Loving my SPD child because he’s different

I have mentioned this before, my son is an odd bird.  Oh he comes by it naturally and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Trace has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) which means he experiences everything at a higher level to fill the senses he needs.

While I was pregnant all I worried about was his health, his making it into this world okay. All his fingers and toes, hair that wasn’t shaped like a mullet for life, and the joyous grandeur of knowing one day his intelligence would surprise me on a level of profoundness I would not be able to contain.  And boy — he hasn’t disappointed me.

Trace is special. Not just because he’s my son, because I carried him inside of me and then gave him life. But because Trace is — life in a nutshell.  He doesn’t do things small — everything is BIG!  

When he hugs — he hugs until he squeezes the life out of you.

He doesn’t just kiss me — he has to movie star kiss me. MUAH!  

He doesn’t just watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — he has to leap off the sofa as Rafael, sword in hand to slay the bad guys, depicting every action verbally so you can follow along.  

And he doesn’t just act up when things are difficult — heck he created the word I think.  He showcases a volcanic eruption of emotion and tyranny that makes you think the end of the world is coming.

I don’t just like my son. I love him to pieces for every moment of every day he brings to me that is painted with color.

Sure I have fears. Don’t all parents?  

I want the best for Trace and there is a societal rule of what “Normal” is and Trace does not fall into that category but without him — words like eccentric, unique, charming would not have been created for our pleasure.  

Sure Trace is different but over the past year, I’ve truly come to enjoy the little person he is and not who I am afraid others think he should be.

So what if he has to go to bed with a hockey stick because he’s afraid of the bad guys.  

Who cares that he watches CSI, bypassing the criminal aspect and violence — only to engage his mind with the actual forensics.  That’s neat!  

So he doesn’t like the rain or getting wet — because he says it hurts him, or that the brightness of the lights bothers his eyes to the point that he often wears my gigantic movie-star shades while reading.  They are fashionable!  

And it’s nobody’s business that he can spend hours lining up his Hot Wheels by color, or builds a world with blocks where all the blocks lay flat — because he says the world is just too bumpy.  I don’t judge. He’s right — it is bumpy.

Instead I find myself watching in awe and listening intently at how Trace thinks and feels about things.  He shows me every day that I’m still able to learn.  Seeing life through his eyes is a gift.  A pleasure I’m honestly enjoying, despite the pitfalls and troubles we engage in.  

Trace is a miracle to me.  More than he knows…

I won’t waste my time being angry anymore that he has “special abilities” or has a hard time overcoming obstacles along the way. I won’t be bitter because it wasn’t supposed to be this way. This is the hand I was dealt. It is the hand Trace was dealt. And Trace has shown it is way more fun to play the game, making up our own rules and that nobody has to win to enjoy making each move count as we take one step at a time towards the finish line.

Trace is fun! More fun than I’ve ever had in my life.  He’s like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, not perfect, branches a little loose and awkward and hard to string lights on the way most trees are accepting of them. But man once you decorate it. It’s the most beautiful tree in the world you’ve ever laid eyes on — and nobody can tell you any different.


  1. Louise January 17, 2014 at 3:09 am

    The world is bumpy, indeed. Thank goodness for those among us who are brave enough to call it out.

  2. Suebob January 17, 2014 at 2:58 am

    SPD doesn't seem like a disorder to me. It just seems like being me. To me, living in a world of loud chemical smells like Glade Plug-Ins and Febreeze and scented laundry detergent just seems crazy, while my largely unscented/natural oils world seems just right. Yes, I AM the person who is hunting for the light switch to turn off glaring lights, who is turning off the TV that is on for no reason, who is asking why there are two kinds of music overlapping and making a cacophony.

    So when someone tells me the chair is uncomfortable or the light is too bright or the clothes are too scratchy, I believe them, because I understand. People like us are just people. And while our abilities may seem annoying at times, we'll be the first people to smell a whiff of smoke or to be able to hear a little engine noise that tells you your car needs oil. If everyone paid attention to us, the world might be a better place!

    1. Jodi - Site Author January 17, 2014 at 3:15 am

      I completely agree Sue and omg well put. Many people suffer with these types of things, we all handle things differently. Wish my son's class and his teachers understood this more. We are not all the same. Thanks so much for sharing our thoughts 🙂

  3. jonah March 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

    we are going through the same, with our 4.5 year old little girl…actually, I found this lovely ray of sunshine (this post) while trolling for good images to represent my feelings in my most recent rant, er, post….coming soon….

    thank you for this smile.

  4. Patricia Bacon January 16, 2013 at 4:27 am

    You have a truly amazing son, and a truly amazing attitude. You remind me so much of my daughter. One of her daughters (she has two) is , as you said, "different". She has A.S.D. ( Autism Spectrum Disorder) and sweet Paige's expressions of love, joy, and general contentment are not what would fall into a "normal" category either. This is no way negates her inner feelings of these emotions just how she expresses them.

    I started a blog about a year ago( I'm newly retired ) and my family thinks I have "lost it!"" I am however forwarding your URL to Paige's Mum, as she, and maybe you? need to know you are not alone.

    Thanks for posting.

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author January 16, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Wow thanks Patricia I appreciate that. Us special needs moms need to stay together. And congrats on starting a new blog. Good for you. It's a great outlet.

  5. @Mommy_Jennof3 January 16, 2013 at 3:07 am

    I love the way you approach your son's UNIQUENESS!! Good for you! He is so lucky to have you! You sound like a GREAT mom! keep it up!

  6. Randa January 16, 2013 at 2:25 am

    He lives life with a little extra oomph. That's fantastic 🙂

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author January 16, 2013 at 7:47 am

      Thanks Randa!

  7. Whispered Inspiratio January 16, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Not only does he look fun but, he's a gorgeous boy! I love the analogy you used about the Charlie Brown tree. What a beautiful way to put it. Another well-written post girl! 🙂

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author January 16, 2013 at 7:49 am

      Awww thanks hun! 🙂

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