An excerpt of a sample letter from the book Sensational Kids.
Dear Grandma and Grandpa:
I have heard that we will be staying with you again for Christmas this year! I know you have noticed that visits away from home are very hard for me, so I decided to write you and give you some ideas for making my time with you a lot better than it was last year.
I know Mom has told you about my "hidden handicap" called Sensory Processing Disorder. SPD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects my brain and makes it different than others.SPD is a complicated disorder and research is only starting to come out about it.
The best thing you can do is don't judge my parent's efforts. Everyone is always giving them advice about me- like they know better how to handle me than Mom and Dad. But nobody else lives with me, and it's really hard on my parents when people who don't live with me try to tell them how to do it. They know you have the best intentions but, honestly, we have been through so much already and they are so familiar with me and my needs. I know they are human, but sometimes I think they must be angels. They are such great people and they need your support.
It might sound like I'm asking you to change yourself, but I'm really not. I just want to ask you to be patient with me and understanding with my parents. I am trying hard to cope with everything, and they're doing their best to help me.
Do you think you see the world now a little bit like I do? That's what I hope. I am just me. I am like you in lots of ways and I'm different in other ways. There will be a place for me in the world, and I plan to do great things when I grow up. But in the meantime, at this family celebration, we'll all have a better time if you can take the time to imagine how I feel, to realize that I want to be "good" and participate, and I am doing the best I can!
See you soon!