2.5 year old, SPD or Personality?

by Jessica
(Washington, USA)

I'm beginning to wonder if my 2.5 year old has SPD. My biggest concern is her sleep issues but reading the check list it seems like there have been signs since birth. Right after she was born my husband was concerned that she may have been deaf as she would sleep though our very loud barking dog. Shortly after that he became concerned that she may be Autistic because she refused to make eye contact. Well, I knew she wasn't deaf so that didn't concern me and the no eye contact issue alone wasn't too concerning for me either.

Fast forward a a couple years though and there are some signs that started in infancy and have continued into toddler-hood. I haven't thought of eye contact nor pushed the issue since she never liked it but she also does not like to be touched unless it's on her terms. She will refuse hugs and kisses, even from both her parents, yet other times will be extremely needy and I have to hold/nurse her. She will go from happily playing by herself to suddenly needing me to hold her and visa versa. She is very particular about who she is comfortable being around and touched by and takes a very long time to warm up the new places, people, and situations. It took 1.5 months of dance class before she would even be comfortable being in the room with out me.

She prefers to play alone, other than playing with her sister/mom/dad, and will freeze/shut down if people she is not comfortable with touch her. For example, in dance class she will stop participating if another kid touches her and scoots away from them if they try to sit next to her. She also loves to be thrown around, spun, swing, is a little dare devil constantly wanting to do flips and whatnot. She also seems to have a high pain threshold and sometimes a delayed pain response.

On to my biggest concern, her sleep. She has never been a good sleeper, never sleeping longer than 4 hours at a time. She also needs to be touching me when she sleeps, sometimes I can get her to sleep in her crib but it never lasts long. She usually wakes every 2 hours, stirring and needing comfort to get back to sleep. She fights sleep a lot, getting her to sleep can be difficult and she will use any noise to wake herself back up. In the middle of the night I have to get her settled back down as quickly and calmly as possible or she will simply wake up and be awake for 2 hours (it's literally always 2 hours exactly no matter what I do).

On the flip side, when she is actually asleep she will sleep through just about anything as long as she is touching me and it's not near one of her typical stirring times. She also freaks out and will kick the blankets off even if it means she is freezing cold while she falls asleep. After she is asleep I can usually sneak them back on for a little while. I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting to add but hopefully this is enough for good insight.

After 2.5 years of sleep deprivation and a needy child I just don't think I can tell the difference between a normal needy/introverted kid and a kid with SPD. What does everyone else think? Should I bring this up with her Dr or seek a professional?

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