|A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Meghan's World was written to validate the feelings of children suffering with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and other disabilites/delays
that often go side-by-side with SPD. I wanted the children and their parents to know that they are not alone, and that there are resources
available to make their lives less stressful, more comfortable, and happy. Living with SPD can be a challenge, but there are therapies and
strategies that can help make their world a better place.
Meghan's World briefly describes our experiences with SPD and what has helped us. You may not need every therapy, and each may affect
you differently. If you are considering a therapy, I recommend that you do the research beforehand, ask other parents/therapists about their
experiences, and then seek the advice of a professional who specializes in that particular therapy. In the back of Meghan's World (and on this
site), there is a "Therapies and Helpful Information" section where you can find more information about what is available to help your child.
Also note that SPD comes with many gifts -- I encourage you to foster your children's gifts and to let them express themselves and be all they
Because of SPD, we have learned and grown together as a family. We have learned to appreciate the simple things in life. We wish you all the
success that we have seen in our journey, and great memories to last a lifetime.
Diane M. Renna
*Please note that we have added more information to the "Therapies & Helpful Info." The information on this site is unbiased and up to the reader to make
their own judgements. Some information is controversial; none-the-less, educate yourself before you decide. We want to share information that is out there
and some are not necessarily our views.
|©2007 Diane M. Renna * Indigo Impressions * All rights reserved *
|FROM THE FIRST THINGS FIRST BLOG SERIES ~
Finding My Inner-Self
By Diane M. Renna
I can vaguely remember my Dad telling me to, “just go take a
warm bath and relax and read a book.” It was about eight years
ago. I could barely sit still myself and I thought, “There is NO
WAY I would be able to relax in the tub; let alone read a book in
it.” I tried…I think I lasted five minutes tops. I am sure the
book was also related to how I could help my children to boot.
I would often hide-away in the bathroom with my hands held
over my head…praying for patience and help…”that this was
not my daughter… please help us find help and get through
this…I would help others in return.” I was overwhelmed and
wanted to help my daughter. My husband, Lorenzo, and his
partner, Diego, had a pizzeria 45 minutes away and they worked
all day and night. He would help when he could, but mostly
everything fell on my shoulders. I was lucky enough to be a
stay-at-home mom. However, there was not as much
information about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) then as
there is now. I often had to drive long distances to get help. I
was blessed to find therapists that worked with me and taught
me what to do. At this time in my life, my daughter was
diagnosed with severe Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SPD)
and she was attending an integrated preschool. We were
starting our family journey to wellness. Meghan’s younger
brother, Michael, also was diagnosed with a milder SPD and
it did not affect his everyday life as dramatically as it had
affected Meghan’s. Let’s face it…I was hyper and always on
the go myself. I realized I most likely had SPD myself.
I devoted all my time and energy into helping Meghan and
Michael. I read, learned, played, and grew as a person along the
way. I applied the same traditional and alternative
therapies/techniques for myself as well. Soon, we all started
getting better. Believe it or not, I was even taking long Epson
Salt baths and sleeping well. It took a long time, but it was
worth it. If it wasn’t for other parents and therapists dedicated
to helping children with SPD and Autism Spectrum Disorders
(ASD) kids/families, I don’t know where we would be. I never
dwelled upon labels…in fact…most of what helped Meghan and
Michael…were therapies/diets/techniques designed for children
diagnosed with ASD. We did have fun too…we painted in the
backyard; jumped on the trampoline and swung on the
swings…a great sensory diet is fun for all!! As time passed by,
SPD was no longer a jail keeper to our family. We were able to
start to go out and enjoy life. This time period was a period of
adjustment for us; Mostly me. I had to realize that we were
now able to go places and that I did not have to monitor every
situation and environment for my children. They were happy
and healthy and enjoying life with their family and friends.
Meghan was no longer afraid of the world around her. Her
auditory and tactile defensiveness had diminished. Michael was
not as hyper and he was not always seeking sensory input. We
even had the best vacation at Disney World. We were able to
enjoy the fireworks, rides, pool, and all the food. (The first
time we went; was not such a happy time.) Meghan and
Michael bloomed like two beautiful, exotic, but different
flowers. I even started to bloom myself. Life was not good…it
Eventually, I felt comfortable enough to ask my children’s swim
teacher, Kristy, if she could babysit every Thursday night so I
could either go out with Lorenzo or go to a meditation class.
(Kristy still babysits for us now. She has been a Godsend.)
Now, I was really learning how to sit still and be quiet with my
thoughts. More and more I was able to relax and get in touch
with my inner-child/self. I became more spiritual and
followed my guidance/instincts more often. I was guided to
learn Reiki* and eventually to write a children’s book about my
daughter to help validate children’s feelings and to share how
she triumphed over her SPD.
During this transitional time of rediscovery, Lorenzo and I had
another child, Gavin. He is four years old now and was
diagnosed with SPD last summer. Presently, he is in his second
year of an integrated preschool. He has come a long way and is
just starting to blossom into his own exotic flower. Lorenzo too
is starting to bloom at this time. Sometimes things can become
overwhelming again and I did wonder…”why do we have to go
through this again!?!” I do realize that I have to learn and grow
more. Through raising Gavin, I have realized my life’s
purpose. I realized that my tag line, “Giving inspiration and
hope to children living in an over stimulating world,” has a great
responsibility and I gladly accept it.
However, I do still have to remember not to let other things take
up my time. Often, I get carried away with helping others. I
also spend time helping Gavin…after all…it is his turn and my
older children get jealous. They go off and have fun with their
friends, but still want Mommy time. Lately, sometimes I feel
like I have to fight for my inner-self time. Sometimes I feel like
an octopus being pulled in eight different directions. I want to
feel at peace and then get annoyed if someone pops my serenity
Presently, I am a Reiki Master Teacher and hold a weekly Reiki
Circle in my community with two friends. Guess who’s been
attending…some mothers of special needs kids and
professionals who work with these awesome children and kids
as well. I am still evolving, growing, and learning. I meditate
often and my children respect this time that I take for myself. I
have been fortunate enough to share what I have learned
with others and to teach them how to find inner peace, self
reflection and self love. I am grateful for this because my
journey and that of my family’s has not been in vain. Our
triumph has been a guiding light for others floating in a similar
boat. I thank God for listening to my prayers
and I will gladly share our story so others can become healed as
Life is a journey. Ultimately, if we connect and find that inner-
peace/guidance…it just flows better. It is important to carve
some alone time to reflect and just Be. I am constantly guided
to learn, share, and grow. I realize my purpose and am
passionate about it. Our journey with SPD has been a blessing;
not a curse. My family has grown immensely because of it. It
has brought us closer to the truth, nature, God, and each other.
Life is what you make of it. Stay positive and Believe.
* Reiki (ray-kee) is an ancient rediscovered natural healing
technique involving the placement of hands onto or above the
body. It is a Japanese form of stress reduction and relaxation
that promotes healing and balances the mind, body, and spirit.
In 2010, Diane Renna joined a group of inspirational parents, authors, and bloggers
who dedicate their time to making positive influences in our SPD/ASD communities in a
series, First Things First. This enlightening series has been developed by author,
blogger and parent of three boys with SPD, Hartley Steiner.
“The series is dedicated to reminding parents that they need to take care of themselves. A
renewal of our commitment to take the time required to nurture not just our children, but
ourselves. We have dedicated all of our energy to making sure our children are taken care
of, but now is the time to remember to focus on our own physical, mental and emotional
health, our spirituality, as well as our relationships with friends and our spouse. This
year, I want to encourage all of you to take care yourself. And I hope each month our
guest writer will inspire you to do just that.” - Hartley Steiner
So, checkout these amazing blogers listed below. They write with you in mind - to
encourage, to inspire and to ignite YOU to look within and take care of yourself.
Marla Roth-Fisch ~ author of Sensitive Sam
Jennie Linthorst ~ Poet, and mom to Graham from Autistic Like: Graham's Story
Chynna Laird ~ author of Not Just Spirited: A Mom's Sensational Journey With SPD*
Carrie Fannin ~ Owner of Sensory Planet
Gavin Bollard ~ blogger at Life With Aspergers
Cat Lichtenbelt ~ blogger/website www.sensoryflow.com
Amy Sherridan ~ blogger at Asperger Ninja
Leslie O'Donnell ~ writer at Examiner.com
Mia Hysteria ~ blogger at General Hysteria and writer at Examiner.com
* Too the left is Diane's FTF article, Finding My Inner-Self from
October 2010, National Sensory Awareness Month.
|Diane M. Renna has donated over 500 copies of "Meghan's World" to support Sensory Processing Disorder & Autism Spectrum Disorders.
She is an advocate of early intervention. By sharing her daughter's success story, her family has helped lead the way for many children to
overcome their struggles with SPD. If you would like Diane to speak at your engagement, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and
put 'request for speaking engagement' in the subject line.
Meghan's story truly is an outline of "how to" overcome living in an over stimulating world. She is an example of the benefits of early
intervention. The alternative therapies that Meghan did are worth looking into. She is now 17 yrs old and is spreading her wings even more.
Meghan is a beautiful, healthy, outgoing young lady. She is grateful that her story is helping to heal others. On 4/29/13 Meghan sang & danced
with Camp Broadway & NYC Pop's Orchestra at their 30th Spring Gala @ Carneige Hall - she was 1 of 56 who made it...500 kids from
across the country auditioned. This past spring 2014, Camp Broadway invited Meghan back to perform with them & NYC Pop's Orchestra at
their 31st Spring Gala @ Carneige Hall. She has also performed original songs at Open Mike Night at Stephen's Talk House in
Amagansette, NY amongst other venues. She continues to shine bright & be all she can be while exploring her artistic and musical gifts.