JenKehl » My Skewed View

Masthead header

Does your sensory kid hate brushing his teeth? How about your typical kid? You can thank me later.

If this is your first time here, let me introduce myself. I may not be a Sensory Processing Disorder expert, but I play one on TV. Actually, scratch that. I am an expert. I know more than every expert, pediatrician, and psychiatrist I’ve seen yet. Why do I know more? Because I won’t take “I […]

View full post »

July 10, 2014 - 7:03 am

Kimberly - That is amazing and pretty much the coolest effing thing ever. Look at him! Not the bear.
You’re a good momma and you should be a doctor.
Can you diagnose this wart on my foot?

July 15, 2014 - 9:40 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thanks Kim!!! I never thought the kid would go for it! Who knew??
And yes. Get that foot over here ASAP

I’m not saying YOUR child doesn’t have anxiety. I’m saying just because mine likes to control everything doesn’t mean HE does.

I think I may have over-advocated for my son a few weeks back. You didn’t think there was such a thing did you? It’s kind of like Munchausen by Proxy, only not. I wasn’t making him sick or faking symptoms or anything. No, instead I was willing to accept a list of possible disorders based […]

View full post »

June 2, 2014 - 8:50 am

Kerri - YES!!!! He is a Tarantino, a Speilberg, a Lucas…he is going to change the world. Sometimes I worry about the kids that are perfectly “normal” but immature, like my oldest. They live in a fantasy world half the time. Why do anyone of us have to be typical. When did we stop using our imagination and just checking boxes? good for you for understanding your boys genius. And being patient enough to realize that his dynamite today is just practice for his big screen debut

June 2, 2014 - 9:19 am

Jennifer Kehl - Thank you Kerri! It’s such a fine balance to walk. Why does everyone want their children to be “average”? I don’t want that. The shy need to come out of their shell, the excited extroverted kids need to calm down. Eh. Forget it. Our kids should be what who they are, not what “fits”, right?!

June 2, 2014 - 1:37 pm

Sarah - This is so funny, and I admire your coolness. Your son reminds me of my nephew: there is a clear plan in his brain, and he organizes everyone around him in it. I love that. A truly creative, imaginative brain. Good for you for making that judgement call.

June 2, 2014 - 3:04 pm

Deb @ Urban Moo Cow - Loved this jen. Sometimes a spade is just a spade. Or an imaginative little boy. We are so primed for pathology in our society.

June 2, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Sarah Almond - YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

(We creative visionaries, there are so few of us in this world.)

June 2, 2014 - 6:29 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thanks Sarah! You gotta love those creative types. Can’t get in front of their vision or they might knock you down!

June 2, 2014 - 6:30 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thanks Deb, that means a lot. And you are so right. That is exactly my point. So many parents want a diagnosis where there really isn’t anything but behaviour that diverges from average.

June 2, 2014 - 6:31 pm

Jennifer Kehl - You know it!

June 2, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Sarah @ LeftBrainBuddha - Doesn’t pretty much every human being like to be in control? In fact, isn’t it considered psychologically unhelpful if we feel completely out of control? or that we have no control at all? I love your interpretation of events at the end. What a creative kid!

June 2, 2014 - 8:11 pm

Jennifer Kehl - That’s right Sarah!! Isn’t that what it boils down to? I realized all the sudden that I had been railroaded into thinking it was odd. No way!

June 2, 2014 - 9:15 pm

nothingbythebook - Way to go, Jen. He’s so lucky to have you. And the world is so lucky to have him.

June 2, 2014 - 9:17 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thanks Jane!

June 3, 2014 - 8:52 am

emma - I especially love how he recognized that the doctor was really interested in the death and destruction stories. Of course he’s going to pick up on that and elaborate once he sees he’s captured the adult’s interest! I took my son Ky to the Kennedy Krieger institute before he was diagnosed with SPD and he was interviewed by a doctor whose specialty was OCD. She asked Ky if he ever did stuff like “counting the ceiling tiles” and so naturally he looked up at the exam room ceiling tiles (so did I, you kind of had to once it had been mentioned) and she smugly informed us that he had OCD, counting tiles was “classic” OCD behavior, etc etc. Ky’s take away from the appointment was that the doctor was obsessed with ceiling tiles for some reason and though he himself didn’t care about the ceiling, he thought it was cool that her job was to make kids count them for her. Sigh.

June 4, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Janine Huldie - Jen, I smiled reading the end and could totally have told you from all I have read and gotten to know with Isaiah that he is truly gifted, amazing little boy. Seriously, you didn’t need to pay me for 45 minute sessions’ fees to find this out. And honestly, just wish I could reach out and hug Isaiah now more then ever! :)

June 4, 2014 - 5:11 pm

Dana - I think you are one astute mother who knows her child very well. Doctors may be excellent and well meaning, but you know best. Well, probably Isaiah knows best!

June 5, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Katia - Beautiful! I so often see Ben in Isaiah and read this not only as Isaiah’s mom’s friend but also as Ben’s mom and it strikes a double chord with me. Such a beautiful musing about creativity. Wonderful!

June 6, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Emma @ P is for Preschooler - What a great post! It reminded me of a boy I went to school with, who was always writing stories about what would now be considered too “violent”. Fact was, he was just a creative kid with a great imagination. What a lucky boy Isaiah is to have a mom who gets that!

June 6, 2014 - 6:52 pm

Jennifer Hughes - Oh good grief. That guy sounds like perhaps he was looking for something! At night, we’ve been play acting a story about V’s green alien and how he crashes at Six Flags and goes on all of these adventures. And do you think that boy lets me make up some of the story.?Ha! It was MY idea and now he directs it all. He’s got a vision and he’s sticking to it.

June 27, 2014 - 9:14 am

thedoseofreality - Love this…love that you figured out exactly what was making him tick…my little one has an incredible imagination in much the same way.-Ashley

June 27, 2014 - 3:07 pm

celeste - This is FABULOUS. I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful creations your little visionary will bring to the world. :)

June 28, 2014 - 3:13 am

Natalie DeYoung Ricci - Love this. Love, love, love.
He sounds the way I was as a kid – full of stories & creative vision. You’re an insightful mama.

July 1, 2014 - 2:07 pm

Jennifer Kehl - I know Emma! I don’t know why Dr’s want to label kids so badly. But I’m glad we both got the real picture!

July 1, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Janine, you’re awesome! Thank you so much for always being so sweet and encouraging.

July 1, 2014 - 2:10 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thank you Celeste! There is certainly more to come, and if you want to see what he’s up to his site is

July 1, 2014 - 2:10 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Aw shucks Dana, thank you!

July 1, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Jennifer Kehl - I think it is a gift to be able to see inside our children so clearly, Katia. I know you have that too. xo

July 1, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Jennifer Kehl - It’s so true Emma, isn’t it? I am lucky I homeschool I think!

July 1, 2014 - 2:13 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thank you Ashley! I am glad I figured it out too!

The Commotion You Know

  Isaiah’s tennis teacher is a saint. He specializes in teaching 4-8 year olds tennis. Enough said. As the mother of an 8-year-old I can personally vouch for how difficult that must be. Oh wait – I forget we are assuming that child is typical. But my child is not typical, and this class includes […]

View full post »

May 16, 2014 - 6:18 am

Janine Huldie - I truly don’t think anyone had to teach this to you, because I know what a wonderful and compassionate mother you are to Isaiah. But still glad that people like Isaiah’s tennis coach are understanding and help to make it easier at times for you at the very least. By the way, just so glad you joined us today an happy to have you link up :)

May 16, 2014 - 7:41 am

Kerith Stull - As the mother of an 18yo daughter with a visible disability (moderate cerebral palsy – she walks with a limp), I’ve often thought about the kids around us at special needs events who don’t “look disabled.” My husband might turn to me and ask, “Why do you think that kid is here?” And I always respond, “Not all disabilities are visible. We don’t know what’s happening inside.” He gets sick of me responding that way, but we all need to realize that what you think you see might not be what’s really there. Thanks for pointing that out to all of us!

(Visiting from #FTSF)

May 16, 2014 - 8:43 am

Jean - We are pulling my son from tennis after this session is over because the echoes are too distracting for him! Did you talk with your son about how to deal in the racquet ball court (dear God, I can’t even imagine what that sounds like) or did he come up with that on his own?

May 16, 2014 - 9:21 am

Kristi Campbell - Sometimes being the commotion is how he deals with the commotion is so profound and perfectly stated. Really. You’re the bestest mom and he’s such a cool dude – I’m glad that there are coaches in his life who teach him with kindness and empathy. That’s a true gift.

May 16, 2014 - 1:40 pm

Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. - That last line gave me chills. So much insight there. He is beyond lucky to have an advocate as wise and empathetic as you.

May 16, 2014 - 1:51 pm

Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe - Hmmm, I wonder if he’s a “visual” learner if in that particular circumstance, maybe headphones might help? If he could distract himself with a soothing song playing and still be able to learn by watching without all the distracting sounds. Must be frustrating, but it’s great that the teacher and apparently the other kids in the class seem to be managing it well with him. :)

May 16, 2014 - 3:59 pm

Kelly McKenzie - Both my two are now coaching and teaching swimming. One day my son tumbled into the car with a huge grin on his face. “I had the best little guy today Mom. We worked on back floats today for the first time. As soon as he got floating he starts singing REALLY loudly the theme song for a tv show. Not the whole thing. Just the “MAX AND RUBY!” part. It was so cool. I let him just carry on for a good 15 minutes. He was so so so happy.”
Thank you for sharing the point of view of the floater Jen. I’ll pass that on to my son.

May 16, 2014 - 9:21 pm

Katia - I so appreciate your quest to make Isaiah’s condition more understandable and relatable to others. I found the post helpful and touching and heart-squeezing, especially that line where you talk about how for him coming up with that line he sang over and over again is a defense mechanism against the attack on his senses. That just made me want to reach out and hug him through the screen, and you amazing mama that you are.

May 16, 2014 - 9:26 pm

Anna Fitfunner - First of all, Yay Jen!

Welcome back! I’ve really missed your blogging and posts. It was a wonderful surprise to see your name on this FTSF hop. Please keep coming back!

One point: getting “Looks” as a parent of a special needs parent goes with the territory. Sometimes, another parent will just get it, and then the Look melts into sympathy. If that doesn’t happen, then I’ve developed my own Look. It’s a mixture of invitation and attitude: “Yep, my boy not acting normally. Happy to chat with you about it, but if you go over the line I WILL cut you. So, shall we begin?”

See you next week?


May 16, 2014 - 10:21 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thank you Janine! I am always blessed when someone “gets” him!

May 16, 2014 - 10:22 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Kerith thank you so much. It’s moms like you who really make a difference. Even if it’s one husband at a time!

May 16, 2014 - 10:23 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Oh no Jean. Isaiah does that stuff all by himself!

May 16, 2014 - 10:24 pm

Jennifer Kehl - You’re the best mom Kristi!!! I feel like we both get it, and we both get each other, and we both have AMAZING boys!

May 16, 2014 - 10:24 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thank you Stephanie!

May 16, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Actually Chris, he is more of an auditory learner, he can memorize 10 minute soliliquys he hears. He has headphones, and we have done music therapy. He uses his headphones when the dogs are barking a lot. But as far as learning goes, funnily enough it doesn’t effect his ability!

May 16, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Jennifer Kehl - That’s an awesome story Kelly!!! Please share this with him, the more coaches that “get it” the more wonderful the world is!

May 16, 2014 - 10:27 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Awww Katia. Thank you. I really do feel it’s so important to share. It’s that looking typical thing that always makes it harder, so I think it’s important to share.

May 16, 2014 - 10:29 pm

Jennifer Kehl - Thanks Anna! I’m not completely back. I am in an intensive 3 month web design course and man… but I just realized this short post really fit this week’s theme.

I do agree with you. I get both looks. I just focus on the not so understanding because those are the people who I hope to reach, and I hope will look differently at kids they don’t understand.

Thanks for stopping by!

May 16, 2014 - 10:30 pm

Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe - Bummer! Awesome for memorization, not so awesome for dealing with those distractions. Sigh …

May 17, 2014 - 8:19 am

Emma - My son is now almost 19, and he has what I’d guess is somewhere near the same type of sensory processing disorder as Isaiah. Only back when he was Isaiah’s age SPD either wasn’t known or talked about as much, or it was harder to diagnose. So Ky was incorrectly diagnosed with (and disastrously attempted treatment for) things like OCD, or mild autism, or ‘oppositional defiant disorder’ (when he was actually a really easy going kid) etc.

The WORST environments for him besides IMAX and the signing of Happy Birthday were team sports, and it was exactly what you described – all the echoing noise and disordered activity. I wouldn’t have even attempted tennis or racquetball! And it’s wonderful that Isaiah can find that internal way to cope, and that you can work past whatever social embarrassment comes from other parents thinking you just don’t care enough to discipline the relative annoyance of a repetitive song out of him.

Reading this brought back so many memories of the stress ball in my son’s stomach, and my stomach watching him, from team sports, and then how finding that one coach who seemed to get it and work past it could change so much about the experience. I’m so glad to have found your blog and have passed it on to my son, who feels a little cheated that he wasn’t officially diagnosed with SPD (especially the auditory processing issues) until he was in high school and had already learned a bunch of less healthy coping devices, and a huge hit to his self esteem. The great part is that as an older teen, things have smoothed out very nicely. It’s really great to read about a parent who gets it and handles it so well.

May 17, 2014 - 8:17 pm

April - My son also sings and talks as if no one else is around. He has been tested and he’s just… well him. I definitely admire anyone who who deal with that age range. It’s a tough one.

May 19, 2014 - 3:12 am

Kate Hall - Aw, this is really nice. What a great tennis instructor. I taught tennis for a while back in college. I taught ages 6-12. There was always chaos on the court. I joined in. The head instructor didn’t really appreciate my joining in that much.

May 21, 2014 - 3:26 am

MyTwice BakedPotato - As an elementary teacher of usually 22+ and a parent to a 2e sensory impacted kiddo, I totally get the value of this great coach! We have a swimming teacher that we feel the same way about! Doesn’t matter that she is far or expensive -she gets him :)

May 23, 2014 - 4:32 am

Kimberly - My hairdresser told me at my last appointment that he son was diagnosed with SPD. She said that the school that he WAS attending treated him like an outcast and wouldn’t help him. When he was assigned with a support worker, she could not believe how evil and toxic the environment and teacher was. The teacher told the children that they were not allowed to play with this FIVE year old because he was TROuBLE. He had a hard time understanding and when he didn’t understand he got frustrated which is totally understandable especially when he wasn’t getting help.
So horrible.

May 31, 2014 - 5:48 pm

Yvonne - I’ve not heard of this before, but how fortunate that your son has you to look out for him and such a great coach.

June 24, 2014 - 4:10 pm

Shay from Trashy Blog - I don’t have sensory issues and this is something I do on a regular basis, so I think it’s pretty awesome! :) You know what nipped my judgy-wudgy attitude in the bud HARD? Having my own kids. They are RAMBUNCTIOUS, so I will never again judge another mom with a loud kid. I usually smile at them and silently thank God that it isn’t my kid…this time. :) Great post.

July 1, 2014 - 2:12 pm

Jennifer Kehl - I love that your kids are RAMBUNCTIOUS! Lord knows my boy is. And no one in my family gets it. But at least I do!

An Ode to Pete Seeger

I never knew the banjo was a hillbilly instrument. When I first saw a banjo, it was in my father’s arms. My father was a chemist, a business owner and a banjo player. He didn’t play with a group. He played for fun, he played for us kids, but he also played for himself, a […]

View full post »

May 7, 2014 - 11:09 am

Kristi Campbell - I had never heard of Pete Seeger until now! Thanks so much for the introduction and I love that you said he lived a full life. So cool that your dad played the banjo too – does Isaiah play?

May 7, 2014 - 3:49 pm

Shay from Trashy Blog - First off–It’s good to see you again! Haha. I have been SO busy with work the past few months, and it has really affected my blog hopping. :) I keep up the best I can, but I have been lagging lately. I miss you, too. I had never heard of Pete Seeger, either, but I know that when I come to your blog, I will learn something about music that I didn’t know before. Oh–and I don’t know what’s up with my subscription e-mails not coming through. You were one of a few people who told me that day that subscriptions were only just now coming through again with e-mails. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m always posting!

I Get Free Chocolate but What You Can Get is SO Much Better!

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. I get bogged down by the day-to-day, and forget. Forget that some people never get a chance to live their dreams. Thanks to my friend Melissa from Home on Deranged, who shares my same cuckooness and weirdo sense of humor, I got to be part of an amazing […]

View full post »

May 1, 2014 - 10:45 am

Rabia @TheLiebers - I shared with my friends at work, but you recorded your results much more scientifically!! My favorite was the popcorn one. It was just fun to eat!

May 1, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Kristi Rieger Campbell - Love the funny review but the video told me it was private when I tried to watch it…

May 1, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Janine Huldie - The video was the best and you know I am Isaiah’s #1 fan already, but each time I see him he totally reminds me why. And I am with you on liking Milk Chocolate better then the Dark (but I usually a milk chocolate fan).

May 1, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Christine Carter - OHMYGOSH that Isaiah needs to have his own show!!! He is so adorable!! And he just NAILED the review with his ‘expert’ opinions… and the kid eats chocolate like I do. One BIG massive chunk at a time!! LOL
I love the honest opinions of all your peeps- that makes it feel so authentic and really? I couldn’t imagine the BACON FLAVORED chocolate. EW. Just EW!!
Such an awesome review Jen!!

May 1, 2014 - 3:00 pm

Dana - I got the same four bars as you did Jen; you’ll have to stay tuned for my review on Monday. I’m impressed that you shared with so many people – I hoarded mine!

May 2, 2014 - 4:14 am

Danielle Schneider - That was a Rockin review!! And as for the picture..,,,,,

May 2, 2014 - 8:37 pm

Angel The Alien - I love Isaiah’s video! He’s lucky to have gotten the job as one of your official chocolate tasters… and I bet he is the ONLY one who crammed all three types of chocolate into his mouth at one time!
I like Hershey’s dark chocolate (which is much sweeter than regular dark chocolate) but I think regular dark chocolate tastes bitter. I might like this type, since your sister said it is sweeter than usual! I am definitely a chocoholic too!

F o l l o w   M e !