9 1/2 year old who hated camp

by AH
(Peach Bottom, PA)

My question is this; Does my son have a sensory issue?


He was diagnosed with a "mild case" of SPD 1 month before his 2nd birthday. But because the MHMR help ends at 2, we were told we would have to continue with IU13. We were then told that because it's not disabling him, IU13 could not help us (he actually scored high in everything from colors & shapes to speech, etc.. His issues were oversensitivity to light and sounds and textures of clothing).

Anyway, he's always been a tempermental child. Because I'm bi-polar, I've always had the thought that perhaps he is also - the temper turns on and off like a faucet.

But then we went to Boy Scout camp for the 1st time last week. We arrived on Sunday, but by Wednesday, we were both in the office with me saying we were packing up, ready to go home. He had a meltdown over a breakfast tray. And hours later, was still reacting over it. A counselor at the camp suggested OCD saying that taking him from his routine, known environment to a totally alien one overwhelms him, which can be a sign of OCD.

She's right in that whenever his routine is changed, he is out of control. This always happens during the 1st & 2nd week of school (but not the last because he hates school) and whenever we go somewhere for vacation (which is hardly ever)or go out to eat. However, he has none of the other signs of SPD - the seams of his socks don't bother him anymore (but the tags of shirts do), He'll wear anything now (used to hate jeans), he has friends, although his loudness & overexcitedness seems to deter some kids from playing with him. But, he cannot sleep anywhere by himself; he either sleeps with us or or the couch - as long as someone else is on the other couch, He is afraid of bugs (I had to check the tent every night and we couldn't sleep under the stars w/the rest of the scouts one night - that was another tantrum I had to deal w/at 1:30 in the morning), but will hold a toad, DEATHLY afraid of the dark - has to be w/someone - a flashlight will not do the trick, can't seem to play independently (he's an only child, so he should be able to by now, right?), but he has no problem with eye contact. VERY ticklish, and loves to be tickled, if he's in the right mood. A very physical child - roughhousing is great! Sports? HATED soccer! I think the fact that he couldn't just let loose on the field annoyed him. After 2 years of karate, begged to quit. Scouts is the only thing he seems to want to stick to, which I think is all because he can socialize with friends.

So is the difficulty in scenery change an SPD issue? Or should I be looking at something else being the cause?

FYI: Tantrums are very physical- you cannot touch him or he will let loose on you - he wants to be left alone, but you can't afford to leave him alone as he seems destined to destroy something or hurt someone or the dog.
Thanks!

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by: Anonymous

I've recently taken my 10-old-son to a neuropyschologist. They are more rare than psychiatrists, but there should be one in any decent-sized city. We found two in Madison, WI. He'll undergo a thorough evaluation over the next few weeks. If you have any doubts about your child's diagnosis I'd recommend starting here, since you need an accurate diagnosis before pursuing an appropriate treatment program.

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9 1/2 year old who hated camp
by: Anonymous

Hi, my son has some of the same issues. He will be eight in September. He is also afraid of the dark, flies,and certain things that happen on the television (will go screaming through the house like someone attacked him). He is still not sleeping in his bed all night. He gets in my bed in the middle of the night almost every night. He has slept in his bed all night a couple of times, but mostly mine.

My son also cries about things that upset him hours after they happen. I can even bring up something that upset him months ago, and he relives it as if it just happened. I'm am constantly saying "you can stop crying, it's over", but nothing I say seems to help. Whatever he is feeling, has to get out of his system before he is able to calm down. He has not seen an O.T. since he was three years old, and I am in the process of looking for one. Thank you for writing this post, it really helps to know that I am not alone. Thanks

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