Please note first that there is no formally recognized clinical designation of 'sensory processing disorder.' It is a term constructed by occupational therapists that has not been formally recognized by the larger medical community.
In our clinic we receive many referrals from local pediatricians when parents have concerns about children being overly sensitive to their clothing. Most often the children referred are from four to seven years old and the families are severely disrupted by the children's behaviors and responses to clothing issues. Commonly, children will have severely constricted tolerance for certain outfits, want to wear the same clothes repeatedly, complain that clothing is itchy/scratch/bumpy/wiggly/ouchie, and this all leads to disruption of daily dressing routines. There is no doubt that the behavioral concerns are very real.
The pediatricians tend to be appropriately conservative and provide families with good behavioral management suggestions bef…
A fairly standard component of my pediatric occupational therapy
evaluations is to ask the child to draw a picture of themselves. This
assessment technique provides an opportunity to evaluate the child's
skill with writing and also is a functional assessment of their
cognitive and perceptual ability.
Sometimes kids draw things that
just beg to be probed and questioned - as was the case recently. I watched
intently as 6 year old Patrick drew a representation of himself,
but then he began adding odd details to his picture. First he colored
dark spots on his figure's hands and feet, and then added a row of X's
across the forehead.
I leaned forward and quizzically asked, "Patrick, what are these marks here?"
looked at me for a moment and then responded: "Jesus died for you, you
know. He got nailed to a cross, in his hands and his feet. My Dad said
that he had to wear prickers on his head and it made him bleed."
In a recent article appearing on the CNN website, author Wayne Drash reviews the concept of 'wrongful birth' in context of Lesli, a person who has developmental disabilities. Drash's profile states that he "specializes in stories off the radar" and that "his passion is to tell narratives about life and the unfolding drama of the world we live in."
It would be more accurate to state that Drash cherry picked one person's perspective and advanced a fiction that serves one ideological perspective.
His initial description of Lesli in his opening sentence tells us everything he believes about her person-hood. He immediately goes to the 'fetal position' trope that promotes his message of Lesli's helplessness and haplessness.
For just a moment the reader is led to believe that there may be another side of the story to be told as he describes Lesli's joy at having her mother hold her hand - but the author quickly reverts to reporting the p…