Category Archives: Articles

National Sensory Awareness Month – Our Sensational Story


October is National Sensory Awareness Month, a time when we in the SPD community ramps up our efforts to bring awareness to a disorder that at one point, affected 1 in 20 kids.    I will link to more info about SPD below.

This website, in its current state, is a mere shell of what it was.  We are working with our web hosting company to try to recover our old site with its content that included stories of well over 50 families from across the country.

Linked is a video I made which tells our SPD story and just how it affected us.

Our video here

After you watch the video, please head over to our Facebook page and like it!  We are closing in on 1,000 likes!  We would certainly “like” it if you did!

Window Installation!!

We are SOOOO excited to announce that Faces of SPD: Portraits of a Disorder will be installed February 1st as a month long window exhibit. The window display will be at 207 Bridge St Phoenixville, home of the Phoenix Village Arts Center.

This is such an exciting occasion for this project! This also leads us right into March which is Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Month! We will be looking at various opportunities in March to display this exhibit!!!

Please, share this info with anyone you think would benefit from learning about SPD. YOU can help us put a face to SPD!!!

Below shows you a glimpse of the space the exhibit will be in. Not a great view but something. I will be taking photos of the completed installation!×225.jpg

Win a Free Photo Session with Brian Mengini ANYWHERE in the US!!!

As some of you know, the goal of Portraits of a Disorder, is to raise awareness for Sensory Processing Disorder by putting a face or faces to it. SPD is a neurological disorder that affects 1 in 20 kids, like my son Dominic, but is largely still unknown. The medical community has yet to include it in the DSM which is a manual with a list of codes for various medical conditions, etc, that service providers use to code their billing for submission to insurance companies. Basically, what this means is that since there is no official code, that it is not recognized as a legitimate disorder and therefore, since there is no code, the insurance companies will not pay for services to help treat SPD. No code means it doesn’t exist – to them at least. On paper. I have been dealing with SPD, officially, for almost 7 years now. We, as a family, have cried, screamed and been pushed to every limit because of SPD. I can tell you as sure as I am typing this entry, SPD IS REAL!!! So, in order to get services, parents will either have to pay out of pocket for the various evals and therapy sessions or service providers will have to code it differently so parents can get insurance to cover treatment. This is what the parents of 1 in 20 kids have to go through to get their child the help they need to simply exist in life. Just to be able to have basic life skills. We are not talking college here. We are talking about these kids being able to eat properly, tie their shoes, cope with transitions, ride a bike, read, speak properly. Again, basic life skills that most of us take for granted.

Ok. Rant done and you get the point, I am sure. So this contest is designed to garner more support for this project I have started. Here is the skinny:

Contest ends October 31st.

We are selling chances to enter for $10 each. You CAN purchase more then once chance.

All chances will be entered into a large pot/box/something big and be randomly drawn the evening of October 31st.

Yes, you read correct, I will travel ANYWHERE in the US. So, lets make sure we sell these chances so I don’t lose money lol.

The winner must be available to pick me up from the airport and bring be back to it for my flights, if out of state.

ALL ENTRIES will be posted on a special page on this website as supporters. So, even if you do not win, you will still receive credit on this site as a supporter of the cause and will have my deepest gratitude.

**Valid entries must be received by October 31st!**

We will work with the winner to determine when the shoot will take place.

Please send your donations to:

Brian Mengini
39 Salem Rd
Schwenksville, Pa 19473

***TIP – if you have a group of friends or parents, etc, that may be interested, it may be worth your while to really pull your efforts and resources together for this as I will be happy to include shoots for up to 5 families on this trip.

THE HARD SELL… This is your chance to be part of a unique effort to help these amazing children and win a very special and unique photo shoot with an internationally published photographer! All of this for a meager $10. I know times are tight, but if you can spare $10 and the cost of a stamp, please help us out!!!

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!!!

Our First Founding Partner is Named ~!!!

I am sooo very excited to announce our very first founding partner for the Portraits of a Disorder Project… will be donating 12 – 16×20 B&W prints for our exhibit. I just received the email from Kelly Casey, marketing manager for the company! is a professional photo lab and proofing supplier for professional photographers. I use them in both capacities and have done so for a number of years.

This is a very significant step and contribution in our goal for raising awareness for SPD!

Their website will be featured on our website AS a founding partner for the project in exchange for their generosity and will also be included on our marketing of the exhibit!!!

What a very exciting time!!!

Dinner Time Blues

We have had issues for years with Dominic and food, esp new food. He has always demonstrated a resistance to trying new foods. Even with certain foods, like chicken nuggets for example, they had to be specific brands. He would not eat Chik Fila nuggets or he would start to puke.

His diet currently is high in carbs and starches. His activity level is high is sitting on the couch on his duff. When he got his SPD dx in 2005, he also got a dx of hypotonia – low muscle tone. So you can clearly see the odds are stacked against us and the battle we must ensue all the time to ensure he embraces a healthy lifestyle.

Over the years, he has gotten better at at least trying new foods. However, being the sensory kiddo he is and how rigid he can be with schedules, etc, he will only try new things on certain days or willing to eat things on certain days.

Here is a little video of us trying to get him to eat meatloaf, rice, peas and green beans. His pt made a deal with him that states if he eats more then 9 green beans at one meal, he gets a prize from the treasure chest. did not work out so well.

Here is the video:


While we are still plug along setting up our professional portrait sessions, we need help from those of you we can’t reach just yet! Perhaps one day I CAN get to you!!!

So here is what I need from you… I need the best quality picture of your sensory kiddo that you have! We want one, if you have it, that best captures their spirit and personality!!


In addition, we need you to include your childs first name, age, a sample of their sensory issue AND their favorite hobby, passion or what they may excel at. We want to show and share just how special they are, not just the obstacles!

Lastly, tell us where you are from!!

This is your chance to be part of an amazing project aimed to raise awareness of this invisible disorder! Let’s put a face to SPD!!!

Please send your picture and requested info to


Portraits in Utah

I was recently in Utah for other charity work and while there had the opportunity to work with the Preece family. Their son Zach, has SPD. So we met up the day before I left and did a shoot. We did some full family shots and some of just Zach. I am so excited about what I captured, esp of Zach.

This is a little snippet of me working with Zach. You will see at the end of the video, some of his sensory issues came out as he was concerned about getting his shoes dirty. Not sure how much audio of it the camera picked up.

Anyway… enjoy!

Quarter of the Way!!!

Wow!!! We are not even out of August yet and we are about a quarter of the way done or at least scheduled!!! This is soooo encouraging!! I have some wonderful families coming in! So happy to be meeting these folks!! They are truly amazing!

So, this puts at 25 on the books with 75 left and 37 days left! YIKES!!!


13 photographed and 87 left. WOW!!!!

Well, we are off and running! We had a wonderful shoot today and are up to 13 kiddos photographed!

With a goal of 100 by October 1, we definitely have our work cut out for us! We have just a little over a month left to photograph another 87 kiddos with SPD! YIKES!!!

Fear not! WE WILL DO IT!!!

But we do need your help!! Please share this with your friends and family! Anyone who you know who is affected by SPD!

We Need Your Kiddos!!

We set a goal of having me photograph 100 sensory kiddos by October 1st, 2011. In order for us to hit our goal, we need more kiddos to be photographed! If you are interested in participating in a project that will help change the face of SPD, please let me know!

We are looking to have people from various parts of the east coast as well as Utah. I say Utah because I will be out there next week.

Please let us know if you are interested!!!