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".