I’m in a pissy mood. Just a bad funk. Everything is getting on my nerves. If anyone else has sensory issues, this is what’s called sensory overload. I think it started because of my 17 mo old nursing practically nonstop lately… he’s just gotten 4 teeth and is going through a growth spurt. Nursing is hard for me… having a sensitivity to touch already… so this nonstop stuff makes my skin crawl. Then my senses all heighten. Every other touch makes me cringe and wrap myself in a blanket. Once in this agitated state, the other senses are on alert… every tiny noise is blaringly obvious, everything magnified outrageously. I normally can cope pretty well, and I see these sensitivities as a great asset…I hear noises, smell odors, see things, before anyone else. But days like today are incredibly hard.
Why am I telling you this? Because these sensitivities begin at birth. Babies who are deemed “colicky”, toddlers who are labeled “difficult”, kids who are labeled “obstinate” often have sensory issues. They can’t communicate these feelings, and don’t know they experience the world any differently than anyone else. If sensory overload makes me want to yell at everybody for everything, shut down and hide in bed, then how can we expect kids to handle it any better? I’ve had nearly 33 years of experience and I still can’t shake the feelings associated with sensory overload… frustration, depression, stress, rage. But yet, children are punished before anyone even considers that they may be just overwhelmed with physical or mental sensations.
A little compassion goes a long way, for all living things. Some empathy and the desire to understand rather than control would go even further.