Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Super Memory

I know that it is easy to focus on some of the more challenging behaviors that come with sensory processing disorder. But I wanted to focus on one of the positives. Ryan has an extremely good memory. I am not talking about a typical good memory but something better. Ryan remembers events that happened several years ago. And not just vague recollections but he remembers the tiny details. The first time I realized how strong his memory skills were was when he was 4 years old. We were playing with his toy metal airplanes around the living room. I grabbed one of the planes and made it do flips in the air making an awesome plane engine noise. Ryan smiled and keep saying "hot dog". At first it took me while to realize he was saying hot dog and then it took me probably 2 or 3 minutes to make the connection.
I remembered that a year (yes it was a full year before, well 11 months to be exact) we had gone to an air show and while we were there we bought a hot dog at a food stand. I stopped mid flip in the air and just stared at Ryan. How could he remember that? I looked at him and I said "air show?". He looked at me and said "yeah, air show".
Now that I am more aware of how Ryan's mind works I know that the air show was a new event for Ryan which means he was probably more likely to remember it. Also eating is a major thing for Ryan and a big concern so it is something he would pay more attention to then most kids. But I was still surprised.
Ryan says stuff all the time that demonstrates his good memory skills. Most of these involve new or scary events for Ryan that involve a major sensory challenge. Just this week he was recounting for me who came with us to our first visit to Chuckie Cheese which happened 3 years ago. We have never discussed who was there since the event with him. 
One of my favorite memory story is when Ryan told his Dad how to get to his favorite park from the backseat of the car when Daddy was lost. He did not know the names of the street but he was able to tell Daddy when to turn and which way. His memory for directions was noticed before he could even say right or left and he would point with his fingers which way to turn. Even though I know Ryan has an excellent memory it still amazes me.
Typically with his school work Ryan will take a little bit longer to learn the material but once he has the material he remembers it for life. I think that Ryan's memory skills are going to come into handy for him throughout his life. He also would not have this skill if it was not for his "disorder".


  1. You have no idea how happy I am ot have found your blog! I am in the process of having my 6 year old diagnosed with SPD. Life has become almost unbearable for him. I am skeptical because we live in a small town and there are no doctors that specialize in SPD or even really have a clue about it. I am worried that they will not diagnose him correctly. Any ideas? I would apprecaite it so much.I acutally JUST blogged about this last night.
    A new follower

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    I am glad to have you here :) It is very difficult in the beginning to get the services you need for your child. We use to live in an area that had limited services. I was lucky though because I had a great pediatrician who got me any appointments I needed. Also through the school district you can get certian services but you will must likely have to advocate for your child.
    As far as diagnosing I would just wait and see what the doctors say. I believe that an OT can diagnose your child as well if the doctors do not work out. I know when we had Ryan diagnosed I was so worried that they were going to label him with autism and I was about 90% sure that he did not have autism. I asked around and found out that I was not required to share the diagnoses with anyone, his doctor, his school, unless I signed for them to read it. That made me feel better about the situation. In the end the doctors diagnosed him with spd. I know it is scary but they just might suprise you. I do not know your specific sitiuation but I wish you luck and hope that it helps. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask. I am happy to help in any way I can.

  3. This post sounds a lot like my son. We had to go a different doctor's office the other day and he kept describing the two offices to try and figure out which was which. He was giving me tiny details that I had no idea about and we hadn't been the one for almost a year!

  4. Oh, and the first day he was on ADHD meds, it was like we opened up a pathway b/t his long term memory and his mouth! He went on and on about all these things that happened ages ago!

  5. I find it crazy the stuff my son can remember. It always takes me awhile to figure out what he is talking about because I don't remember half of the details he remembers.

  6. Hi Jennifer - following you from S-O-S Best of the Best!

    I feel the same way about my son. I know he has a good memory but I'm still amazed each and every time he recalls something. And it's one of things about my boy that I love most :)

  7. I found you via the SPD Blogger network and am definitely subscribing! :-)
    My son who is 3.5 yrs old, adopted from S. Korea when he was 10 months was just recently diagnosed with SPD. He too has an incredible memory. I almost heard myself describing Isaac when reading this post! He tells us directions on how to get to places (or that "This is NOT the way we go to that mall - you should turn there") and remembers stuff from over a year ago. These kids are amazing. I have been blogging for 4 yrs, before I became a mom, then during the adoption and then after...I haven't been blogging as much lately, but I think I really need to start back up, and start documenting this new road on our parenting journey. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Look forward to reading your blog more!

  8. I'd like to introduce you to Voices of Sensory Processing Disorder. This is a community website where bloggers can share their experiences, victories, tips and everyday challenges with others. And we want you! We’d love to share your writing.

    Please visit us at to learn more. I do hope you'll join us. Happy blogging!
    Regards, Jennifer