Here’s a peek at what I’m working on:
My oldest son Caleb, now nearly 7, has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (also called Sensory Integration Dysfunction.) This is a Non-Verbal Learning Disability that is neurological in origin. In short: His brain isn’t handling all of the sensory information his body is providing. Or what it does get, it processes incorrectly.
This disorder is typically treated with occupational therapy and - in school - an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The lives of kids with this disorder can be improved with learned coping mechanisms, but he’ll never see, hear, or feel the world the way most people do. I cannot describe the heartbreak I feel as a father, knowing what lies ahead for my son.
He’ll always be the wierd kid. The “trouble maker.” Studies show he’ll always zig when others zag. He may cope, but he’ll never thrive, never adjust, never fit in.
We have recently been exploring a neurotechnology treatment that might help Caleb’s brain figure out how to process all of the sensory inputs we take for granted. It is expensive, and it has no guarantees. But we’re going to give it a try.
I’ll be writing about the treatment as we go through it, quite possibly in a venue larger than inkBlots.
Stay tuned. When the first article goes public, I’ll link here.
Update: February 10, 2007. Read the series that starts today on Wired.com