Attention- Moving To New Website Feb 1st!!… Plus Featured Post: From The Archives: Stop Avoiding Sensory Processing Disorder and Pick It Up!

Attention everyone! I will be moving over to my new Website at the end of January, which means this will be the last post on this website. The site itself will be still there for a little while after Feb 1st, but no new posts will be going up on the site.

What does this mean for those of you who follow my blog? Well, you will need to go over to my new website and sign up for my email list, or add my new site to your bookmarks. Here’s the link again and I hope I’ll see you all over there!: Annettanesler.com

Featured Post: From the Archives: Stop Avoiding Sensory Processing Disorder- PICK IT UP.

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When I walk into a room, it is hard for people not to notice that I am different from the rest of the twenty-somethings.  With a big black bag full of Sensory Tools in my hand and my nervous tics filling up the dead air space, you can’t escape from it.  But instead of facing this fact, many avoid it… or take pity on me.

This feeling of constantly being ignored or pitied makes my life a lot harder because I can’t avoid it, I have to face it everyday.

A Story About a Girl and a Coredisk.

My Coredisk

Earlier this month I had my whole family over for dinner.  This was the first family dinner we had had since I had found out about my SPD.   Everyone could notice that I was carrying a Koosh ball everywhere I went.  Everyone could see that I was sitting on a CoreDisk at the table.

SPD was there, in the room, but no one was facing it.

KEEP READING…

 

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Attention-Moving To New Website!… Plus Featured Post: From The Archives: Sensory Toys and Sensory Tools for Sensory Processing Disorder- Part 1

Attention everyone! I will be moving over to my new Website at the end of January, so those of you who follow my blog will need to go over to my new site and sign up for my email list.

Featured Post:

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Photo from Pixaby.com

Intro: What are Sensory Tools and Sensory Toys?

For many people, when they hear the word Sensory Tool or Sensory Toy, they begin to think, “that sounds weird.”

When in reality Sensory Tools and Toys are simply things that help stimulate or calm the sensations in our brain.

Remember, SPD is a communication problem between our brain and our senses.   As I said in an earlier post, there are three types or forms of SPD.  The sensory seeker, the sensory over-responsive (overloaded with their senses), and the sensory under-responsive.

All three benefit from Sensory Tools/Toys, because Sensory Tools/Toys help each type specifically.

KEEP READING…

Attention- Moving To New Website… Plus Featured Post: From The Archives: Adults With Sensory Processing Disorder- You Are Not Alone

Attention everyone! I will be moving over to my new Website at the end of January, so those of you who follow my blog will need to go over to my new site and sign up for my email list.

EVEN THOSE WHO ARE SIGNED UP VIA EMAIL!! I don’t have permission to move your email address to my new site without your consent, so please be sure to re-subscribe/sign up for my email list over on my new site or email me your consent at Annettanesler@Gmail.com

Featured post on my new Website:

Sad Picture for Blog 2  On the 4th of July, I ate half of my dinner alone, outside of a restaurant.  My family was inside looking out at me as I wore my noise canceling headphones and tried to calm my nerves after a near panic attack.

Why can’t I be normal?  I kept asking myself.  Why am I freaking out because of an overload in my senses?

Forcing back the tears that welled up in my eyes, everything in my heart wanted someone to be there to say, “it’s Ok.  You’re not alone,” but no one came. I don’t say this to make you all feel sorry for me.  No, I am saying this because I feel in my heart that I am not the only one who has been in this situation. Those who have Sensory Processing Disorder, especially Adults, tend to feel out of place, overwhelmed, and often alone.

Well, know now SPD adults, that you are not alone.

KEEP READING

Attention- Moving to new website!!… Plus this weeks featured post- From the Archives: Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder- I Am Not Crazy?

Attention everyone! I will be moving over to my new Website at the end of January, so those of you who follow my blog will need to go over to my new site and sign up for my email list.

EVEN THOSE WHO ARE SIGNED UP VIA EMAIL!! I don’t have permission to move your email address to my new site without your consent, so please be sure to re-subscribe/sign up for my email list over on my new site or email me your consent at Annettanesler@Gmail.com

Featured post on my new Website:

Picture from Pixaby.com

Image yourself in a room that is completely empty.  No colors. No sounds. Dim lights.  No one else and nothing else but you.

It would be quiet and peaceful, wouldn’t it?

Now, imagine that someone brought a child into the room who was screaming his guts out.  Then a group of four people come in, all talking all at once.  A dog  starts barking, and the room was suddenly filled with a very bright light.  The walls suddenly burst into a bright green and pink color, and someone is poking you with a sharp stick.

Overwhelming isn’t it?

That is what a world with Sensory Processing Disorder is like, only towards normal things that we see everyday.

KEEP READING….

Christmas Is Coming And My SPD Goes Nuts!

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Hey everyone! It’s Christmas time once again and everywhere I look I see those with Sensory Processing Disorder going crazy!

Why? Because when folks with SPD get stressed, our symptoms come out even more than usual.

It’s normal!

Most people experience stress during the holidays, so it is “normal” for us with SPD to experience stress too, but unlike others, our stress is doubled. Again you ask why? It’s because not only do we have to do more activities/chores, we also have panic attacks because of the lines in the stores, the lights on the Christmas tree creates headaches and fatigue, and the sound of ripping paper, crowds talking, people eating makes us want to run and hide.

All of these normal SPD triggers are piled on top of what “normal” people experience during the holidays! Even the strongest person would be slightly nuts with all this going on at the same time!

So what can we do?

Honestly, the only answer to that question is: what ever you were doing before the holidays that helped your SPD, keep doing it even more!

As life feels more and more out of control, be firm and focused on doing what helps your body.

Commit to your sensory diet and seriously set aside time to be in your sanctuary. Constantly keep an inner eye on what your body is saying to you.

Use your sensory tools everywhere you go and in every situation, even if you don’t think you “need” it. Because the more you use them, the more you’ll build up, what I call, a “sensory reserve”, so that when you do get into a situation that really triggers you’re SPD, then your body will have a fuller tank, instead of drawing from the bottom.

Above all, be careful with your time…

I know that there are a LOT of activities during the holidays! We all have relatives, friends, and co-workers who expect us to be doing certain things during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean we should fill every inch of our lives with activities.

Don’t be afraid to say No to the minor stuff, so you can have time, energy, and sanity for the important stuff!

I know it’s hard… I am a born people pleaser, so saying No is not easy at all! But we need to be an advocate for our own body and our own sanity. Because if we don’t stand up for what our body needs, who will?

Time to take a break…

Really there are always a few things that we can take a break from. For instance, I will be taking a break from blogging for a while. I will not be posting any posts on this site nor on my website until after the new year.

I really wish I could keep writing through the holidays, because I really like writing my blog, but I know that I will NOT have the time, the energy, or the brain capacity.

And that’s the way with all activities… we want to do them, but our energy and ability is limit, therefore our time is limited.

Take a few minutes to examine what you are doing. Figure out what things are really, really important, what things aren’t so much, and then decide to take a short break from some of those things.

In the meantime…

I know holidays are stressful, but don’t let the stress overshadow the fun and the memories.

Where ever you are, what ever your doing, enjoy that moment to the fullest! Stretch your limitations a little and don’t forget to treasure the people you love!

Our SPD can help others see their world in a better way. So try not to get constantly frustrated at your SPD and allow God to work through your SPD during this holiday season. It’s hard, but it is well worth the effort.

I’m going to do more than survive this Christmas and New Years… I’m going to savor it! I hope that we all will do the same!


 

Need something to do while your relaxing from your holiday activities? Come on over and check out my new Website. I am in the process of transferring all my blog posts and I will be permanently moving there within the next few months. So it’s a great time to check it out and sign up for my new email list over there, that way you’ll never miss anything.

My new website is: Annettanesler.com  (moving permanently soon after January 31th)

The Blessings of Sensory Processing Disorder- Part One

For those with Sensory Processing Disorder it’s hard to look past all the limitations and all the struggles to see the good side of SPD.

Is there really a good side to SPD? Can SPD ever be a blessing?- The answer is yes!

A while back I posted another article telling about how my SPD helped save a little kittens life. If your interested in reading that later, just click HERE.

But saving a kittens life is not the only blessing of SPD. This post is the first part of many blogs to come showing the good side of SPD and how it helps us be the people we need to be!

Noticing the Small Blessings-

My Sparkle Blessing

A while back, as I was leaving for the store, I happened to look down and notice a small light coming from the floor. Leaning down, I noticed that it was a tiny sparkle from a piece of decorative tissue paper.

My sensitivity to light and color caused me to see this small beautiful blessing that was laying on my dinning room carpet, that most of my family would never see.

It was so colorful and cheerful sitting there on my dirty carpet. It was as if Jesus was trying to remind me that there was beauty in this dirty, difficult world.

Noticing the Small Struggles-

Rose Blessing

Later that same day, when I was walking into the grocery store, a bit of red caught my eye. There on the pavement lay a single rose petal.

It was so beautiful laying on the hard pavement and the wind made it look as if it was shivering in the cold.

My heart was moved by the sight, as if the petal illustrated how hard it is to struggle in the world and how in the midst of that struggle, there was still a beauty that wouldn’t die!

Seeing the small things that Non-SPDers miss-

As I gazed at that beautiful petal, I also noticed the people going in and out of the store so quickly. They didn’t even stop, let alone notice the small beautiful petal that was right there in front of them.

A lot of people who don’t have SPD move very fast in this world. In fact, they move so fast that they are often numb to what is around them. They are blind to the small things!

Sensitivity isn’t always a curse-

You see, I noticed the rose petal and the sparkle on the floor because I notice everything. My SPD causes me to notice every color, every smell, every movement, every sound; everything that people often never see.

My SPD causes me to slow down. The world is overwhelming to my senses, which forces me to move slower. I can’t multitask very well or I go into sensory overload.

My mind moves slower because it craves peace in a unpeaceful world.

How our SPD helps those who are blind to the small things-

I believe God works through our SPD to help others see the small things that they miss. To help them slow down and notice the small blessings God sends us.

These two blessings that I spoke about in this post are just small objects that people missed. If objects are missed by people, then how much more are they blind to the small needs of those around them.

Because we who have SPD move slower than most, we notice the small needs of people. We notice the people who get left behind by a fast moving world.

So instead of focusing on the bad side of SPD, notice the good side and how God can use you and your SPD to be the one who slows down this fast moving world.

When you see a blessing or a person in need, don’t keep it to yourself, but step forward, reach out to the person in need and share that need with the people around you!

SPD may limit us in some ways, but SPD also beautifully transforms our world, making us see the small beautiful blessing in things and people!

The Importance of Sanctuary For Those With Sensory Processing Disorder

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No matter how many people I talk to who have Sensory Processing Disorder, they always say something like, “I need a place to relax!” or “When I had a meltdown yesterday, I totally escaped under my weighted blanket.”

This world is overwhelming. Too often during the day, we with SPD reach the breaking point. When this happens, it not only effects us that day, but it can wear us out for days afterwards.

The reality is we SPDers should never underestimate the importance of sanctuary.

The term “Sanctuary” hearkens back to the days of the old church. Churches would offer sanctuary to those who were fleeing from the law, desiring shelter, or needed a place to get away from the world for a while. This church sanctuary would be limited to a certain amount of time, usually a few days.

For us with SPD the time we spend in our sanctuary is even smaller. Usually a few hours. Which means that we need to spend time in our sanctuary even if we don’t “feel” worn out. The daily sanctuary time refills our SPD energy tank and is stored away until we really need it.

So what makes a sanctuary?

Everyone is different in what they find relaxing/soothing. But there are a few key things that go into everyone’s sanctuary.

Alone!

Don’t get me wrong, I am an extrovert… I love being with people! But it is very important for those with SPD to spend time alone. To have that time to refocus and reconnect with their environment without anyone else. It’s important for our brains, our hearts, and our sanity to be alone for a little while… especially after an overload!

Doors and walls!

I don’t mean that you have to have a door and walls to make a sanctuary. What I mean is that there has to be something that gives you a barrier between the world and yourself. Whether your sanctuary is a whole empty house in the mornings, a private nook in the library, or a small room in your basement, your sanctuary needs to have something that separates you from the world for a little while.

Comforting items.

Each sanctuary needs to have items that bring you comfort or joy. It could be a weighted blanket, a special fidget toy, basically anything that is safe and comforting for your senses.

Things to Keep Your Mind Busy.

Now, don’t be scared, I don’t mean you have to be a busy bee or have to have a To-Do list sitting next to you. I mean while you chill in your sanctuary your mind needs something to do too. Try watching a comforting movie or TV show. Or play a game on your computer. Read a book or listen to an audio book.

There are many more things that make a sanctuary, but I’m sure you get the idea.

No matter what your sanctuary is like, never take it for granted. If you’re feeling tired, low, or irritable, it may be a sign you need to try to spend more time in it.

I know life tends to get in way a lot! Life takes over and deprives us of our sanctuary too many times, but setting aside the time to spend in your sanctuary is worth the effort.

Your body and your senses will thank you in the end.

 

Enjoying Your Food Without a Sensory Fight- Guest Blog On Coming To My Senses

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Hello readers.

Near the end of last week, I had the pleasure of guest blogging on a fantastic site: Coming To My Senses.

Coming To My Senses, created by Rachel Schneider, has been for years the place for adults with Sensory Processing Disorder to find the answers they’re looking for. Rachel tells personal stories, information, and explains the complicated medical stuff of SPD in a way we non-medical people can understand.

Rachel was also the person who really helped me when I was first discovering my SPD. Weeks after my diagnoses, we connected and she pointed me to a fantastic support group for adults with SPD. Since we first connect she has become one of my many cheerleaders and a good friend.

I can’t tell you all how honored I am for the opportunity to guest blog on this amazing site and for this amazing person. So instead of simply trying to tell you all, I thought I would share the blog post for you to read, enjoy, and learn how to make friends with your food again.

Thanks again Rachel and I hope you all enjoy reading it: Click here to view the link: “Enjoying Your Food Without a Sensory Fight.”-Annetta Nesler

Happy eating.

Annetta Nesler

Discovering and Accepting My Special Needs

 

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When I was a child I always knew I was different. I reacted to things quicker than most kids. My life was ruled by what I did or didn’t like in everything from clothing to food.

But my biggest struggle was against the lies that I am worthless, lazy, and stupid.

I saw myself as clumsy, fearful, nervous, and highly sensitive. Frustrated that my body required more sleep and more down time than most people.

No one put those labels on me, my heart was just slowly fed these lies through the way I saw myself in the world.

But those labels were lies, and I was telling myself those lies because I hadn’t accepted the fact that I had and have special needs.

I always knew I was different, but to see myself as having special needs is very new!

Being different is one thing, having special needs is another. Admitting I have special needs means admitting that:

1. I have real limitations

2. That I have odd behaviors

3. And that I require things that most people don’t require.

When you are physically disabled, most people see you have special needs right from the get go, but with a subtle disability like Sensory Processing Disorder most people don’t see it visibly until I put on my noise canceling headphones or sit on my CoreDisk.

Because the world often mistakes me as not having special needs, I forget that I have special needs. Why is this so bad? Because when I forget I have special needs that also means I can’t accept that I have special needs either. And when I can’t accept that I have special needs, I begin to feel discouraged and I punish myself for not being “normal”, thus creating the lies in my head.

Trying to get out into the world, to reach beyond my limitations, and improve my SPD is still important, don’t get me wrong! I am continually trying to push my limitations and make my life better, BUT instead of shooting for “normal”, what I really need to shoot for is the best that I can be: special needs included.

Personal story:

Last night I went to a fundraiser with my young adult group, which happened to be at a very cluttered, noisy restaurant. When I heard that my group was going to this fundraiser the first thought in my head was, “Oh, boy! This is going to be bad for my SPD,” and I almost decided to stay home, but in the end I decided to go.

It was 7:30pm when I got to the restaurant and it was packed. Filled with people, voices, loud music, and antiques covering the walls. Within seconds of walking in my SPD started sending out warning signals.

I had three options:

1. Stay and try to stick it out, so I wouldn’t have to look funny using my sensory tools.

2. Leave and go home.

3. Use my sensory tools and give it a try.

There is a strong temptation to go with the first option. It is embarrassing to wear big honkin’ headphones in a group of people. It looks strange when I pull out my big, colorful, CoreDisk cushion. It’s weird to have a 22 year old playing with a Koosh ball in public!

Everything in me wanted to be normal, but if I tried to be normal I knew that my body would suffer. I would probably have a panic attack or a complete sensory overload (which isn’t pretty).

The second option would mean accepting my limitations, but it would also mean hiding them; not even trying to push my limitations.

Going home would be easy and that would always be an option no matter what happened, but I knew if I left right away, I would be running away.

I’m not saying leaving is bad, but leaving before I tried my sensory tools is.

Having special needs doesn’t mean you avoid all situations where your disability would be a problem.

Excepting your special needs means doing what you need to do to help your body/mind live the best life you can have.

In the end I chose option three and not only did I have a great time, but I also built up my self esteem, my courage, and I beat back those lies a little more!

Yes, using my sensory tools was awkward at first, but in order to except the fact that I have special needs, I need to do what I need to do to help my body.

Don’t ever be ashamed of using the tools and techniques that help your body function in the world!

I have special needs, so I am going to sleep a lot more than most- and that’s ok.

I have special needs, so I am going to use sensory tools in my life- and that’s ok.

I have special needs, so I am going to have bad days- and that’s ok too!

This is a new mindset for me. To see myself as having limitations and special needs is very new, but it is very freeing.

Day by day I am learning to accept that I have special needs. I hope you will do the same.

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Want to read more about this topic? Here are some other blog posts related to this one:

Overload alert!- What it feels like to have Sensory Processing Disorder overload.

I Am Still Me- I am more than my SPD!

Stop Avoiding Sensory Processing Disorder and Pick It Up!

Sensory Tools and Toys For Sensory Processing Disorder- Part 1.

Also don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post. Thanks for reading. God bless!

 

I Am Adopted- Adopted In Christ

This month is Adoption Awareness month and just this morning I was reading a book that talks about adoption, it’s called Ephesians.

“Even as [in His love] God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (planned in love for us) to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will. So that we might be to the praise of His glorious grace, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved!” ~Ephesians 1:4-6

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I Am Adopted- not earthly, but spiritually.

Many children who have been adopted came from homes, countries, or villages that didn’t love them. No one treasured them as a parent treasures their child. Many grew up lonely, having lies drilled into their hearts through terrible experiences.

But is that any different from what we were before Christ?

My heart has often felt out of place and unloved by the wicked, sinful world and I am sure everyone has experienced loneliness.

I also have had lies drilled into my heart. Lies that I am worthless, unlovable, ugly, and many more.

But I belong to Someone now… Someone who loves me.

Adoption doesn’t mean that the pain is taken away completely. It doesn’t mean that the memories disappear and the lies dissolve in a puff of smoke. It takes time to heal from the pain of being an orphan, whether that is physically or spiritually.

But knowing that Jesus loves me passionately and that the Father calls me His child, that gives me hope. It’s amazing how just knowing you belong to someone who loves you makes everything ten times better.

It shows me that I am loved… even when I feel unlovable.

It shows me that I have security…. even when the world crumbles.

It shows me that I am treasured…

God not only loves me, but He is interested in my life! He wants to take me by the hand and dig through the muck in my heart, not as a condemning judge, but as a loving Father.

Adoption isn’t a fairy tale

I know families who have had to take their adopted child to counseling or a psychologist because of what happened before they were adopted. I’ve seen families struggle as one parent goes overseas to bring home their adopted child.

Adoption is not a perfect solution. But that’s part of being in a family, isn’t it? Dealing with each others burdens and as my mother always says, “helping you unpack your baggage.” Yet, there are joys mixed with the trials.

Adoption gives a child hope and a life they never could have without you.

Christ’s adoption gives us joy and hope in this world, and hope for complete joy in the future.

If you haven’t been adopted in Christ yet, I encourage you to, right now. Pray and ask Him to save you from your sins and adopt you as His child. (Prayer is just speaking to Him as if He was right in front of you… because He is, you just can’t see Him.)

If you want to offer a child hope and a chance to live a better life, then I encourage you to look into adopting.

Life isn’t easy, God never promises that it will be, but what He does promise is that He will be right there with us, just as a loving Father stays close to His child.

I am adopted… are you?