About Meghan

I first noticed something was different about Meghan when she was one year old.  I can remember telling the pediatrician that her socks
had to be just so.  He felt there was nothing wrong.  She was a happy child. Meghan spoke early.  She never really crawled and walked
at ten months.  You could have a conversation with Meghan at two years old.  She wrote like a kindergartener by age three.  Meghan
was a smart child.   

After leaving my job as an administrative assistant in NYC to become a stay-at-home mom, I decided to make the day go faster by
“playing nursery school teacher” with Meghan.  I always wanted to be a teacher, so we spent the day reading, coloring, drawing,
painting - doing anything and everything creative.  We went to the park and for walks around the neighborhood.  We had play dates
with my friends and their children.  

When I became pregnant with my son, Michael, my sister, Nancy, suggested putting Meghan in a summer preschool program where
she worked.  My sister is a Speech Pathologist and had worked for an integrated preschool at the time.  There were no kids in our
neighborhood to play with, so I thought this was a great idea.  Meghan was two and a half years old.

On Meghan's first day at preschool, she bolted from the classroom in search of my sister.  She was hysterical.  The second day,
Meghan was hysterical again and was told to stay on a blue mat.  When I picked her up, she was curled up in the fetal position on the
blue mat.  Needless to say, there was no third day.  I felt maybe she was too young.  I did not like the idea of the blue mat and the fact
that they did not hold the children when they got upset.

Soon after, I sent Meghan to a preschool where a childhood friend was sending her son.  The teachers were loving and affectionate
with the children.  I was able to stay in the classroom, and then later, the hallway until Meghan felt comfortable with me leaving.  She
liked going to this preschool.  She was almost three.  Meghan was shy, but she seemed to be having fun at school.  She loved to learn
and do creative activities.  However, at the school's spring concert, Meghan could not handle the whole situation.  The lights, the noise,
the people, walking close in line.   She acted-out during the show. She hit herself, pulled at her dress, covered her ears, stood up and
yelled “Stop!.” It was very upsetting to watch.  I remember another mom in the audience saying, “It looks like she hates herself.”  
People were laughing.  This experience was not what we had envisioned earlier that day – none of us.

At home, Meghan could not sit still.  She was always on the go.  She did not interact with the TV.  She only ate cold broccoli and pasta
and she ate it on the go.  She drank milk all day long (later we found out she was allergic to milk).  She had some issues with her
clothes, but not too bad.  I thought some of her fits were due to having a new brother around.  Meghan also had problems
understanding emotions and body language.

At this time, my sister gave me a book about behavior, and in this book, was a small paragraph about Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  
I thought, “I think Meghan has this”.  I told my sister, and then called the local school district and made arrangements for an
evaluation.  I did not think she would qualify for services, but wanted some direction.  It turned out that the evaluating occupational
therapist did not specialize in Sensory Integration Dysfunction (now labeled Sensory Processing Disorder - SPD).  In fact, later I
learned that she did not believe in SPD.  Needless to say, she was denied services and I did not get much help.  The evaluating
psychologist understood SPD and gave me some information.  

Time past and Meghan got worse.  She continued in the same loving preschool.  However at the next spring concert, she sat in the back
row with tears in her eyes, holding everything in.  I did not know what to do. The summer went by and in the fall, she started the same
preschool again.  She was four years old.   Her birthday is in December, so she just missed the Kindergarten cut-off.  Intellectually she
was ready for Kindergarten, but socially she was not.

Meghan's sensory issues started affecting her every-day life.  Meghan could not tolerate many clothes and it took hours to get dressed.  
She bumped into things and would not feel it or she would scream in pain. At this time, we moved into a new home in a nice
development with tons of kids.  She was sick often. She had many earaches, had skin rashes, and eventually wound up with asthma
and food allergies and intolerances.  One winter day, I went outside and Meghan was playing in the sandbox with sunglasses on, a short
sleeved shirt, and no jacket.  When I went over to her and felt her arm,  it was hot.  We did not go out to eat because Meghan could not
handle the noises of the restaurant – she would hide under the table and cry.  Life was becoming unbearable.  She could not handle
birthday parties, family parties, and school.  The teacher started noticing things as well.  She told me that Meghan was not enjoying
the activities that she used to.  At free time, Meghan would sit at a table in the back of the room and only interact when a child came up
to her.  She was constantly clearing her throat.

At this point, my sister, Nancy, gave me a report written by an occupational therapist (OT), Jeanne Ganz, about Sensory Integration
Dysfunction (SPD).  The more I read, the more it described Meghan.  I realized she had problems with sensory modulation, sensory
processing, visual processing, auditory processing, and that she was tactile defensive and auditory defensive.  I felt she had Sensory
Integration Dysfunction (SPD) and bad.  I contacted the Special Education Director in our new school district and made an appointment
with her.  I told the Special Education Director my concerns, showed her the video of Meghan's spring concert, gave her a copy of
Jeanne Ganz’s report, and requested that Jeanne evaluate Meghan. Jeanne specialized in SPD.  It was then that Meghan started receiving
help for her SPD.

Eventually, Meghan started a new integrated preschool.  Her school OT told me about therapies that would help Meghan.  Meghan also
saw Jeanne Ganz as a consulting OT along with her brother, Michael, because he started presenting sensory issues as well.  Michael
was a sensory seeker; Meghan was a sensory avoider, but seeked the things that comforted her.  I went to a seminar given by Diana
Henry MS, OTR/L and learned how to setup an OT Room at home and learned helpful strategies.  I joined an on-line support group.  I
read many reports and many books.  I learned all I could.  My sister called me an “OT Wannabe.” It was a lot of work, but soon
Meghan started feeling better and we were able to have a normal life.

I need to mention that we had rented a house for two years (when Meghan was 2-4 years old) and we did not realize it was infested
with black mold.  I believe this gave Meghan (Michael and myself) a leaky gut, which leads to food allergies and intolerances and made
Meghan's sensory issues worse.  When you take antibiotics often, you can get an overgrowth of yeast or bad bacteria in your digestive
system and this causes food allergies/intolerances and can make some kids hyper and/or aggressive.  Karen DeFelice's website and book

explains about this in detail.  Karen actually e-mailed me when I joined the on-line support group and
explained this to me.  The information in her book was very helpful.  Another Mom from the on-line group, Mary W, was helpful as
well.  I learned a lot from other moms and their support was great.  Meghan also had a reaction to the DTP shot.  We went to a
nutritionist to heal our guts, detox, and to balance the vitamins and minerals in our system.  

However in 2006, we went to an acupuncturist and did the NAET allergy elimination technique
(http://www.naet.com), since we still
had issues with foods and allergies.  I highly recommend the NAET. It balanced our systems and changed our reactions to foods and
outside allergens.  

Children and adults with sensory issues often have food allergies/intolerances, which present themselves in behavior, earaches, sinus
problems, eczema, headaches, and/or asthma.  As an infant, Meghan was lactose intolerant.  Presently, my son, Gavin, is allergic to
milk.  He is on soy formula.  Some people are just more sensitive to foods and additives in them.  Kids with sensory issues need diets
with wholesome/organic/non GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods because their systems are sensitive and can not breakdown
the additives and hormones.  Many children with sensory issues, autism, PDD, ADHD, etc. have sensitivities to casein, gluten, wheat,
food additives and dyes.  A lot of their behavior is due to these allergies/intolerances.  We still take the digestive enzymes and they have
been a great help.  In the future we hope to take the enzymes only once or twice a day, like a vitamin, instead of with every meal.  
We eat organic/non GMO foods as often as possible.  

Meghan transformed little-by-little, like a butterfly coming out of her chrysalis .  You would never know she had any issues.  We look
back in amazement at how far she has come.  This is why I decided to write Meghan’s World.  Meghan has seen great success and is
very happy and healthy.  We wanted to share her story so that others can become healed as well.

Meghan’s World describes the therapies Meghan did to help her and has a “Therapies and Helpful Information” section where you
can learn more about these therapies.  SPD is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and hard for people to understand.  Many family
members are not supportive or in denial that there is a problem. My father wanted me to mention how he was in denial and how he gave
me a hard time.  It took a while for him to come around.  It wasn't until he saw some improvement that he realized how bad Meghan
really was.

Children can learn to manage their sensory issues.  They can learn what they need to do to self-regulate themselves. They can learn to
advocate for themselves.  They can have a normal life; a life that makes them proud, confident, and happy.  They are special and will
make a better future for themselves and the world around.  They know it is time to change old systems and create new systems that
work for everyone.

                                                                    About the Author  

Diane M. Renna resides in Long Island, New York, with her husband Lorenzo, and their children, Meghan, Michael, and Gavin.  She
left working as an administrative assistant in New York City to become a stay-at-home mom in 1998.  Diane, Meghan, Michael, and
Gavin are all affected in some way with sensory integration dysfunction.  However, Meghan’s sensory issues were more severe and
affected her daily life tremendously.  Diane read and learned all she could about SPD to help her children.  She never complained or
gave up hope. She investigated and tried alternative therapies with the vision of helping her children.  She understood and wanted to
make their world a safe and comfortable place.

Diane has dedicated her time to helping children with SPD and feels passionately about the subject.  She wants to reach and help as
many families as possible.  Presently, the Renna family is happy, healthy, and enjoys doing the things they were not able to in the past.  
SPD is no longer a jail-keeper to their lives. Diane and her family hope Meghan’s story will inspire and heal other families dealing with

Further Information about Diane that happened since the publication of "Meghan's World" in 2007.

Diane M. Renna is a Reiki Master Teacher, child advocate, life coach, and author of "Meghan's World: The Story of One Girl's
Triumph over Sensory Processing Disorder
" and "In the Light of God's Love: A journey to acceptance, self-discovery, spiritual
truths and healing

Diane is also a certified Yogakids Foundations© Teacher, the creator of the Creative Expressions Kid's Club & Parent Learning
Program©, the Creative Kid's Yoga Club, and the Sensational Social Skills Playgroup.  She gently guides parents in helping their children
to function to their best by supporting and empowering them with the vast knowledge she has accumulated over 15 years in helping her
own children overcome life challenges. She often works with other companies/agencies to promote the importance of early intervention
and advocacy for children with SPD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is an Officer with the SHEEE Foundation, a national non-
profit 501 (c) 3, whose mission is to offer opportunities for education, enlightenment, and empowerment of those who seek to be in
service to and in harmony with the greater good. Diane also creates self-empowering workshops for teens and adults.

Inspired by her family's triumphant journey over Sensory Processing Disorder, Diane had a vision to create sensory-enriched programs
that help children and families suffering with sensory processing disorders and related issues. She understands the family stress and
high demands that it takes to raise a child faced with special needs. So through her faith and compassion, Indigo Impressions LLC was
birthed. She wants parents and teachers to understand what these children go through on a daily basis and she wants to give them hope,
knowledge, and the tools to succeed in their daily life. She wants to share what worked for her family. She wants to teach children and
their parents how to find peace, serenity, healing and hope by connecting with God and the healing energies of Reiki .
She believes strongly in the quote by Mahatma Gandhi,
" You must be the change you want to see in this world."

Access Diane's Indigo Impressions LLC Website to learn more about the programs above


                                                            About the Illustrator  

Meghan’s World was beautifully illustrated by Regina Stark.  Regina is a multi-media artist who specializes in murals, faux finishes,
and paintings.  She has been painting since she could sit-up.  Her parents were very inspirational to her.  They both were creative and
surrounded Regina with many opportunities to express her artistic gifts.  

Regina is a firm believer in the power to heal through creativity, and this creativity is expressed throughout her many works of art.  
Regina is a spiritual teacher and her artwork is channeled after meditation and connecting with her higher self through Spirit.

Regina works in watercolor, acrylics, printmaking, and collage.  She is also a successful hypnotherapist and Reiki Master/Teacher.  To
learn more about her artwork and her creative classes, please visit www.centerforartandhealing.com. Also if you are in Florida
checkout Regina's Art & Yoga Studio in Vero Beach.
About Us
©2007 Diane M. Renna * Indigo Impressions * All rights reserved *
The Writer's Dream with Linda Frank
Interview May 22, 2012 LGTV East Hampton
Video Diane created showcasing the many programs
she does, which she will start to begin to bring to the
masses via The SHEEE Foundation 501c3