Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do Superheroes Have Sensory Processing Disorder??

A post on the SPD Blogger Website got me to thinking.  I’ve always considered Dylan a superhero.  Since he was a baby, I’ve said that his smile will change the world (one of his many super powers).    On Beth’s post, I shared with her the one time I saw a child in sensory gear I told him he looked like a superhero which got me to thinking…..

Do superheroes have Sensory Processing Disorder????

Let’s explore shall we??

Spiderman wears a skin tight costume (compression garment) from head to toe. He flings himself off buildings, swinging back and forth through the air (vestibular stimulation).  He wears his costume under his clothes and rips them off at the first sign of danger or a human in need (tactile defensiveness - tags and seams probably drive him nuts)

Superman also wears the skin tight costume (compression) and flies (vestibular) through the air with the greatest of ease. Now think about it – who other than someone with SPD would be remotely comfortable with flying without a plane or helicopter?

I think we can all agree that the majority of superheroes wear compression type costumes which give sensory input.

Batman also has a utility belt and based on the number of gadgets (fidgets anyone?) I’d say that would be a weighted belt (sensory input).

Daredevil is blind but uses all his other senses to fight crime (just more support to my special needs = super powers theory).

Flash, Wonder Woman, Punisher, Storm, Thor, all wear compression suits, use heavy objects, seek vestibular input and, in some cases, in their alter egos, have proprioproceptive issues (hello clumsy Clark Kent!)

So the next time you see a child, teen or even adult wearing compression clothing, weighted garments or other “unusual” item, please don’t stare, don’t point fingers, don’t make faces. Please DO engage us and (if the parent seems receptive) or kids. Ask them what their super powers are! Chances are you’ll be able to figure it out on your own. Dylan’s smile and laugh, his ability to see good in everyone, his uncanny ability to make himself known in a very short period of time, those are his super powers. What are yours?


  1. Sorry this is on a totally random post. I couldn't find an e-mail for you. :)
    We are not going to the masto conference this year. But interstingly I have been to your blog before...most likely due to infertility or adoption stuff.
    We go to Cleveland on October 10 for Abigail's first masto specialist appointment.
    Andrea from Life at Mannchester Estate

  2. I found you through Karen at Solodialogue. Love your blog!..Right now we're watching Megamind on heavy rotation and he's head to toe in a black suit! I'm going to think of your post the next time it's on, probably in 20 minutes!

  3. This is fantastic! And I would add that the Hulk is a sensory seeker who happens to have anger issues (probably brought on by untreated SPD!)

    I have actually been thinking about how sometimes my kids's sensory issues might actually be strengths in some cases. Which goes along well with your super hero theory.

  4. Please think of posting this on the SPD Blogger Site :) It fits right in with Patty's post today!

    (editor, SPD Blogger Network)

  5. This is such a cool analogy, Julie! I think you're right! And we all know our superheroes have detailed knowledge in specialized areas (probably derived from focusing in to block out sensory overload)!

    This makes me think of The Incredibles and how those superheroes were all kinda outside the mainstream and suffered lack of understanding too... hmmm. :)

    (PS - Forgive me - you are now on my blogroll)

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