Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oprah and SPD

Last month, Oprah featured a segment on a violent child who was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. I was thrilled when I heard that Oprah had mentioned sensory issues! However, the impression was given that SPD is an inherently violent and uncontrollable disorder. SPD Foundation is asking folks to write Oprah and to request a more full picture of what SPD affects children and what can be done to help. Mine is below-it's truncated due to character limit. You know me, I'd usually be much more verbose.
If you're interested in writing, get instructions here.

Oprah, I am a parent of a child with SPD. While Zach, profiled on your show, was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, it’s important that people know that SPD is not an inherently violent disorder. The way my son Henry experiences the world makes textures, light, and sound painful and confusing. While that poses daily frustrations (It’s too bright! That’s too cold!), it has created a beautiful depth in him to feel music in his bones and seek affection in a soft arm or smooth hair. Henry turned 2 after a year of inconsolable crying, refusal to eat, and inability to speak. A friend suggested The Out of Sync Child, a book that changed our lives allowing me to finally understand my child. After spending 5 weeks of intensive occupational therapy at the preeminent center for SPD research (STAR Center), my son began a miraculous transformation. Before therapy, Henry couldn’t bathe because he couldn’t stand the feel of water on his skin. He couldn’t eat because he didn’t like the smell, look, or texture of food. He couldn’t be in a crowded place because he couldn’t tell where someone else’s body was compared to his own. It has not been easy, but Henry now takes baths, socializes at preschool successfully, and has an incredible amount of affection and gentleness toward his family. Oprah, I’m so thankful that you mentioned sensory integration disorder on your show. Please consider letting your viewers know more about SPD and what can be done to help. HenryinParticular@blogspot.com