Since my daughter’s Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder diagnoses, I have been spending a lot of time researching information on the two. I spend some time reading up about each one on Facebook groups specified for both disorders. Each child with Autism are different from one another, though they do have a few similarities. Spinning, meltdowns, self-hitting, rocking, hand flapping, to name a few that many Autistic children share with one another. That is why there’s a spectrum. One child can have a few autistic behaviors, but is still diagnosed as Autism, he/she is then put on one end of the autism spectrum. While another child has every one of the autistic behaviors, he/she is then put on the opposite spectrum as the other child.
I have learned that there are two sides to Sensory Processing Disorder, the either/or. Either they don’t like to be touched, or they can’t get enough of it. Either they can’t work puzzles or ride a bike, or they excel at it. Either they will only eat certain foods and very little of them (picky eaters), or they will eat everything in sight. Though both sides of SPD has similarities, doesn’t like loud noises, crowded places, won’t take naps or have a hard time going to sleep at night. They’re also excessive risk takers, such as jumping off of something and at times landing on the knees.
One thing that I have noticed from reading the support groups on FB, is that children with SPD has an odd behavior where they lick everything. At first I thought my daughter was the only one with this behavior. But after a post that was written stating ‘the one thing they never thought they would have to say to their child as a parent’. Many parents answered mostly the same thing, having to tell their child to stop licking this or that. We all found something our children have in common. Some parents commented that they thought their child was the only one that licked everything in sight. But after reading each comment, it was easy to see our child wasn’t alone in this behavior.
It’s at least fifty times a day I would have to tell my daughter to stop licking something, especially if we’re out and about. She will lick chairs, the grocery buggy, her TV, the table, her toys, the couch, just to name a few. She’ll even walk up and lick me. She also has to lap up the bathwater. I know what you’re thinking, “Ew gross!” I have the same reaction, especially when it comes to the grocery buggy and bathwater. I carry wipes to clean the buggy, though that sometimes doesn’t help as she’s gotten sick a few times from them. I do keep an eye on her and catch her in time. I carry suckers or candy with me for her to pop in her mouth, rather than the alternative.
Even though my daughter has a disorder, she is still a child. There’s quite a list of things I tell her to stop doing or not do that parents tell their children without disabilities or disorders, such as, ‘stop jumping on your bed’, ‘stop jumping on the couch’, ‘stop running in the house’, ‘no throwing things in the house, you’ll break something’. Children with ASD and/or SPD are like any other child, just with a few extra things us parents have to tend to or look out for.