There is a buzz floating around the Blogosphere that pertains to Eli’s diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD. It seems that Oprah did a show last week regarding mental illness in children and interviewed a parent of a child who’s only listed diagnosis was SPD.
Read the article here: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Children-Dealing-with-Violent-Rage/1
We struggle with getting supports for Eli because SPD is not recognized by many physicians and insurance companies. It is not listed in the DSM IV – the medical book that lists the diagnoses that physicians use and that insurance companies will accept. I fear what this episode of Oprah will do to the SPD community.
Many children with SPD also have other diagnoses. Eli, for example, has Anxiety Disorder and PDD-NOS in addition to his SPD. Other children have Autism or Asperger’s. Still others have bi-polar or other mental illness. Some of these children can be violent. Some of these children require medication. Some of these children require hospitalization. The boy who was discussed on Oprah was only diagnosed with SPD but likely had other undiagnosed conditions.
In a way, I’m glad that Oprah mentioned SPD. It gave something we struggle with everyday a bit of much-needed media attention. I wish that it would have been more widely acknowledged, however. Like many medical conditions, no two people are alike. Perhaps if Oprah had interviewed multiple parents to be able to offer more variety of what SPD can look like this interview would have been more accepted by those of us who support these children.
My hope is that Oprah’s episode was not the introduction a parent of a newly diagnosed child had to this world. If you make it here out of searching, please know that this is not the norm. Actually, with SPD there is no norm. There are some struggles that all of our children work through in their own ways. Our children are unique and in that we find comradery.
So, please Oprah, take the time to learn more about this diagnosis and about our children. Please use your celebrity status to right your wrong. Goodness knows we don’t need one more reason for the insurance companies to deny our children services.
Stepping off my soapbox now…