Living With SPD – The Pain Is Real!

Our morning started off just like any other morning. I had to drag him out of bed, convince him to brush his teeth and wash his face. Then I made the wrong cereal, and had to go back to the kitchen and make something else.

Then, when he was finally alert enough to get dressed, I placed his uniform on the bed and asked him to get dress while listening to some Rodriguez. Then he went and played with cars on the mat and I realised he wasn’t wearing any shoes.

“Kai, you’re not even wearing your school shoes! Go get done please!”

The next thing he’s struggling to find a sock that’s not too tight. I then had to help him with the shoelaces because it didn’t feel right when he tied it. He barely had his shoes on and the right shoe went flying and he started crying and screaming out in pain! Something was wrong.

7am. My child is screaming his head off in pain. “Mom there is a splinter in my toe”. Through all the tears and screams, I managed to check all his toes. No splinter, no sores, no blood, no broken skin, nothing!

No visible injury, but his toe hurt and he was crying and holding onto his toes, he couldn’t bear to put any pressure on his foot and wearing a sock on his foot was not going to happen today!

7:20 am. After convincing him that there were no splinters in his toe, he still continued to cry and scream from the pain. Tears were streaming down his face while he held onto his toes.

Crawled up on his bed like a tiny bundle of bones dressed in school uniform, hiding his face under his big pillow – soaked with tears, I managed to coax him into putting on a flip flop.

Slowly he moved the flip flop onto his foot, quietly and anxiously he put his foot down on the floor. Unable to put any pressure on his foot, his toe too sore, his injury invisible and the pain real.

7:30. No amount of soft caring words or caresses were going to make it feel better. So I told him to remain in bed for the day, to read a book, copy some of his school words of yesterday and to do page 3 of his mental maths.

So what happened this morning you may ask?

Well, the stitching in his sock irritated his toe. His tactile system (somatosensory system) over responded. The seam of the sock felt like splinters piercing into his skin. The pain was real and lasted long after he removed his sock.

This is what sensory processing disorder looks like. It is invisible, it is not a child acting up or seeking attention. Children with SPD have some very challenging moments in their life . . .