“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size” Albert Einstein
When we first become parents, it can be difficult to see our children as anything other than small versions of us and the idea that they may be experiencing the world in a different way is not always something we consider.
It may only be when challenges arise that we begin to wonder if their processing may be different to our own and because of this that they are responding and reacting in certain ways.
Sensory processing is how we experience the world through all our senses. Scientific research tells us that we take in trillions of bits of sensory information each second and although our brain only cognitively processes a tiny fraction of these, the others certainly also affect how we feel and respond. Just because we may be in the same environment as our child and we process this input in a certain way, that does not mean that our young person sees, feels or hears it the same way.
They may be less sensitive to light, sounds, touches, feelings within their body or much more sensitive, sometimes so much that certain stimulation causes pain or frustrates them so intensely that they react aggressively. They may not recognise feelings of hunger or thirst and others may associate a smell with numbers or days.
Curiosity enables us to be open to learning about our young person’s experience as a different, not incorrect. Society has taught us to view certain behaviours and responses as right and others as wrong, but when we become curious we can change our perspective and become willing to accept our child’s experience as their own. We can then let go of our judgements and expectations and see them simply as our child. Our perspective is forever altered.