Friday, July 09, 2010

Why do we see? And how?

I'm not a mechanical sort of person by nature.  I don't really care how things work, or why, as long as they do work when I turn the key, step on the gas, or whatever.  But when it comes to the human body, I'm constantly fascinated.  The more I learn about sensory processing through Jennica's challenges, the more fascinated I become. 

Our recent vacation through wide open countryside with panoramic views really brought home my fascination with eyesight.  I do our eyes WORK???

Jennica is very, very good at picture-find games.  You know the ones....I Spy books, Where's Waldo?, that sort of thing.  She sees detail very, very well and can pick specific objects out of a larger array of pictures that are similar in shape, size, color, you-name-it.  But she also has an overwhelming visual processing issue with "busy" fields of sight.  Primarily, if lots of things are moving all at the same time, especially if there is a lot of accompanying noise, she retreats!  (Think school assemblies, PE class, and soccer!!) 

Tiersten, on the other hand, is very naturally athletic and is not disturbed in the least with dribbling a soccer ball through a running herd of players.  (Jen can dribble just as well in a one-on-one environment across the yard.  But if other kids are moving and running?  Forget it!)  But Tiersten can't see a group of deer on a distant hillside to save her life!  She couldn't spot the outline of the Jolly Green Giant laid out across a hillside in Dayton!  (Neither could I at Age 5!  Still a sore subject!!!) 

So..........sometimes I stop and ask Jen's Sensory Processing really a disorder?  Or just an individual difference in personal strengths, weaknesses, and talents? 

In my humble opinion, I think over time it will become just a difference.  I see her making huge strides to adapting the way she processes to function in the neuro-typical world.   As long as her sensory processing restricts her from being able to participate fully in "typical" environments, her SPD is a disorder.  But I also think its good for her to be able to count the deer aloud in the car, while Tiersten is still struggling to even find them on the hillside.  :)  Its fun to watch her be victorious! 

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