There are days when I think, she is just so normal and we are having such a great day. Then ten minutes later she has literally fallen out of her chair as she is eating dinner and then the meltdown starts. And of course she knocks over her drink in the process and there is a mess everywhere. She is crying and stomping upstairs to go to her room because she is embarrased and angry. This begins a few hours of getting her to calm back down.
Yes, she falls out of chairs and trips over her own feet and misjudges where the table is and loses her balance. I can not tell you how many times I've seen her fall for no apparent reason. If falling out of a chair was an Olympic event, she would have a gold medal.
The reason is that one of her senses, the Proprioceptive sense is... well, off. Proprioception is defined as; The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body. Even if you are blindfolded, you know through proprioception if your arm is above your head or hanging by your side. Your body can sense where it is in relation to the ground. I allows you to walk heal to toe and not fall over or lose your balance. Kathryn can not do that. She has Proprioceptive Dysfunction. Her OT (Occupational Therapist) was excited to tell me she actually walked heal to toe for 3 steps before she lost her balance the other day... we were all excited.
We have Kathryn in a beginner gymnastics class that she attends once a week. She has enjoyed it but it is getting harder for her now and she does not want to go. She can not do a cart-wheel and struggles to walk the balance beam, and many other activities, but it is such good practice for her. I know later today when I pick her up from school she is going to give me a REALLY hard time and beg me not to go to gymnastics, but we will go. It is just the right kind of work her body needs to be doing. No, it may not be as fun as we had originally hoped gymnastics would be when we first signed her up (pre diagnosis). BUT it is helping and she is improving... slowly.
Proprioceptive Dysfunction is just one of the many aspects to SPD. I just wanted to share with you one of her many struggles. With OT she is building strength in her muscles and teaching her brain and muscles to "talk" so that she will begin to not feel and be so clumsy.
Again... it is just the beginning but that is where we are Right Here...Right Now.