Tag Archives: Learning Differences

Sensory Processing Disorder Through A Child’s Eyes

Understood is a website that provides information and support to parents and those interested in helping kids who have learning differences and attention issues. I found this website through the National Center for Learning Disabilities which is one of the well know non-profits that helped create the website. One of the features of the website is called Through Your Child’s Eyes. Which gives the perspective of the child’s experience with their learning issues. Here is a great one describing Sensory Processing Disorder.

I have seen a child cover her ears and scream when she went into a gym filled with noisy kids. If you understood it is actually painful for the child to hear all the noise, it explains the behavior.

Sensory Processing Disorder does not just affect children with Autism. It can exist by itself or with other conditions like ADHD.

Photo from Sensory Processing Disorder 101 by Priscilla Scherer

The Difference Called ADD

What does it feel like to have ADD?

Click image to slideshow by Additude Magazine

ADHD is like a browser with 600 tabs open, each to a different website.”–adult with ADD

“No matter how clever the alien becomes at attempting to pass as an earthling, some telling awkwardness in his manner, some fatal expression of his true nature will, in unguarded moments, betray him for what he is: “different.”–Gabor Mate M.D. in Scattered

To say someone with ADD has a deficit of attention is a misnomer. People with ADD have a deficit of attention for something that does not interest them. They have an abundance of attention for many things. I think that has been called curiosity.

In his article, Secrets of the ADHD Brain, William Dodson M.D. states “ADHD is not a damaged or defective nervous system. It is a nervous system that works well using its own set of rules. Despite ADHD’s association with learning disabilities, most people with an ADHD nervous system have significantly higher-than-average IQs. They also use that IQ in different ways than neurotypical people. By the time most people with the condition reach high school, they are able to tackle problems that stump everyone else, and can jump to solutions that no one else saw.”

I don’t like calling ADD a “condition” either because that makes me think of illness. I prefer calling it a difference. I do think kids can have trouble functioning in school with ADHD if they are not helped to develop coping skills to adjust their temperaments and differences to the neurotypical, linear thinking environment.  Teachers can make accommodations and modifications in the classroom and work load to help kids with ADHD engage and manage with their school work requirements.

” Far from being damaged goods, people with an ADHD nervous system are bright and clever. The main problem is that they were given a neurotypical owner’s manual at birth. It works for everyone else, not for them.” (Dodson)