For Shame: SPDer, Party of One

To live with this disorder is to live alone, out of sight as the world around spins unwittingly. Some days, I grow tired of repetition, of explanation, especially to those who have heard the words again and again.

SPD is invisible; I am not. 

Just because my limbs are in tact and my eyesight is passable and my speech is unhindered doesn't mean nothing is wrong. If my arm was broken, there would be a cast for support, cards, flowers. People would look and understand and make comparisons for comprehension. Diabetes would present with a run-walk. People would don t-shirts and collect funds.  SPD is the evil unseen problem child, wreaking havoc within, pulling apart the wiring, leaving the external furnishings looking polished and pretty. We're not in the spotlight like Autism. We haven't had our moment yet.

Besides, how can one truly understand the pain and discomfort of sound, the uncertainty of body and surrounding space, the taxation of vision - its sharpness? If I told you I had an off day this week, one where regardless of my focused gesture and its gentleness, a gallon of milk was thrashed against the counter by my own miscalculation of space, a phone flew clear across a subway car, and a lipgloss was pitched from my fingers on Madison Avenue, would that mean anything to you besides clumsiness? Imagine lacking the internal workings to calculate the distance between your tender calf and the ever-angled corner of the metal bed-frame, and picture the number of bruises collected in a single vicinity in one week.

And now imagine being driven to succeed in all endeavors in life, regardless of the roadblocks and hurdles thrust into your wake, in spite of them. Every single moment of my existence is dedicated to performing my very best in the face of my difficulties; my "special needs."

Endless frustration arises when - regardless of descriptions and illustrations, promises of support, and false camaraderie - the adult SPDer is reminded that they're an army of one.

Fine, so it is. Team Me.

After all, these hurdles are invisible to everyone but me, I alone must jump them. You; the unwittingly ignorant, the doubtful, arms flush with guilt; grip your flippant and hurtful statements, and keep them close. They have no place in this race.


  1. We are here, behind you, supporting you, catching you if you fall. Not alone. Team Mom and Dad!


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