cart sounding like an air horn, the tag on your shirt being as sharp as a needle, and the sensation of your feet not touching the floor resulting in serious instability. Would you be able to function?

If your child has trouble coping with what you feel are normal situations, if his transitions from one activity to the next are increasingly difficult, if he seems to seek rough and dangerous activities or shy away from touch and eye contact, you may want to have him evaluated by an Occupational Therapist. Ours saved our home life and my sanity! Thank you, Chris!

next: Princess Bootcamp: Would You Enroll Your Daughter?
12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous April 28, 2011, 1:22 PM

hmm, my kids have behaved like that, and I’m pretty sure there is no medical diagnosis. They are just brats. I love ‘em, but they’re brats.

anon April 28, 2011, 2:16 PM

LOL… to anonymous not the story.

Anonymous April 29, 2011, 6:17 AM

I don’t question your son’s disorder, I question your reason for taking him into a situation you knew would be torture for him. I hope there are people around him who can help protect him from such choices in the future.

HeeHee May 1, 2011, 3:18 PM

Maybe the author is just a bad parent!

Anonymous May 5, 2011, 7:12 AM

My nephew was “diagnosed” sensory disorder. My sis-in-law said “okay, but that still doesn’t mean he gets to be an a$$hole”. Just because your child might have the newest, trendiest issue doesn’t mean he should be allowed to act as he pleases. And 4 is old enough to know better!

melissa May 5, 2011, 7:43 AM

Anonymous - from May 5th - unless you’ve every parented a child such as this you have ABSOLUTELY no idea what these children/parents go through. On a regular basis I try to figure out - is it behavior or is it something he cannot help? Because, no I don’t think my son has an ‘out’ for all behaviors because he has challenges, however to say “4 years old is old enough to know better” - yes, in many ways there are things they should know better, however there are certain things that they just can’t take. We try to avoid that sort of stuff but being in the ‘real world’ there are times we are going to encounter a meltdown….
I was a perfect parent - until I became one - I used to judge everyone - now I realize we all have challenges and no one knows what another goes through on a daily basis. Please don’t judge others.

WhoCares? May 5, 2011, 4:44 PM

What’s with all these messed up kids? Parents take too many drugs?

melissa May 6, 2011, 5:36 AM

“messed up kids” “parents taking drugs” - seriously; peoples comments are simply rediculous - not even sure why I keep reading them. Why are you guys even on if you are so rude about peoples situations - just don’t comment or read…..jeez

Cara May 6, 2011, 8:28 AM

Whocares -these “disorders” are just trends to give parents an excuse not to parent. The last trend was EVERYONE had ADHD- not that they were just hyper kids like we all were, but this came about due to lazy parents/teachers who just want to drug their kids up and have special exceptions for them in the schools.

All this autism/sensory disorder spectrum is so once again parents can not parent and let their little brats run rampant. Did you know now shyness and picky eaters are also included on the autism spectrum? RIDICULOUS!!

Nicole May 7, 2011, 5:38 AM

Great article. My son has autism and has sensory issues. The comments above are disgusting. Parents taking drugs?!?!?! Ignorance is a beautiful thing. *eyeroll*

Anonymous May 10, 2011, 6:56 AM

aha! Now brats have their own disorder!

Okie June 12, 2011, 1:56 PM

It always astounds me how much many of you assume. I think this article is
just an excuse for you to vent your pent-up anger. Some of you really, really need to get in touch with
something called UNDERSTANDING.
I truly hope the world treats you better

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