Making sense of Sienna


Baldivis four-year-old Sienna Brick is a kind, beautiful and funny child who loves to sing and talks non-stop.
Making sense of Sienna
Baldivis four-year-old Sienna Brick is a kind, beautiful and funny child who loves to sing and talks non-stop.

MOST parents can expect at least one trip to the hospital as a result of mishaps involving adventurous children.

But for the Brick family of Baldivis, they have made numerous dashes to hospital with their four-year-old daughter Sienna, who has sensory processing disorder (SPD).

“Our hospital trips have been for multiple dislocated elbows and wrists, a cut to the eye, cut to her stomach, multiple concussions and a cut to her forehead which needed gluing and steri-strips,” Sienna’s mother Stacey said.

Sienna’s condition means she craves sensory input from her external environment and is constantly seeking out risky, messy and even dangerous activities.

“She is prone to behaviours such as spinning non-stop, crashing into things on purpose, bumping into people and playing roughly with other children,” she said.

“She seeks out messy play, such as splashing herself in water until she’s soaked or getting dirty in mud.

“Sienna loves bear hugs and enjoys loud noises.

“She also has oral sensory issues, where she likes crunchy textures in food and enjoys licking and chewing on things.”

Part of Sienna’s condition means she has problems settling down and sleeping, she eats constantly and hardly notices the cold.

“It was a lengthy process to get a diagnosis for Sienna and we are still going through the process of further diagnosis and management for her,” Mrs Brick said.

“I originally came across SPD when Googling some of the symptoms Sienna had. The first time I went to the doctor was when Sienna was two years old, although I had spoken to my child health nurse about my concerns prior to this.”

Mrs Brick said knowing how Sienna thinks and having some understanding into how she feels had been a blessing in their life.

“It makes anticipating possible issues easier for us and helps us with acknowledging when she is at that point where we need to make a change to allow her to cope,” Mrs Brick said.

While Sienna’s condition might seem unusual, Mrs Brick said about one in 20 people were thought to have SPD.

“SPD is neurological and can differ greatly between each person,” Mrs Brick said.

Mrs Brick has a blog where she shares her experiences. She hopes to raise awareness about the condition to increase understanding in the community.

Visit www.facebook.com/thesensorymum.