No Zipper Pockets

Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is the brain’s inability to correctly interpret the information it receives from the senses. Clothing tags feel like sandpaper.  Vacuum cleaners sound like fire alarms. Food is tasteless.  Monday might be a day for hypersentivity and Tuesday might be a day for hyposensitivity. The rules change with the wind.  SID often rides the waves with ADD/ADHD, OCD and Asperger’s Syndrome or other Autism spectrum disorders. Or, it can stand alone.

SID is also now officially part of our family.

We’ve always known that Colin is “wired” a little differently. We just didn’t know what wiring was used at his creation.

It would explain why he cried as an infant when I dressed him in turtlenecks. Golf shirts or button down shirts are extremely stressful. No collars, no way, no how. Smelling things that no one else can was always what we deemed “weird.”  Did you know how “stinky” the paper on a doctor’s office exam table is?  He can’t sleep under the sheets on his bed. I thought he was just being obsessively neat by not wanting to mess up his bed. Turns out…the sheets make his feet feel hot…so, surface sleeping only.

New clothing goes over like a fart in church.  Colin is never impressed with new clothing. Rather the opposite. He wants nothing to do with it and stresses and cries if we ask him to put something on that he’s never worn before. Makes shopping a true treat. It could be the smell or the texture. It could be anything or nothing at all…but he’ll flat out refuse new shirts, pants and jackets until he can warm up to them a bit.

When he was licking the sidewalk last summer, we thought…how strange!  But, now that he’s moved on to putting toys in his mouth, we know why.  He LOVES superfast rollercoasters and teacup rides…he’d literally jump on our trampoline for hours if allowed… but hates to be swung around by the arms or turned upside down. His perception of where his body is in relation to his surroundings is completely different than ours.

If you offer him a handshake or a high five…don’t be offended if he looks at the floor and blows a raspberry. If you ask him a question, don’t be alarmed if he sits down and shuts his eyes. He’s not being rude…he just doesn’t know if you’ll feel, smell or sound good if he answers you.

If Colin comes to your home and has to eat a meal with you…don’t feel bad if he’ll only eat the foods that are safe in his world. Since he was a baby, food has not motivated him. There is a menu of about seven things that are sure to bring smiles. He discriminates based on texture and he could care less about taste. Home runs for sweet stuff or bland carbs.

He’ll separate himself from a crowd, or cover his ears, shut his eyes and hide away somewhere.  If you look him in the eye, don’t be distressed if he sits down on the floor, hides under the pew or puts his head down when you ask him a question. Eye contact is like nails on a chalkboard when he doesn’t know you.

But…he is five years old and has been reading for more than 2 years. He loves phonics and argued the idea with me today that “ph” should sound like “f.” Made perfect sense to him. He finds complex patterns in words and designs. He loves numbers and is obsessed with anything ending in a 0000.  The hymn books at church are a guaranteed source of distraction while he searches for 100, 200, 300 etc… He does simple addition and subtraction in his head, yet has never been taught how to do math. He plunks out tunes on the piano that he’s heard, but no one’s taught him.

It will be an interesting ride!  

Getting dressed this morning a new rule was introduced. No pants or shirts with zipper pockets. It took three tries through the pants drawer to find a suitable garment.  No explanation as to why…just no zipper pockets.

So…we’re in for a treat with this child. 

An amazing, complex, brilliant, sweet, sensitive, irritating, frustrating, loving and beautiful child.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robert, SLP
    May 22, 2009 @ 08:12:48


    Thanks for sharing this. You are indeed in for an interesting ride, and although it will be rewarding, it will rarely be anything close to easy. I’m going to email you a few thoughts about what to look for in services. I also have a reading list from my daughter’s occupational therapist that I’ll pass on to you.
    Blessings to you and your family, and especially to Colin.


  2. beinganddoing
    May 22, 2009 @ 15:01:34

    Wow! I am happy you now have a better idea of what is going on, but at the same time it must be difficult.

    You explained it so well. I feel like I have a bit of an idea what SID is.

    May you all feel God’s presence as you engage this part of your journey.




  3. Lisa
    May 25, 2009 @ 23:01:36

    Thanks for sharing with us what is going on with your family. I know that you love your kids so dearly, it’s so hard to face the things we didn’t realize we’d have to. Your blessed to have each other!


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