10 Ideas for a Cozy Autumn & Winter

  1. Treating yourself to a new scarf, hat or gloves
  2. Hot chocolate or spiced tea/coffee in a big mug, which you can wrap both hands around
  3. A stroll around a big indoor artisan food or craft fair
  4. Fairy lights decorating a room, before and after Christmas
  5. A candle or perfume with a comforting fragrance
  6. Extra blankets and big cushions on the settee/bed to make a nest from
  7. A thick novel or biography which really engages you
  8. Donating food/clothes to projects and charities for people who are especially vulnerable around this time of year
  9. Big, hearty homemade stews or pies
  10. Having the heating automatically turn on for a while, just before you get out of bed

Chrissie

10 Positive Things Dyspraxia Has Given Me

I know posting a diagram showing the problems which dyspraxia can cause might seem counter intuitive to the tittle of this post but I think it’s the easiest way to show you what dyspraxia actually is. Personally, I have less problems with fine motor skills and more severe problems with attention, memory, sensory issues and general spacial awareness Neurologists tell me.

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Before I knew what was going on with me I felt like a big dumb freak but my school friends always said “We love you because of the that you are, not despite it.” My boyfriend says the exact same thing to me. I’ve got much more confidence now and because I’ve been diagnosed later in life it’s meant I’ve had to develop my own coping strategies and I’ve started to realise that dyspraxia has shaped me in positive ways.

Creativity and a random jukebox in my mind

As my brain is always whirring around with random thoughts – especially at night – I can get really creative ideas and little revelations about life. If you follow me on Twitter you will be able to attest to this! It has also meant that I’ve never run out blog post ideas once, in the 2 and a half years that I’ve been blogging. Everyday I have a line or the chorus of a song going around my head in a loop for frequent periods. I’m reminded of some great songs from passed decades I’d forgotten about or had no idea I even knew the words to!

 

Determination

‘If you fail try, try and try again’ or in my case ‘and again and again…..’ this can be seriously tedious but having to persevere has made me really tenacious. Even as a child I was a really determined little thing who wasn’t easily defeated… or stubborn at all ;o)

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Humour in the face of adversity

If I’m in a shitty situation I will some how manage to find humour in it. Failing at hundreds of little things everyday since childhood I’ve experienced a lot of flippant negativity. This could have made me an overly defensive, bitter bitch but I chose to have fun with a self-effacing sense of humour instead. I don’t mean I’m putting myself down constantly to get laughs, I just manage to find humour in dodgy situations. Rather than getting embarrassed after opening a packet of M&M’s in such a way they fly all over the place, I’ll make a joke like “I just thought I’d share them with EVERYONE!” Having an unrestrained imagination helps to turn the mundane into the ridiculous and therefor amusing very quickly. Anyone else made themselves laugh out loud at their own thoughts, when on a crowded bus?

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I can be surprisingly focussed

I’m used to coping with difficult situations. Having dyspraxia means that I need to pause before steaming into something and instead I need to figure out a way to do it, that works for me. I’m constantly accessing situations. I’ve realised this has made me a lot more ‘on the ball’ over the years. For instance travelling to London and finding my connecting train to Cornwall in an incredibly busy station didn’t phase me. Wandering around a maze like hospital didn’t phase me. I got utterly lost like, and went around in a circle – twice – but I didn’t get stressed. Being in situations where things aren’t instantly and entirely evident to me is pretty normal. Confusing yes, but somehow reassuringly normal and not as stressful as it might be to someone who isn’t used to feeling this way. Also if someone has an accident I can suddenly become detached enough to think practically rather than panic, which is always good.

Breath and relax…

I’ve learned a level of patience I never thought possible. Loosing my train of thought right near the end of a sentence or a sum, tripping up over nothing, spending ages making a simple but perfect meal only to drop the plate face down on the floor, all of these things have and continue to test my patience but my gosh, have I developed A LOT of it! When spoilt princesses (the grown up kind) are having a full on diva fit because they didn’t get served at warp speed, I just roll my eyes. When someone is running late and everything seems to be going wrong I can calm them down, offer them a cuppa or a cocktail and say something daft to make them laugh because I understand exactly how that feels. I’ll admit sometimes you might here me yell “For f#c% sake!” and launch an object across the room but then I’m usually calm immediately after my therapeutic mini meltdown.

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I’m always organised

I rule at being organised. Ok so I’ve missed many appointments because I’ve got the order of the numbers in the date mixed up or lost all track of time because I’m hyper-focussed on Grand Theft Auto. These experiences and many more have taught me that Post It notes, reminder alarms (on my laptop, phone, iPod and paper calendar), nagging reminders from my boyfriend and Mum, simple but detailed filing systems and adorable stationary are essential.

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Lateral thinking

I tend to think differently than others and sometimes I can easily solve a problem which others have been struggling with, because it just seems obvious to me. Kind of like when an adult is over complicating something and being governed by the rules of how something is meant to be done, then their child looks rather non-plussed and suggests “Why don’t you just do it like this?” I’m sorry I can’t think of any specific examples here, every time I try to think of any, they opaquely half form and then float out of my head! That’s the nature of dyspraxia and I don’t mind about my mind ;o)

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Weeding out the dickheads

When you are a bit of a weirdo as I am – and I mean that affectionately – it doesn’t take long to realise who your friends are. They are the ones who don’t judge, don’t constantly make ‘jokes’ at your expense, who try to help without being patronising. Who don’t try to finish your sentences because you are apparently taking too long or simply talk over you as if you are a toddler or hard of understanding.

I’m tidier than a maid

Everything I own has it’s own place where it lives and it always gets put back there almost as soon as I’ve used it. When you put something down and forget why it’s not in your hand 30 seconds later, things need to be ordered so you can find it again. When you can scan a room four or five times for something that’s in plain site and still not see it, things need to be kept tidy. Floor space needs to be free from clutter so that I don’t trip over the stuff I’ve left there. I do hate homes that are so sparse and neat they don’t feel homely and I don’t have a compulsion to tidy, I’ve just learned how to make my space work for me.

People know where they stand with me

I’m honest to a fault. In my twenties as a temp I was so terrified of offending candidates for the position of ‘new BFF’ I over thought everything before I spoke and I mean EVERYTHING. It was exhausting and when the words did finally come out they sounded awkward and rehearsed. Nowadays I trust I’m not a total idiot or a big ol’ bitch and I just go with my instincts and “blah blah blah” away freely to everyone. Sometimes I sound a bit dumb, sometimes I’m really quick and witty, sometimes I’m a little tactless but it’s better than being anxious and paranoid. Plus 70% of people I meet tend to really respect my honesty and the other….er…..30% just need to lighten up a little, hehe!

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I hope this gives people an insight into this hidden disability in general (recognised in the 1990’s) or that it helps anyone who recognises some of the symptoms, diagnosed or otherwise.

Your comments welcome as always :o)

Chrissie

You Don’t Have To Hide Your Disability Or Condition

I have what is referred to as an ‘invisible disability’ because Dyspraxia is part sensory, part co-ordination and part comprehension/attention/memory related, it’s not always an obvious physical thing. Invisible Disabilities have their own problems when it comes to mingling with the general pubic (yes, I know). I’m going to list them because I like lists!

Lazy But Frequent Assumptions People Make About You

  1. People loose patience with you because they think you are being lazy or just taking your own sweet time.
  2. People think you’re just a big weird goof and make tactless observations or find it easier to avoid what/who they don’t understand.
  3. People scowl at you for using things/spaces for disabled people because you aren’t in a wheel chair or you don’t have a big neon “DISABLED” sign hovering over your head.
  4. People think you are acting precious or being a bit of a diva because you’re asking for special attention or more frequent attention compared to everyone else, who’s just ‘getting on with it’.
  5. People think you are being an ignorant arsehole. Yes, I just love loosing the plot of our conversation about your baby who’s just started walking (and who’s name I can’t remember) or literally bumping into you on the street when we’re the only two people on the pavement or over compensating and giving you a ludicrously wide birth (hilarious to watch apparently!) or struggling to join in a group conversation and then blurting out what I want to say when it’s not even relevant anymore.
  6. That you are just plain stoopid.

Talk About Your Condition/Disability! Tell people!

Don’t stop strangers in the street and regale them with details of your latest Dr’s visit like, but do get a dialogue going with people you are going to be spending a lot of time with.

In hindsight I would have found it so much easier in every college, every job and every new circle of friends I’ve made, if I’d have just had ‘the talk’ with them. Alright, back then I had no understanding of why I struggled so much but I knew which things I struggled with.

 

Yeah, I know it shouldn’t be up to the disabled person to set the standard and to feel like they have to justify their actions but explaining them might possibly make it easier for said person in the long term. Your disability shouldn’t be something you are ashamed of either.

Why Covering For Your Disability Won’t Always Work

I did an Office Administrator apprenticeship in my 20’s where I wasn’t much older than most of my colleagues kids. They noticed straight away that I wasn’t coping very well but falleveryone was lovely and they all really helped me. After a year the apprenticeship was over and I had to find a new job.

I fell in with a group of people that had started a month earlier and had bonded with each other quickly. After 6 months I still felt a little like I was ‘the new girl settling in’ and had an uneasy feeling I hadn’t meshed quite right with them. I automatically assumed it was down to my wonky social skills. Other people in the office had previously dropped subtle hints to me about ‘knowing who your friends are’ etc. but subtlety isn’t my strong point and anyway, these people were doing just enough to con me into thinking they genuinely were my friends. I think that they knew I was (intentionally) hiding something from them and something i_m_fine__by_halliova-d5jex0lwasn’t quite right, so they all thought it gave them the right to treat me like shit. I ended up leaving because of it, with no other prospect of employment on the horizon but that’s not the point. They were a bunch of knobs, obviously, but that’s not the point either….

Accept It And Own It!

The point is, I was trying to hide my condition in plane sight and failing miserably. One minute I was chatting a mile a minute and the next I was being evasive and not making eye contact. Fine not fine. Basically I was really embarrassed by my ‘weirdness’ and was bright enough to quickly be able to come up with a vaguely plausible excuse for every symptom, while t the same time feeling really rather stupid. We need to remember we aren’t wrong or broken, we just function differently. We shouldn’t be making excuses for being who we are or acting the way that we do regarding being different.Every single person on the planet has things they are good at and things they are crap at. The only difference with us is that we are more determined to give the things we know we’ll struggle with, a try in the first place.

If people notice you are acting or doing something that’s a little different don’t try to hide it,uniqueness-quotes or make excuses for it. People will see through you and wonder what on earth is going on. If you continue to behave like that, it’s pretty obvious people are going to get tired or even annoyed. It’s not fair I know but there you go. Either find a quiet time to have a casual chat or wait until someone brings it up and then just be open and honest with them about it.

 

Even if you only make your lecturer/manager aware so that they can make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help you cope. For instance, amassing angrier and angrier warnings from your boss for being late, when you struggle with time management and planning might actually be avoidable! Maybe you could start and finish slightly earlier/later to avoid rush hour?

What To Say About Your Disability or Condition

Maybe talk about specific things you struggle with, if you’ve been diagnosed with a certain thing or the reason why that condition effects you (if you are lucky enough to know) or how long you’ve had it. Go into as much or as little detail as you want but try to keep your sense of humour. At the very least it gives people a better understanding of you, and why shouldn’t they!

Admit If You Need Help WithA Task

I know with invisible disabilities it’s possible a person can keep on scraping by and covering up their mistakes or their needs but that knotted stomach feeling of dread can lead to anxiety and depression. It’s much better to ask for help or clearer guidance from your teacher/lecturer/manager/colleagues/friends from the start, even if that help is just a little more patience or understanding from them. Absolutely everyone needs help sometimes so if you are really really struggling with a task don’t feel embarrassed to ask for some!

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Being more open about it might make you feel vulnerable at first but as I’ve learned, hiding it can make you just as vulnerable. They are some awesome people out there with more empathy and understanding than you might first realise.

The more people talk about disabilities, the more people get to hear about them and gain a greater understanding of them :o)

Chrissie xx

10 Reasons Why I Love My Wonky Body

I’m going off when my body and energy levels are on good form because I’m trying to be nice to myself these days ^_^

  1. It’s got a lot of natural rhythm which makes it easier to dance without me really loving-yourselfover-thinking it.
  2. My legs are long and surprisingly strong, through them having to correct my balance constantly when I stand and walk. The Amazons have nothing on me lol
  3. I have a really fast metabolism which is great for never having to worry about getting overweight (just hangry) and it means I can totally justify ordering sides with my main meal.
  4. Being tall is pretty handy to not feel claustrophobic in a crowd and to see where I’m meant to going if it’s somewhere new.
  5. My immune system may attack me but cold and flu viruses beware, it’s effectively coming for you too!
  6. I tan quickly which is awesome after a grey winter – I mean my skin, not the weather.
  7. I have weirdly good balance if I really concentrate.
  8. Being hypermobile is actually really handy when trying to reach past a load of clutter or when the lid off something has rolled under furniture.
  9. I’ve gotten some interesting scars over the years but I also heal surprisingly quickly.
  10. I’m going to be inhabiting my body for the rest of my life so I might as well appreciate it!

Chrissie

Note: Incase you wondering, the conditions I have are Demyelination (similar to but not actually MS), Dyspraxia, Aspergers, Sensory Processing Disorder (relating to the latter three conditions), allergies, PCOS (suspected by GP), Hyperthyroidism, Hypermobilty Syndrome (including food intolerance), which can all have the symptoms of chronic fatigue/brain fog in common.

Selfcare To Do List (a fun one)

I thought I’d bump up this post as it is a Sunday – probably the best selfcare day of the week, if you don’t have the time or energy to do everything, every day.

It’s so easy to let small habits slide when we are busy, tired and/or ill but it’s those small things that, when added together make such a big difference to our emotional and physical wellbeing.

Here’s my handy list of things that I do, some of which are fun, some are simple but make such a big difference and some are selfless but not really because, let’s be honest, it feels nice to be nice. ^_^

Daily

Drink water, probably should drink a bit more

Take meds/vits

Coffee or Protein Smoothie (which still contains coffee)

Eat x3 (preferably not all at once toward the evening!)

Lip balm

Facial Serum/Oil

Fix hair (combing the beast totally counts)

Wear at least one thing I really like such as earrings, pointy boots, mascara or a sparkly pin.

Record one thing which made me happy/grateful that day, either on Instagram or happiness journal.

Take at least 30 minutes to myself with no interruptions if needed.

Drink some coconut water or aloe vera for the easily absorbed electrolytes.

Get off my ass and volunteer to make a brew/take empty plates into kitchen etc. x3

Gentle stretching/balance/co-ordination (whisper it) exercises

Weekly

Treat myself to any food I like

Have an evening totally to myself

Read part of novel (C,mon you have seven days to choose from, seven!)

Watch trashy TV shows that make me smile or laugh

Herd caterpillar (pluck eyebrow/s)

Pet or feed a cute animal (caterpillar does not count)

Some kind of grocery shopping OUTSIDE (yes, that place where there is sunlight and air)

Facemask/facepack/natural skin peel

Do a good deed

Blog/comment on other blogs

Do a load of washing

Iron (bahahaahaaaahaa!)

Hug or at least phone my Dad

Exercise on cross trainer

Get tipsy

(important to get the latter two in the right order)

Monthly

Go out for a fancy meal

Have a completely needless but totally indulgent bubble bath

Check bank statements (for possible beer induced purchases)

Trim hair-canopy back to recognisable fringe/bangs

Monthly round-up on my blog/Instagram

Drop that item off at the charity shop/food bank in supermarket

Watch a film I love

Have fresh flowers in the living room

Chrissie

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Street Art Manchester and Cities of Hope Global


The Cities of Hope project has been going on in Manchester for 9 days in the Northern Quarter, where renowned street artists from around the world came to Manchester to create art focusing on social justice including homelessness, mental health and equal rights.

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Here’s some other street art and shots from around The NQ

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Don’t know if anyone remembers me posting this piece last year but I went to check if it was still in the wall and found a little dude chilling on the stairs!

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check out the drone

Look out for more street art and general Manchester street shots in future. I intend to do one a month if poss.

Chrissie

5 Fandom Friday – 5 Ways You Grew/Changed/Evolved in 2015

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  1. I’ve started trying to be more empathetic. Trying not to take other peoples moodiness too personally and also giving them some quiet time or recognising if they are struggling emotionally. It’s easy to take others moodiness personally but we don’t always realise how much stress they may be dealing with and how much it’s actually effecting them.
  2.  I’ve learned to accept my limitations and not to push myself until I’m exhausted and therefore going from one fail to another. I’m not a super-human and it’s ok to say “I don’t have the time/energy to be able to this, I’m sorry but it’s not going to happen.” Also to do half of the things well and enjoy them rather than trying to get all of the things done in a rushed and stressed out manner.
  3. I’ve learned that even though I can struggle to find the right words for things and keep my thoughts in order, I can actually be confident, articulate, emotive and put my point across in a very specific way in front of strangers in a court room. All thanks to taking the department of work and pensions to tribunal.
  4. I’ve realised it doesn’t mean you have failed or are shit at something (ok maybe a little) if you need to ask someone to help you with something. There is persevering, practicing and learning and then there’s struggling needlessly as a result of foolish pride!
  5. I’ve started taking care of my health on a daily basis but not worrying about what may happen in the future. I mean no one really knows for sure. I love chaos theory, ha! There is no point spoiling the moment you are in worrying about the moments ahead. If I just chill and go with the flow then not only am I going to be happier and have more laughs, I’m not going to be emotionally exhausted when/if I do need to tackle a problem.

One other weird thing….I felt like I had grown a few inches and lost a little bit of weight. Turns out I’m still the same as I was before!? I have been consciously (my god, I actually spelt that right first time) working on my posture so maybe that’s it.

Any points here that resonate with you?

Chrissie xx

Successful War with the Department for Work and Pensions and Illness Update

I’ll start with some good news first. I won my appeal against the Department for Work and Pensions – yay! I am so utterly relieved!

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DWP Assessment

Previously the DWP had ‘assessed’ me in the most pointless way – it was pointless because they literally awarded me no points, meaning that I was supposedly fit for work. I appealed with endless evidence from my GP and Neurologist who wrote me a letter especially for that purpose. I wrote a thorough list of notes on a copy of their report (which I had to request myself) addressing where they had taken things out of context and at one point completely omitted that I’d failed their memory test! Again the DWP utterly ignored all of this saying their original decision was correct and that I was fit for work.

Tribunal Appeal

I took them to tribunal where I faced two lovely and very understanding people with no government agenda who actually wanted to listen and understand me before judging my abilities. So with the evidence from my GP and Neurologist and the DWP report that I’d enthusiastically corrected in my best angry scrawl (blush) and my verbal testament and  written testament and my answers to their gentle and relevant questions, they concluded that my Neurology didn’t exactly fit in with the DWP’s points system but regardless of that fact, my fatigue, memory and spacial awareness problems rendered it too stressful for me to struggle with holding down a job and it would be at a detriment to my mental health – having previously suffered from severe depression after a never ending cycle of starting jobs, doing my absolute best, failing to cope and then being ‘let go’ from the companies.

Phew and Thank You!

There is absolutely no way I could have done this without the help of my family and friends and there support, advice and constant reminders to follow things up! Anyone who has managed to do this on their own is an absolute hero in my opinion. Online communities like Twitter and the Dyspraxia, MS and Sensory Processing Disorder Facebook pages and their members have been a massive source of empathy and knowledge also.

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So what the hell is up with me exactly?

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I have an autoimmune disease which means my body’s immune system is attacking healthy cells thinking they are invading and so destroying them. Unfortunately my immune system is actually attacking my brain and the myelin sheath that protects my nerves in my spine which is called demyelination. Unfortunately this is a  degenerative condition of which there is no cure for – some heavy shit I know! Fortunately there are drugs and exercises (mental and physical) to manage the symptoms (with varying degrees of success). My symptoms are so similar to MS my Neurologist has not yet ruled it out.

So Practically Speaking….

Basically the signals from my nerves are either very weak, don’t get sent or are slow to be understood by my brain and/or body. For instance my brain could ask my body to lift my foot up when going upstairs and my body’s response is either slightly late or my foot doesn’t lift up quite enough – oops! On the reverse side of that, I could have put a little bit of food in my mouth that is far too hot but because this signal from my body has taken a while to reach my brain I’ve already shovelled another spoonful in my mouth – ouch! I can see how dodgy nerve/brain signals can also effect memory and attention but why I get fatigue though I still don’t understand. I’ve been told ‘It’s just part of it.” It does take me a lot more energy to do things properly and to keep my thoughts straight than the average person but fatigue is a lot different than just feeling tired. It’s like the debilitating exhaustion of being really really hungover.

And The Other Conditions…

Along with that it’s clear I’ve had Dypraxia all of my life and to me personally I find that 80% of the demyelination symptoms are very similar but to a higher, even more unpredictable degree. Both the demyelination and Dyspraxia cause major sensory issues so I can also empathise with people who  have Sensory Processing Disorder. Because all of my different symptoms overlap so much I tend not to bother explaining that I have SPD because that is just a range of symptoms from the other two conditions I assume and not something that is separate (like it is for a lot of people).

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I have no clue if anyone is a) reading this b) remotely interested. It’s here if anyone wants to use it as a resource for future reference or wants to understand the things I’ve mentioned a little better. If you have any questions just ask and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Chrissie xx

My Personal Examples of Sensory Processing Disorder Symptoms

 

I’m going to write this from personal point of view and although maybe not as comprehensive as an objective list of symptoms, I’m hoping it will be more interesting and add a bit more context. Staggeringly, I was only recognised as having difficulty with my sensory processing by a Neurologist around 2 years ago (age 32) and even though I’ve read a lot about people with SPD and chatted online, I’ve not met anyone else with it yet.

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Things I’m Under Sensitive To….

Touch. I love the feel of smooth shiny things like those posh granite work tops and PVC handbags.

Speed and Movement. I could travel in a sports car and zoom around corners at incredibly high speed or do doughnuts and it would just be so much fun. Yay – speed in a horizontal kind of way!

Pain. I can bump into things or fall over and it’s more annoying and frustrating rather than painful. I’ve dropped things onto my foot and crashed into things, had injections and blood taken and the people around me have cringed more than I have. Saying that, paper cuts and mild cramp feel so painful to me!

Pain. ‘Shouldn’t this pan be hotter by now?’…. …. …. ‘Shit it really is, ouch!’

Touch and Pressure. I like big hugs and I cannot lie (sorry for the Sir Mix-a-lot ref), big giant bear hugs that squeeze me. Usually I’ve barley comprehended the lighter hugs before the person steps back, so it’s like I’ve just missed it. Strangely, it also relaxes my muscles and calms me down almost instantly if I’m stressing out. Cows also like this as well apparently – but I’m not going cow hugging just yet.

Taste and Pressure I like my food either savoury and spicy or rich and creamy. I was in my early 20’s until I learned to appreciate subtler flavours and textures. As a kid I always smothered everything in HP sauce!  I also love crunchy food and as a kid I was quite bitey – objects not people!

Touch and Pressure. When people go to the hairdressers and complain that they were getting quite head-sore because the hairdresser wasn’t gentle enough. I have no clue what they are talking about. Again that kind of thing relaxes me so much I feel all floppy and sleepy.

Smell. I often think ‘This perfume smell nice, I’ll just add a bit more of it so I can really smell it.’ Then I wonder why people practically faint when they enter the room. At least I never fell foul of the old “Who ever smelt it dealt it” fart rule.

Touch and Pressure. I absolutely love tight clothes because they are against my skin (unless the weather is incredibly hot) why would I want my body to feel awkward and ‘lost’ inside my clothes?

Auditory. You can be chatting with me and I’ll be interested but then almost subconsciously I’ll tune out your voice and pick up on some other noise instead. The tone of mens voices and traffic noise just blend together a lot of the time for me – sorry guys! I do listen but don’t always understand the word someone just said even though I heard it, especially if they speak quickly and change subjects rapidly or with a sudden short sentence. I’m really bad at remembering what was said as a result.

Touch and Pressure. Don’t give me a wine glass if you are expecting me to get progressively drunk as I’ll put it down too hard and break the stem and most of the glass probably.

Touch and Pressure. When I’m struggling with something – for instance closing a door that’s a little un-aligned – and I loose patience and try really hard that door will accidentally be slammed loudly and with a ridiculous amount of force. “Gaaah!”

Touch and Pressure. I tend to drop things because I’ve forgot how tight I’m meant to be holding the bloody thing according to it’s weight and shape.

Touch and pressure. Y’know those kids in junior/high school that were definitely not bullies but they always went too far with practical jokes or play fighting? That was me – oops!

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Things I’m Over Sensitive To…..

Touch and Texture. I want to punch the manufacturer who started the trend of sewing nylon labels into the back of jumpers etc. Why not just use pokey, scratchy sandpaper instead?

Light. Have you ever watched the film Gremlins where little Gizmo is saying in an adorable little voice “Bright light, bright light!” For me it’s more of an “Argh, I can barley see anything. My eyes have a headache. Are you blind? No light needs to be that bright surely?”

Noise. Things that are high-pitched like unhappy babies screaming and tram and bus brakes, children and/or drunk people with whistles and loud screechy or very ‘busy’ music like acid jazz. Horrendous, like it’s right inside my brain!

Temperature. My Kryptonite is THE COLD or the false sensation of it on certain bits of exposed skin. Even on a mild day, if I have a centimetre gap between my boot and jeans I feel cold, even when I’m in doors! I know it’s not real but tell that to the rest of my brain. Brrr!

Touch. OK this part is kind of nice- in small doses. All of me can be ticklish but in a goose bumpy way – not a ‘stop this strange and unusual punishment!’ kind of way which most people get.

Movement. Rollercoasters or high-spead lift that suddenly drop, or even small trampolines.

Processing and understanding. New situations I have to suddenly adjust to and intuitively pick up on are pretty bewildering to be honest. I mean how the hell am I supposed to just know what I’m meant to be doing? Some signage or instructions are always welcome!

Texture. It took me until I was in my late 20’s before I could eat rough ‘foresty’ foods like steamed broccoli, kale or rocket. I also hated ‘squidgy’ food, primarily cooked mushrooms. I love them now though but had to practice to get used to the texture.

Visual. Spiky things. Luckily for me who’s A/W wardrobe is mainly inspired by punk and rock it’s only increadibly fine spikes that I find freaky. Spikes that are pushing through something make me want to throw up. Yup. Or the sound of creepy crawlies, y’know that popular sound effect they use in sci-fi and horror films far to often? OMG when a TV screen goes half pixelated so you can still see a distorted image of the person, my skin just crawls!

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Where SPD Overlaps With Dyspraxia

Judgment of Speed, Height, Weight, Mass. My judgment on these things tends to be laughably incorrect a lot of the time. Not great for crossing roads quickly but good for accidentally flattering people – or insulting them.

Spacial Awareness. Mine is bobins! This effects knocking things over, tripping over things, forgeting what is behind me in the room, missjugding how close I am to an object. Which way I am facing in the building in relation to where it’s positioned (hospitals and colleges are fun for this.)

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SPD – Who and Why? 

A person can just have SPD without having any other disorders, however it can be difficult to diagnose someone with SPD (especially if they are under and over sensitive to different things) so a lot of the time it gets recognised in people who have other conditions such as Autism, Asperger’s, Dyspraxia, Mosaic (high functioning) Downes Syndrome or nuero-degenerative conditions such as MS.

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Resources

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation website Helpful but USA based.

Amazingly the NHS website had no info on Sensory Processing Disorder only Auditory.

Wonderful Facebook Group for Adults with SPD UK and US

Here is a very informative site created by a Mum of a child with SPD.

I hope this helps someone to understand someone with SPD a little better or themselves even!

Chrissie xx

Note: Credit to Kelly Dillon & Rachel S. Schnieder for this fantastic poster!