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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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My SPD and OCD affect my life in so many different ways, half the time I can’t work out the difference between them. They coincide with each other all the time. I sometimes wonder that if OCD is tackled then the chances are my SPD would only recreate new OCD traits in a different form.

 

Food is one of the hardest subjects for my SPD. I am vegetarian because of my SPD, it took time but eventually in McDonalds, I kept trying the burgers, and slowly over time I got more and more uncomfortable with the feeling of the texture, focusing on the texture made me think of cows, and well you can guess the rest, >.<. My SPD can make me very picky with foods, it annoys mum something terrible, and me, but I can’t help it. Most fruit I cannot stand, for example I find bananas, plums, grapes and oranges too fleshy, pears to be too grainy, raspberries too hairy, pomegranates, most melons, kiwi and strawberries to be too bitter. With vegetables if I see a brown mark on them then I cannot eat them. Mushrooms look a lot like fleshy overgrowths and some can really smell bad. I hate it, it makes choices of what to eat extremely few, I have a very small choice of foods, >.<. When it comes to food, it has to look right, smell right, feel right on my tongue, and taste right, if it doesn’t pass all of that, I am unable to eat it. I have tried apples, they are reasonable, the only problem is that it is difficult to get used to the fact that it changes colour so quickly. I have also tried watermelon, that is a little better, I have gotten used swallowing the seeds along with it, and the fleshiness of it is not too bad, the look of it does kind of remind me of steak though, which is disconcerting since I am vegetarian. I have tried smoothies but I have to gulp it down as I don’t like the feeling of the fruit bits on my tongue. Tomatoes by themselves are very bitter. Food is an extremely difficult subject due to my SPD, argh, it’s annoying, >.<. It is hard for everyone around me, including myself to deal with, but it is part of my SPD. That I can’t run away from. I want to try recipes to try other foods other than, tomato soup, soft rolls, breakfast muffins, pasta and pizza, but the problem is our kitchen is so very small and chaotic, making it claustrophobic, that it can be draining cooking in there, >.<. I feel I need to add a lot of spices to most dishes to increase the flavour of the foods, which also includes breakfast muffins. There have been several occasions in my past when I was much younger there was a dinner put in front of me to eat in amongst other children, the same happened once during primary school. I just stared at it and tears started to well as I knew I couldn’t eat it, but I didn’t want to make the situation awkward, as that is often the case if you can’t eat the food. It was horrible when I was asked to eat the food prepared for me but I couldn’t eat it, I didn’t want to be ungrateful at all, but I had no control over it. I also remember when I was younger and used to eat meals that my Oma (grandma in German) prepared; I had to eat them on separate plates. That was a clear sign of SPD, but mum and I didn’t know it at the time. What gets me the most is that I want to eat healthily but my SPD is preventing me. All I can do is take vitamins for vegetarians.

 

That is not all. Being sensitive to touch is another major difficulty to my SPD, I get a tingly uncomfortable feeling whenever someone touches my arms and I cannot shake people’s hands. The smell of metal in my hands from coins, door handles, and such creates a real irony smell in my hands which is irritating, thankfully I have found a strategy to tackle this and light touch. If someone was to accidently touch me or I had that irony smell what I do is wash my hands, it gets rid of the feeling and the smell in one fell swoop. If I need to open a door, I tend to use my t-shirt to cover the door handle. If I travel I take a hand gel so that I can use that instead of washing my hands, it is also much quicker. That is why I am never sure if it is my OCD affecting me here or SPD. For everyday tasks I find cotton gloves have helped me. To me, it cuts off the direct contact to surfaces and makes it easier to do various tasks like making a cup of coffee. I can’t hold most knives, forks or spoons unless I wrap them in tissue. I even have my own selection of knives, forks, and spoons to combat the problem to some degree.

 

At night I feel I must bring a torch out with me to check the floor as I hate to step on slugs, snails, and everything slimy or gooey. If I did I can hear the noise it makes, the feeling it creates and my mind will not settle until my shoes are cleaned. It is awful. I don’t know how else to tackle this other than with a torch.

 

Sight is more focused on my OCD, I think, but to be honest, I have no idea. I am not worried over sleeping because of my eyes at all; it is not like that at all. What I have the problem with which is why this is perplexing me is that if I see the slightest stain or hair on any surface, be it mug, plate, bowl, sink, bath, anything that I could have direct contact with, I need to wash it to get rid of it. I cannot use it otherwise. That has got to be my OCD surely. I keep seeing crossovers between my SPD and OCD that I cannot easily tell the difference.

 

Smells do affect me as well. I like the smell of fresh bread, coffee, candles, and even washing powder. When I go to the supermarket the aisles containing those items can get quite overpowering. I have a lot of air fresheners around so that I can combat the bad smells around the house.

 

I can hear much better than my mum. I can hear a phone ring upstairs from downstairs in the living room at times; it is not a major issue to my SPD though. What is a major issue with my hearing side of SPD has got to be loud noises. My family sometimes have an unfortunate habit of raising their voices when tensions become high. I find this horrible, and it makes me feel worse, the best thing I think that was invented for this is earphones. I just plug them in turn my music up and it cuts it off. That has been my strategy for tackling this problem.

 

Something has also perplexed me about my SPD. I am not sure if this is because of my SPD or AS but I have noticed that I can sense my family’s moods. Personally, whenever I sense someone is feeling bad I can tell, it is either that I sense the awkwardness of the situation, can sense their tone of voice, see their reaction, like sinking into a chair and covering their face. I immediately feel extremely uncomfortable; conflict is something that makes me feel really awkward about. I tend to feel bad if they feel bad, I guess it is like a mirror image.

 

I have noticed something very strange that only happened once a while back. I got up one morning walked to the window then I suddenly got this picture in my head of a cat with an exaggerated scared expression. A few seconds later I heard a dog bark from far away and then a couple of seconds later I noticed a cat cry. I found that weird, I have never experienced that before. It shocked me and I didn’t know what to think. I am not sure what it is. Is it my SPD, AS or what?

 

So the questions I ask are: Where does my SPD affect me and where does OCD? Also, has anyone found any strategies to tackle some of these SPD or OCD traits? And what happened when I got that pre-emotional reaction from the cat before it occurred?

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trekster, I am very sorry for replying to you so late, in truth, I only just saw your message, :unsure:.

 

Thank you for your reply, and yes, I have looked up that book, and ordered it, :).

 

Thanks again

Ichigo

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smileyK   

Tried researching and looking up information more details on adult SPD symptoms but nothing really out there it is all about children with it what's difference between SPD , APD and dyspraxia ??? All really confusing when I'm at work and there lot of noise sensory too much noise one time like I'm deaf and blanks out what saying frustrating! Happens all time drives me mad crazy!

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trekster   

SmileyK this topic might interest you

http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/28303-sensory-integration-therapy/

 

Ichigo Kurosaki, no problem and you're welcome. You might want to subscribe to topics that interest you eg ones that you post asking questions.

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Hi smileyK

 

Well, I cannot provide any solid advice as I am learning about certain difficulties I have myself, but I’ll answer as best as I can.

 

SPD, or sensory processing disorder, affects the five senses, touch, taste, scent, hearing, and sight. People are either over stimulated (irritated by), or under stimulated (to seek out), by certain things. Basically people either hate certain feelings, foods, smells, sounds, or visuals, or they crave them. I am mainly affected by over stimulation, or am defensive towards touch and taste, so I have a great trouble with shaking people’s hands and such, and I am restricted with the foods I can eat.

 

Yes, there isn’t much available information out there when it comes to adults with SPD in the UK, as far as I’ve seen on the internet. I find that most websites that talk about SPD in adults tend to be in other countries. Below is a couple of links, the first is explaining more about SPD in adults. The second is a link to a website I had found before but I don’t think it’s based in the UK; it contains a checklist to find out if you have SPD, but I don’t know if it would be valid in the UK though. I don’t know if such a thing is available over here, but supposedly you could bring it to a Doctor, Psychologist, or Occupational Therapist who is familiar with SPD to decide if an evaluation and further treatment is indicated. I cannot guarantee that it will work over here as the website was not from the UK.

 

http://www.ehow.co.u...der-adults.html

http://www.sensory-p...-checklist.html

 

I think dyspraxia is to do with having poor hand-to-eye coordination, or motor skills, for instance, someone might have problems with trying to catch a ball. I have added below a couple of links explaining more about dyspraxia:

 

http://www.inpp.org....osis/dyspraxia/

http://www.nhs.uk/Co...s/Symptoms.aspx

 

APD is auditory processing disorder. I can’t help you with this as I don’t know about the condition, all I can say is that it is about having a trouble with the hearing and spelling of words, both in reading and spoken. Below are some links explaining more about APD, in the first two links it talks about how APD can affect adults and in the third link is to a Yahoo group with other adults with APD:

 

http://www.tempinfor.../adult_page.htm

http://www.inpp.org....ssing-disorder/

http://health.groups.../group/OldAPDs/

 

Best wishes

Ichigo

Edited by Ichigo Kurosaki

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Hi trekster

 

Thank you for your advice about subscribing to threads, :).

 

As I am relatively new to this site, and found writing to people so alien to me, :unsure:, I hadn't really explored that side of the website in greater detail. I shall try to get more used to it, and begin to follow more threads.

 

Thanks again

Ichigo

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smileyK   

I was diagnosed with dyspraxia in childhood but I know I'm over sensitive to sounds especially especially sudden loud noises really painful hurt my ears I can't bear stand the feel of cotton wool and polystyrene makes me proper " cringe" can't handle touch it! So where does this leave me? I want to find out more about processing disorders as I know so interlinked to AS & dyspraxia like many other co morbid conditions are so close sign / symptoms wise get so confusing! :( so is this just AS & dyspraxia or more to it?! Should I investigate look into it more research further into this???

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Hi smileyK

 

From what you have said it definitely sounds like you have more than just AS and dyspraxia. I think you should do some more research into sensory processing disorder. From the sounds of it you have difficulties with touch and sound. If sudden loud noises are really painful and you can’t stand the feel of cotton wool and polystyrene, then it definitely seems likely that it could be SPD.

 

So, yes, I think you should do some more research as AS and dyspraxia are not about the sensations you feel after sound and touch, but SPD (SPD is due to all five senses) or/and APD (APD is due to sound) does.

 

Best wishes

Ichigo

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smileyK   

Thank you for your helpful explanation insight where would start this investigation or research process??? Seems making life at work lot more stressful anxious place to be struggling manage process of information at speed especially when instructions all said together rushed at speed ! Even when two children speak to me at same time this muddles confuses me takes me while catch up grasp fully what been said I feel so rude sometimes get work girls words in conversations wrong muffled mixed up feel right idiot fool! When reading book get sentences mixed up muddled in head! :(

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Hi smileyK

 

I don’t know myself as, technically, I haven’t been diagnosed as SPD, but I can clearly see that there are definitely signs that I display that are SPD.

 

All I can suggest is to find an Occupation Therapist that is trained in SPD and/or APD. Visiting your GP might be advisable as they may point you in a direction of, or refer you to, someone that could be trained in SPD and/or APD. Other than that, I don’t think I can’t help, as I haven’t been diagnosed with SPD myself, but I am sure I show signs of SPD.

 

Best wishes

Ichigo

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trekster   

SPD would include the extra 2 often forgotten senses ie proprioception and balance. Occupational therapists tend to be specialist in helping children only with sensory problems. This is coming from someone who asked for a sensory assessment time and again from various professionals. This is also the reason why the research is aimed at children only. I have mentioned to the NAS that aiming their literature at parents of children will give medical profesionals the wrong idea ie that autism only affect children.

 

If you find a way of improving one sense you can improve other senses as well.

 

My Protec sensory jacket makes me feel grounded. I have always craved weighted items and was quite upset upon realising that my weighted blanket was causing injuries to my joints due to my HMS. Another member on here went to NAIDEX in Birmingham with me. It was their recommendation and I really missed out last year. The exhibition is (ironically) an SPD persons nightmare but does have some stands for sensory improvement equipment.

 

http://www.acnr.co.uk/pdfs/volume4issue6/v4i6rehab.pdf , explains one aspect of SPD for example it helps to wear coloured lenses for dyslexia, but ASD, dyspraxia, ADHD and other disabilities have also been helped.

 

Patricia Walbarger created the 'wilbarger protocol' to help with desentising children to tactile (touch) sensations. http://www.nationalautismresources.com/wilbarger-protocol.html

 

"Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight" by Sharon Hellier is an excellent book although i would disagree with her viewpoint that certain disabilities are misdiagnosed when it should be SPD (or sensory defensiveness as she calls it).

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SPD would include the extra 2 often forgotten senses ie proprioception and balance. Occupational therapists tend to be specialist in helping children only with sensory problems. This is coming from someone who asked for a sensory assessment time and again from various professionals. This is also the reason why the research is aimed at children only. I have mentioned to the NAS that aiming their literature at parents of children will give medical profesionals the wrong idea ie that autism only affect children.

 

Hi trekster

 

Sorry, I had a lot happening over the weekend so my response is a bit late, :unsure:.

 

I didn’t really know about the proprioception and balance side of SPD, thank you for informing me, :).

 

Yes, I have also noticed there being a greater emphasis on children with SPD. From what I have heard from stories of those in America, a woman had touch and sound sensitivity, and her touch sensation difficulty caused her to hit her husband so hard that it caused him to go to hospital. A bit extreme, but that proves that it is not just children that suffer from SPD, adults do as well. I see more and more similarities to myself, but looking over here, I see nothing but helping children, :unsure:. Just because I am an adult, it doesn’t mean I don’t have SPD. What was NAS’s response when you mentioned that to them?

 

If you find a way of improving one sense you can improve other senses as well.

 

When you say improve one sense, do you mean to find coping strategies, for example via cotton gloves and such, or adapt my senses to suit the situation, i.e. to get used to shaking people’s hands?

 

My Protec sensory jacket makes me feel grounded. I have always craved weighted items and was quite upset upon realising that my weighted blanket was causing injuries to my joints due to my HMS. Another member on here went to NAIDEX in Birmingham with me. It was their recommendation and I really missed out last year. The exhibition is (ironically) an SPD persons nightmare but does have some stands for sensory improvement equipment.

 

I had a look at the NAIDEX website in Birmingham, and from the looks of it, all the available equipment for SPD is for children. Why in the world is this country not realising that adults have SPD as well, :unsure:?

 

"Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight" by Sharon Hellier is an excellent book although i would disagree with her viewpoint that certain disabilities are misdiagnosed when it should be SPD (or sensory defensiveness as she calls it).

 

Well, I have been diagnosed as having OCD, and I am sure I have SPD as well, as they both seem to affect me one way or another. I have thought that they meld together to create an even greater obstacle that is difficult to budge. One such example is that I need to wash my hands and arms if someone brushes their hand or arm against mine, but it is due to the feeling, not the germs. It has become somewhat of a ritual though, there being the OCD. I know I have irritations with clothing because of the sensation I get, for example fleecy jumpers make me itchy.

 

Best wishes

Ichigo

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trekster   

Hi Ichago

 

Thanks for your friendly response. i think if you emailed the NAS about their literture especially the 'helping your child with...' parts hopefulyl they will change their minds. All the have to change is the 'helping an autistic with' or if they really have to be long winded 'helping a person on the autism spectrum with...' . It has been a while since I approached them but i have major difficulties explaning the sensory side to my ASD partly because i feel i have to shout down background noise.

 

If you are attending autscape this year hpefully you will see me in my royal blue wheelchair (thanks to SG).

 

Doesn't really help that education avoids the balance and proprioception side of things making them 'forgotten' sensory problems.

 

example of sensory improvement;

i wear a weighted jacket to help me feel grounded. i can pull the straps on the jacket when i feel stressed (if i realise soon enough) whilch calms my nervous system. Note calms nervous system rather than me, if it calmed me it wouldnt work every time, but it calms my nervous system. When i wear my weighted jacket (some folks use a weighted blanket but my HMS/EDS3 causes problems with this) zipped up i remember basic bodily needs. i still need reminding to use it or knowing when and how to wash it like any other form of therapy but it works. Helping my brain to recognise basic bodily needs quicker means energy that would be spent compensating for this missing piece can be used for other purposes. My sensitive hearing is less painful as well so this is how my senses begin to integrate. im going to see if i can get help with the

 

Youtube is an amazing resource i have just found by putting "SPD + Brushing" into google. The technique in this video would work on adults especially with temperature sensitivity problems ie water in the shower when you are dry or getting into a swimming pool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uETDXHrH1io

 

Re NAIDEX, i think stands nearer to the door would have to pay more and possibly be moved around at short notice.

 

Do you find yourself feeling more functional on less itchy clothing days?

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Hi trekster

 

Thank you for your reply, :), and sorry for my late reply, :unsure:.

 

Ah, so you have approached the NAS at the events that you attend. I have never actually attended an autistic based centre before. I am not sure what it would be like. What is autscape like?

 

Well, I have heard of sensory aiding clothing before, but I never really thought much about it.

 

It’s funny that at the end of the video it should mention that socks with the seams sticking out get irritating, it is the same with me, :lol:, so I look out for socks that would feel less irritating. I have managed to get used to tags in t-shirts though, so that isn’t too bad. I feel a lot more comfortable in cotton t-shirts than I did wearing shirts back at school. Those uniforms weren’t comfortable by any means, but I had to do my best to get used to them. I couldn’t wait to get out of them when I got home, :unsure:.

 

Well, I tend to avoid wearing fleecy jumpers altogether. As for feeling more functional on some days, well, on very rare occasions my touch sensitivity has a little less impact but, it was only rarely, only about once or twice in the past, and lately, it isn’t budging. Even the slightest brush against skin is enough to make me cringe and wash my hands/arms with urgency. I get this awful tingling sensation which is prolonged, and the only best way I have found to alleviate it is by washing the affected area.

 

Metal, for example coins, in my hands, makes my hand smell like iron, which is also irritating. Again, I wash my hands to avert the smell. OCD always seems to coincide with my SPD, :unsure:.

 

I received the book that you told me about recently and I am beginning to read it.

 

Best wishes

Ichigo

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trekster   

ichigo it is very difficult to explain Autscape to someone that hasnt been before.

 

enjoy the book i hope it helps you.

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ichigo it is very difficult to explain Autscape to someone that hasnt been before.

 

trekster

 

I understand that it wouldn’t be easy to explain something like Autscape if I haven’t been, sorry, I was just curious.

 

enjoy the book i hope it helps you.

 

Yes, it may take a while to get through the book. I tend to find ways to keep my mind occupied so that the chaotic worrying thoughts don’t take over, :unsure:, one step at a time, :unsure:.

 

Best wishes

Ichigo

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