I recall a time as a new Mom to my 2 year old and newborn. I was out doing my thing – shopping with the kids and running errands. They were grumpy about it, which was the usual. Other people always seemed to have the calm, relaxed kids. This particular day, the car needed a wash so I bought my ticket, pulled up and drove into the automated carwash.
To my astonishment and absolute horror, my Sensational-Miss started absolutely losing it! She began ear-piercing screaming, kicking and thrashing, desperately trying to break-free from her seatbelt and carseat. She was actually doing a pretty good job of it too and managed to bust out of her seat. Then reached for the door handle. It must have looked like something out of a movie because I had to wrestle out of my own seatbelt, jump in the backseat with her before she managed to unlock the door and flee the vehicle!
I remember thinking…this is not what other mothers go through. Not over a carwash! Other mothers do not go through fight, flight or freeze…from a carwash. They are not madly trying to rescue their toddler from hurting herself…in a carwash. They do not have to calm and soothe their child from holy terror…in the carwash.
What I would soon realize in years to come is that the same reaction would happen with ordinary everyday life circumstances like: public washrooms and toilets flushing, worship music at church, tv volume, alarm bells at school, screaming happy children playing. It would all play out the same way again.
SPD kids have noise issues and lots of them don’t like to be startled. In this way, they can be Sensory-Avoiders, like my Little-Miss. Or they can actually encourage and try to get some noise going. These kids are Sensory-Seekers. They like lots and lots of noise and actually help to regulate their own focus and stimulation-level through creating noise, much to the annoyance of those around them;)
Does your child shrink at noises that others don’t seem to notice? Or melt down with noise? Does your child create endless noise and seem to get a thrill from it? Do they seem to lack control in this area? This may be a sign of SPD in your child and something to note with your Pediatrician.