Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!

kristen-paulsen

Living with SPD

SPD is the acronym for Sensory Processing Disorder.  This disorder once was classified as Sensory Integration Dysfunction.   One study (Ahn, Miller, Milberger, McIntosh, 2004) shows that at least 1 in 20 children’s daily lives is affected by SPD. Another research study by the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group (Ben-Sasson, Carter, Briggs-Gowen, 2009) suggests that 1 in every 6 children experiences sensory symptoms that may be significant enough to affect aspects of everyday life functions.  My son is one of those statistics.  He was diagnosed at age 4 1/2, although showed signs much earlier.  Like most disorders, there are variances to severity.  Symptoms are chronic and can cause many disruptions to normal function.

When they first told me my son had this I was scared, but relieved to also know that there was an explanation of his meltdowns.  When he was in preschool he often would have meltdowns that would scare his peers.  He was able to hold it together for the most part the first year of school, however, when he came home he came apart at the seams.  To those who do not know about it, it can look frightening.  However, most kids who have SPD, are trying to learn to manage and reorganize sensory information so that they can handle everyday stresses that most are not bothered by.

I am grateful that I have learned more about this as it gives me more empathy for other mothers who are dealing with ADD, ADHD, ODD, SPD and all different types of disorders.  Too many people are quick to judge and move away and too slow to educate, learn and empathize or at least sympathize.  Many children struggle with different disorders and it is hard for them amongst their peers.  It is just as hard for a parent who is dealing with a magnification of senses.  the causes for these neurological disorders is unknown, but thankfully with current research and studies we will only continue to learn and educate our communities.

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