Being friends with someone who has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) means:
– Looking beyond the surface.
– Taking time to get to know them and appreciating their personality.
– Ignoring their noise canceling headphones, Koosh balls, or other sensory tools.
– Encouraging them to use their sensory tools when they need to.
– Including them in games even though they struggle to kick a ball or do other physical activities.
– Hugging them really tight or covering them with pillows when they crave deep pressure.
– Showing them that they are special, despite their limitations.
– Understanding when they ask you not to hug them or do something else.
– Asking what they really need and not what you “think” they need.
– Helping when they ask for help and just assuming they need help all the time.
– Making them laugh and helping them to forget about their SPD for while.
– Spending time in their home where they are truly able to be themselves.
– Watching movies with/or without loud, intense music (ask them what they prefer).
– Being willing to change plans when their SPD reacts to a situation or activity.
– Picking them up if they can’t drive.
– Respecting them, because the real battle is the one you never see.
Yes, being a friend to someone with SPD can be hard. It can mean making sacrifices and thinking of their needs more often.
– They will always be there for you when you need help.
– They will treasure you and your friendship far more than you can imagine.
– They will see the little things you need because they always see beyond the surface.
– They will be real with you and you are free to be real with them.
– You can share all the junk in your life with them, because they get it!
We who have SPD understand that it can be hard to be our friend. We get it. But when you take the time to be a friend to me or others with SPD, it means a LOT. And we will do our best to do everything we can for you in return.