In this Podcast Episode, Rachel talks about her new children’s book, Sensory Like You: A Book for Kids with SPD by Adults with SPD. Rachel shares her message of hope, acceptance, and the importance of loving your differences.
(click play button above to listen to the podcast)
About Rachel: Rachel S. Schneider, M.A, MHC is the author of Making Sense: A Guide to Sensory Issues and Sensory Like You: A Book For Kids with SPD by Adults with SPD. As a writer, mental health counselor, delayed-diagnosis SPD adult, and pillar of the adult SPD Community, Rachel writes the popular blog Coming to My Senses, maintains a website on adulthood SPD, and leads a Facebook support group for adults with SPD. Rachel lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Co-author of Sensory Like You, Kelly Dillion, Eating Off Plastic
Sensory Like You is for children ages 6-9 years old.
The whole message of my book is acceptance. Acceptance is my message in all my advocacy work. Acceptance is huge. It took me 27 years to get this diagnosis. It took me another couple of years to start to figure out how to accept it. Acceptance is one of those things that if we instill it in our children earlier rather than later, they’ll grow up with it. They’ll associate it with this diagnosis.
I hate the idea of thinking there is a kid out there thinking that he is a bad kid because he is different. In the book, we talk about what it’s like to be different in the world…and that it’s ok to be different.
Different isn’t bad. It just means we have a different delicious tapestry to choose from.
Sensory Like You is based on this article Rachel wrote:
HOPE is so important.
As parents, it’s encouraging your sensory child to do as much as they can….to reach that limit and sometimes push it, but only when they’re comfortable. That is the secret.
Not everyday is a good sensory day.
If ‘xyz’ is challenging, but ‘abc’ is not challenging….let’s celebrate you can do ‘abc’. When you do ‘xyz’, than that gets a big celebration.
Everyone takes things for granted. I’m always amazed by that. I think that’s a very common SPD vs. neurotypical experience. I’ve learned that I can’t take anything for granted. Very few things are taken for granted with this kind of life.
What is your best advice for a person living with spd?
I think a lot of it has to do with your perception and perspective. In psycho-therapy there is a wonderful concept in cognative behavior psycho-therapy called “Reframing”. So much of successfully living with delayed diagnosis sensory issues is working with the reframing concept.
- Take how you feel and what you think, and start working on how you see what you’re looking at.
- Your feelings about it change what you do about it and how you live with it.
- Life if short. You have two options;
- (1) you can live miserably. You can say you have this. I can’t do anything. It’s messed me up.
- (2) If you can find a way to get to that reframing to say, “Yes, I have this, but I’m still a good person.” You’re not a bad person. You’re just different and different is ok.
- You have these two choices; you can live a happy life or you can live a miserable life. At the end of the day you’re still living the same life, but it’s your choice. Nobody else can change that, but you.
- You deserve to have a happy life. You deserve to be celebrated. You’re a good person. You’re just different and different isn’t bad.
Carol Kranowitz’s new book that Rachel is in (click image to view more)
What is your best advice for parents with children with SPD?
- Read books
- Talk to adult advocates. Email Rachel and Kelly (see contact info at the bottom of this page). I want to help everybody. It’s ok to ask questions. We’re grown up versions of your children.
- Parents need to believe their children. When your child tells you this is uncomfortable or weird or strange or somethings not right, please believe them. Why would they tell you a lie about this? This is not something to joke about. This is uncomfortable. What they are experiencing is real. It’s so real that research shows 1 in 6 kids have SPD.
- You’re not alone.
- Reach out to people in the SPD Community; join groups on Facebook, make friends with others. Immerse yourself as much as you can in it, because it will validate everything you have heard, the things you are feeling, and you’ll know that you’re not alone.
Rachel’s article about Shut Downs (not meltdowns):
The other message of Sensory Like You:
You are not alone. You are not alone in your differences. Not only is it ok to be different, but you are in great company.
Your feelings are valid! Every feeling you are feeling is valid; if you’re angry or sad or scared or happy. Literally every feeling you feel is your feeling. It’s you’re reaction.You get to own it. It’s yours to have. If people don’t agree with it, it’s their problem, not yours. Your feelings especially in the face of sensory input are BEYOND valid. They’re based on how you’re wired. How we’re created varies from person to person. Who’s to say how you are feeling. It’s who you are.