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A Day In The Life: An SPD Child Goes Grocery Shopping

at the grocery store

What’s it like to live with Sensory Processing Disorder? Imagine yourself as a child walking through the grocery store with your mother. All day you’ve felt the slow strangle of your turtleneck and your itchy shirt tag. You’re already agitated from your itchy sweater and a long day at school, and now your Mom is making you go to the store!

The parking lot is crowded and there are cars whizzing everywhere. Your turtleneck is tight and it’s made worse when your Mom grabs your hand. Arg! Her hand is firm and a little sweaty and it’s making you feel even more claustrophobic.  Your Mom wrestles a grocery cart from the long line of stuck together carts and it makes a really loud noise. Even worse, now there’s a new sound of the rickety cart being pushed down the aisles. You know this sound will haunt you for the next 25 minutes. You walk into the market and you’re assaulted by bright lights, big signs and loads of colors. There are people moving around everywhere, and as we pass people in the aisles their conversations boom like a loudspeaker. Mom just needs to pick up a couple potatoes but you can smell the overripe bananas from the vegetable section and they’re making you gag. Suddenly it’s all too much, and the storm of sensations sends you into a screaming fit. Now you’re on the floor crying while your Mom stands above you repeatedly asking what’s wrong, but you don’t know what to tell her!  You’re too overwhelmed with panic. Now all the shoppers are staring. They can’t figure out what’s wrong with you. It makes you feel even worse. Your Mom whispers some smoothing things into your ears, and you’re able to stop crying and stand up. You know you can calm yourself by spinning in circles, so you find an open space in the produce area and spin a few times. Man, that feels good.

At Innova Brain Rehabilitation, we calm the storm for these kids. We rehabilitate the areas of the brain that are having trouble processing the sights and sounds from the grocery store. Our non-invasive therapies work quickly to make changes in the brain translating to less symptoms and better behavior. We see kids getting back to their lives… makings friends, paying attention in school, and having happier days, in and out of the grocery store!

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Dr. Frank E. Patterson

Dr. Frank E. Patterson

Clinician, Innova Brain Rehabilitation
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