Thursday, July 8, 2010


I played for a bit in the old art journal while watching Bravo's Work of Art last night. Are you watching the show? There are some very talented artists on it; my favorites are Miles and Abdi, although Jaclyn's been doing some great pieces lately. What I love even more about the show, I have to admit, is Miles' discussions about his OCD and sensory issues. I hope it makes people more aware of what it's like to live with sensory issues, how the environment assaults their senses in a way that is hard for most of us to understand. People with sensory issues respond to under/over-stimulation in a variety of ways. Miles likes to sleep when he reaches sensory overload. Kids usually get hyper, or, like mine when they were younger, have a total nuclear melt down. I don't think the other artists really understand it, and one is outright hostile about it, accusing him of "acting" because he's fine in the apartment. Well, the apartment is small, there are fewer people, less noise, and less stimuli. It's also a familiar place, which is key to people with sensory processing disorder (SPD). New environments offer the threat of unknown sensory experiences, which provokes anxiety. Miles usually becomes overwhelmed in the larger, noisier places like the work space, the warehouse they visited, or the large urban car showroom. He finds comfort in the little darkroom he built in the studio, just as my son loves the "secret hideout" he made in the space between his bed and the wall. The public may be quick to judge those who are different, and yet, in spite of it all, Miles is an amazingly talented artist. Being a mother of two kids with sensory processing disorder, I TOTALLY get it. Maybe this will shine a little light on the issue, and makes at least a few more people sympathetic to the struggles people with OCD and SPD go through.

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