Dyspraxic traits

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER – I HATE HAND DRYERS

In this article I am going to discuss sensory processing disorder, or really, how sensory processing disorder affects me. 

What a lot of people do not know is that dyspraxia can often but not always come in hand with various other conditions, including: Autism, ADHD, dyslexia and sensory processing disorder. My focus is on the latter.
For as long as I can remember I have hated loud and sudden noises. When I was a child I had a phobia of being around balloons in case they suddenly burst. I would ask my mother if there would be balloons at other children’s parties I had been invited to, my heart would sink when I saw them. Sometimes I would even put my hands over my ears when children were playing with balloons near me in case they burst. I still dislike them now.

I have many memories of struggling with noise and I still struggle now. We used to celebrate bonfire night with our next-door neighbours as we were all really good friends. Both families would put half each in for the fireworks and my dad would go and collect them and light them in our garden whilst we watched. While my older brother and my best friend would stand outside in our back garden (at a safe distance) and watch, I could not face it. I would sit inside and gaze at them from our living room along with my best friend’s brother who also did not like the noise.

If we went out for a walk on bonfire night for whatever reason, I would have to cover my ears for the duration. I still remember the first time my brother went to beavers (part of UK scouts), when we were walking down the road to the church where beavers was held, loads of very loud fireworks were being let off from surrounding houses and I cried the whole way and tried to cover my ears. It was very traumatic at the time. I have grown to be more accepting of fireworks, they are less of a struggle, but it is still challenging to be around them.

I remember so much from when I was younger, I remember when using public toilets, I hated hand dryers and would have to cover my ears when people used them. In fact, now the Dyson vacuum ones are being used in many places, I am back to covering my ears as I cannot cope with the noise of them, particularly at university.

Whilst I have grown up to cope a bit better in some situations I cannot deny it is still hard. I cannot face going to nightclubs as the music is too loud and I hate flashing lights. It is all too overstimulating. I do not like going to the cinema as the volume can be too loud and I do not like explosions and flashing lights in such a dark room. When I have been overstimulated, I find nowadays I tend to depersonalize and go through derealisation. This is a very bizarre concept and I can only describe it as feeling like you are in a movie or a dream. You do not feel real. I try my best to cope, I try my best to fit in as I always find it’s social events where excessive stimuli is found but I cannot help that this is part of me and always will be. Hopefully when I can afford my own home I can move out of the city and live the quaint village life I have always longed for.


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Amy Boland
Amy is a trainee teacher from Birmingham who has not been formally diagnosed with Dyspraxia but shows many traits.
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