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Diagnosis Disorders and Uniqueness

Last week I found out some really hard news about my daughter.

In my gut, I always knew certain parenting strategies wouldn't work for her like they did for my son. Everyone with more than one kid knows that. But more often than not, there are some pretty challenging as well as amazing quirks my daughter has which makes her incredibly unique.

It seemed pretty clear to me my daughter has a speech delay. Not uncommon. However, the speech therapist also diagnosed her with something called sensory processing disorder.

All of her behaviors I had thought which make her very adventurous, unique, stubborn, strong willed and creative are categorized under this disorder.  Something about the term "disorder" really bothered me which is why it was so hard to hear. Of course no parent wants their child to struggle, but I shirked away from so quickly putting a label on my 2 year old.

The positive side to knowing she possibly has SPD is I already have gained some really positive strategies in parenting her. I guess the point I'm trying to make is I never ever want to change her. I never want to try to squash her determination, unique spirit and energy. However, I do want to understand her and therefore be able to help her rather than throwing my arms up in the air every morning because she refuses to get dressed in anything other than fancy dresses.

Yes I still believe  she is a diva, but now I also know she prefers the feeling of "fancy" material to cotton on her body. So much so that it makes her so uncomfortable she can't stand it.

Once I knew she felt very sensitive to her hair being brushed, we bought special de-tangler, soft hair ties, and a very gentle brush. I need to take extra time with her hair in the morning to be ever so gentle, but it definitely is better than chasing her naked bum around the house pleading to let mommy at least brush her hair.

I usually don't let her paint everyday because I don't want to deal with the mess. (I know horrible, but I bet some of you feel the same way!) But when I learned she paints her face, hands, and arms because it is soothing her and calming her ...I am making it part of our day.

Her constant jumping, twirling, climbing and thrill seeking are part of this too which I love and also scare me to death about a thousand times a day.

Her high pain tolerance - Like falling down, scraping both knees and getting back up without a tear is part of SPD but in my opinion makes her a total bad ass.

Once she can express all the beauty and chaos clashing around in her mind through her speech I can help her even more. For now, I let her nap in her safe tent of pillows and blankets and don't force her to be in her bed. I let her wear her fancy dresses to run errands in, come home and let her feel the soothing texture of cool paint on her face (sans fancy dress) and am in the process of making her a necklace with an old make up brush on the end.

 I know it has to be called a 'disorder' to get services and to help her deal with the tough parts surrounding it, but I am thankful for an extra sensitive, aware, life seeking and adventurous spirit in my life.  She's teaching me a thing or two in the process.


  1. So much love for you and Anna. Thank you for sharing. You know that I've also learned that the more you know the better you can parent, no matter how difficult the diagnosis.

  2. So sorry to hear this about Anna! Sending hugs and prayers your way!

  3. I loved reading how you're taking each piece of the puzzle and spinning it into a positive new way to interact with her. That creativity and willingness to see things through her eyes will make this a journey you truly travel through together! Prayers for you, mama!


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