Visible and invisible sides of Sensory Processing Disorder: A recap

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As I finish discussing my high school years and transition to college, I wanted to do another recap of where I stood with sensory processing problems.

The big list details all the different ways I was impacted by my environment and the way I interpreted the sensory data I received. I’ve also done a recap from preschool through eighth grade to show the progress of these sensory issues.

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Write Moves: Dabbling in fiction

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During the second half of senior year, I learned of a one week summer program for creative writing for high school students called Write Moves. I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed to apply since I was graduating, but even as a rising college freshman I was eligible to attend. I was one of 8 students accepted into the program.

This was my first big road trip by myself. I drove independently from South Carolina to Georgia College and State University, about 2.5 hours away using written directions. This was before having a GPS system in the car.

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Parler-vous anglais?

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Yes, that is French for “Do you speak English?”

I was awesome at French when it came to learning new groups of words. Vocabulary was easy because it was rote memory. You just repeat it enough times and eventually it sticks.

Where I got stuck was forming sentences, specifically going through different verb tenses. I had the same kind of trouble when we addressed this in English class. Distinguishing from past, present and future is easy, but when you throw in various “perfect” tenses, things get tricky. I stumbled with properly identifying these tenses in English.

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Poem: One Night Stand

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No, I’m not about to admit some pretty serious information. That title is meant to be provocative.

I wrote this during my senior year of high school while sitting in the school library. I wanted to write something from the perspective of an inanimate object. This poem is an effort of viewing the poetry writing process from the point of view of a sheet of paper.

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Inspirational world of Disney

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At the end of January 2002, the senior class had the opportunity to go on a class trip to Disney World. I think it was a Friday-Monday kind of thing, so we didn’t get to skip too much class time. It was an awesome chance to bond with classmates, even if it did require more than 7 hours on a bus.

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Poem: We Are Responding

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Sixteen years ago today, as a senior in high school, I sat in English class working on a random assignment when the teacher’s cell phone went off. It was such an unusual thing to happen; cellphones did not go off during class. She took the call and we heard words like “plane” and “trade center.”

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Senior hoops

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Ellen may have been bold with her verbal communication and more direct than me, but it was the kind of push I needed. You can’t always wait for things to happen; often times you have to take matters into your own hands and act to bring the results you want.

The dawn of senior year meant Ellen became our basketball team captain. She earned that title for sure. Like many others, she could see my potential on the court, and so she pushed me to be better. She pushed me to be more of a presence in the paint, more aggressive, instead of being intimidated. She pushed me to take ownership of my ability. We were the “twin towers” under the basket, and we learned a lot about teamwork. You can’t be a successful team with a “one-man show,” and senior year certainly brought out more opportunities for working together.

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Poem: Dispute

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I absolutely love this poem!

This was written during my senior year of high school, after an argument with my parents.

It offers a nice visual of what it’s like having a disagreement and not being able to say anything. Of wanting to share that internal dialogue, defend myself, but the words get lost in the process.

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Poem … English 101: Favorite Destination

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I remember playing with magnetic poetry in high school. Sometimes the random phrases that I came up with got the creative juices flowing. This is one example. The phrase “surrender through the breath of dreams” was what I put together using the magnets, and it was the inspiration for this poem.

The title is inspired by thinking about those typical first writing assignments to describe your summer, a favorite vacation.

My idealism is showing here.

This poem is about finding a pristine spot in nature to thoroughly soak up the beauty of creation but even that perfection pales in comparison when it’s combined with a joy of community and embracing others.

This was written during my junior year of high school.

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Yearbooks: A lasting impression

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Seventh grade was the start of asking as many people as possible to sign my yearbook. I don’t know what prompted it because it had never been a thing before. But I asked friends, teammates, coaches, teachers, people I barely knew, people who rode the same bus as me. I knew a lot of people’s names but that doesn’t mean I knew them well or they had any idea of who I was.

It wasn’t a popularity contest of trying to get the most signatures or messages. That may be hard to believe because in high school especially I had people writing over ads and I even taped in blank sheets of paper just to create space. I brought my tenth grade yearbook with me to Governor’s School and asked as many people as I could to sign it. I received quite a number of weird looks from people as they reluctantly wrote something down.

But it was never a popularity contest. It was deeper than that. I was trying to cobble together some sense of what people thought of me. What was their impression? How am I actually viewed?

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