"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Friday, April 15, 2011

Firefly Friday. The First. Introducing SPD.

So here we are at Firefly Friday. I have been putting off this post for many hours today and I don't really know where to start. I'll jump right in, I guess. My lovely daughter, Firefly, who is newly eight, carries with her the diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder. For those of you out there who are familiar with that, thank you for understanding, and I'm sorry for your own journeys that you've had that have made you familiar with it. For those of you that this is new to, I will try to explain it as best as I can.

Firefly perceives the world in a much different way than most of us are used to. Depending on the day (really, depending on the hour), she may be much more over- or under-sensitive to sounds, lights, smells, noises, tastes and movements than the rest of us. For example, the flourescent lighting at a department store that I take for granted can drive her crazy with its flickering. The dog comes in from outside with a smell that I find slightly annoying, but to her, he is incredibly offensive.

As you can imagine, this diagnosis can, and regularly does, throw a monkey wrench into our days. It is truly challenging for this little one to sit down and complete a math worksheet when her body is on hyper-alert. She is hearing the refrigerator cut on and off, smelling the dog's smell (the nerve of him!), having to grip the pencil too tightly in her hand because she cannot get the right sensation from her body that the pencil is there, and on and on and on.

She is a great kid. I should add that here, and really should have added it at the start. She is incredibly smart, and caring, and athletic. She would do anything for you and has a huge heart. She also has Sensory Processing Disorder. It is what it is. She can have SPD. But it can't own her. That is our challenge right now. To make sure that her heart and intelligence and soul are the things that define who she is.

Man, this was a tough one. We are knee-deep in this journey and I would love comments and feedback from you. Thanks for listening.


  1. What resonated with me was...

    "She can have SPD. But it can't own her"


  2. Danielle, thanks for visiting. This was a tough one to get going with.

  3. I'm still trying to understand it, so bear with me. The tantrums happen b/c she just "gets" too much info, right? You know, if I was her, I would have tantrums too! I know I have days when there is just "too much" going on and I lose it. I can't imagine being more sensitive to it. Can you tell if there is any one sense that triggers more than others? I know I have the smell thing and we actually had to get rid of our dog b/c I just couldn't take it any more. Bless all of you. Praying for you all.

  4. Michelle, thank you so much for your prayers and support. I'm still trying to understand, too, and I know I'm not so effective in explaining it to others. The tantrums seem to be her way of 1) blowing off steam, 2) letting us know she is completely overloaded, or 3) it's her "fight or flight" response kicking in--to "fight". It's really something to see. Thank you again for visiting and thinking of us.



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