Why I Was Happy To Have A Diagnosis

Ever have a conversation with someone and spend most of the time thinking that they look different?  “Hmmm, she looks different today. I wonder if she got her haircut? Or maybe she got it colored? Something is definitely different today.” So at the first chance you have you ask, “did you do something different with your hair today?” and your friend says, “my hair? no. I got new glasses though.” and suddenly it all makes sense. Yes, those are new glasses. The rest of the conversation flows easily and you no longer have a nagging feeling that something is “different” but you just can’t put your finger on it.

That was me. Only it wasn’t my friend… it was my son. And it wasn’t just a nagging suspicion during a conversation… it was an overwhelming fear in most of my daily interactions with him. I began to notice something was “different” when at two and a half Jacob still didn’t have age appropriate play skills, got overly excited when around other children, had a hard time with other children’s personal space, still mouthed many things, spun in circles, walked on his tippy toes, never seemed to pause for very long, chewed on his clothes and had a variety of other “odd” behavior. The big red flag came when he started getting excluded by his peers. When older toddlers and preschoolers were noticing that he didn’t interact the same way other children their age did and didn’t want him playing with them or sitting next to them. That hurt. I didn’t want him to go through life being awkward in social situations.

So I called Early Intervention. When it came time for the initial consult the woman from EI mentioned that maybe Jacob had Sensory Processing Disorder. I had heard of that but from what I knew about SPD it was people that didn’t like loud noises, strong smells, and things like that. People that avoided sensory experiences. That was NOT my son.

He was evaluated by therapists and we were told that was, in fact, what he had. Then I learned about the other end of Sensory Processing Disorder- the sensory seeker. It all made sense. THAT WAS MY SON. Suddenly his crashing, and chewing on things, and throwing toys, and all the other things that he did that just made him look like a BAD kid and made me look like a BAD mom…. now I knew there was an underlying reason for that behavior.

I was happy for a diagnosis because now I know what is “different” with him. Now I can get him the help he needs. Now I can adjust how I parent. Now we can move forward.


  1. Stefanie Slater says

    Hey Alicia,

    I loved reading this. Even though my little ones do not have anything similar, I could completely get what you were saying. When you know something is different…..and that nagging feeling. You could not have written it better! I enjoyed reading this, and glad that you are able to move forward and now you know WHY. He is an adorable little boy, and I am glad that you were able to find that diagnosis.

  2. Sheri Daily says

    I can totally feel your pain when you talk about other children not including your son in play, etc. I have seen this happen a couple of times with my Hannah, and it breaks my heart. Jason and I have had many talks about that is one HUGE thing of importance to me right now at this stage of development with Hannah. She knows that it is not acceptable to exclude. We were on our way to a bbq the other day where there were going to be multiple children. On the car ride over, Jason and I talked to her about what to expect and that there would be several children and she was to be kind and play with all of the children and not leave anyone out intentionally. It bothers me when other parents and caregivers allow their children to exclude like it is a “normal part of growing up”. UGH!! Anyways, sorry…lol. Pet peeve. ;) I am so proud of you though for listening to your mommy gut and getting the help for you and your family that you deserved. You are SUCH a great mommy. Your love for your family oozes out of you. Don’t ever doubt your worth as a mom for a second. Kudos for doing what was right for your son!!! Hugs!!!

  3. Thanks for this great post. I am glad you are getting answers and good information. Love that pic too!!!

  4. gina gagliardi says

    I have been in your shoes many a time. I’m glad you got the diagnosis early. The earlier you can start therapy the better. Hang in there. It does get better.

  5. I can relate. My sons were different from each other, other than 5 years in age. but in other ways. one more intro-spective & the other out…
    but not to any extremes that I sought out any dx.
    fast forward to now when the oldest more intro-spective now has 2 boys of his own. the oldest a lot like him, including illnesses & more calm personality. He is the grandson born with bi-lateral club foot & other problems. so my opinion is all the extra attention & hospitalizations sort of molded him into a more calm person. then came his little brother… the little wild man… a lot like my younger one, only they are much closer in age. He does have the same dx your son has. I hope they can get the kind of attention for him he needs as well. He also with his wild rough house type of play is how his big brother got his femur broken a few weeks ago ( I posted about it). He does not understand that not every child wants to play rough & that pain & hurting is not short… esp if he wants to climb or jump on his big brothers casted leg. I am not close enough to give them help, I did offer to come, but was told they have enough.
    So I will be anxious to see what kind of training & help you get for your son to educate myself. I do not like being kept in the dark .


  6. Hi! This is a great post! Have you thought about sharing it on the SPD Blogger Network site? I’m one of the editors there and we love having posts like this. Check out our page on how to post with us http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/faq/ and think about it.

    I’m glad you were able to get the information you needed to help you and your sons.

  7. I could sense your tension and worry as I read this post. I’m thrilled to know you have found peace and are moving forward.

  8. This was an interesting read. Your son sounds a lot like my grandson, in fact I just sent her the link to this. He has been tested for ADHD but I am not sure what else. My oldest was very much like this as a child. I guess they find new things every day. It’s a plus when parents are searching for answers. I hope things go well.

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