A Cincinnati Mom Needs Input -- Difficulty Making Friends Due To Sensory Seeking Behaviors
(Cincinnati, OH USA)
My daughter is 6 years old and does have a Sensory Disorder. We just returned from a trip to Disney in Orlando. My Husband, Daughter (Hannah) and I took this trip with our neighbors (Mom and a set of twins -- Girl and Boy, age 4). My daughter is a "Sensory Seeker" and we ALL knew that before we left for the trip. She has been through a year of testing, OT, PT and much more.
She tends to touch the 4 year old Girl twin more than the Boy. Especially pulling hair, pinching her arms and hugging hard. It became a real problem during this trip. I felt just horrible, but I know my daughter did not do this behavior to inflict hurt. She really could not help it. I felt like I was making peace with the 4 year old for the pain inflicted by my daughter at all times. We finally separated during our adventures at the Parks so our trip would not be so stressful.
As a Family we did have a great time and our memories will last a lifetime. We also have good memories with our neighbor friends, but something has changed. We have now been home for over a month. My Daughter is asking why she cannot play with her friends. It seems like we (my Daughter) has been avoided like the plague. I don't know what to say to her. I have been making small excuses but I really want to help her understand. I am afraid she is going to grown up without friends- since parents and children don't understand what she goes through daily.
I have asked the OT how to give her what she is seeking but have been unsuccessful. I met with a Mother at school who does OT at another school and she showed me a technique which helps her joints in her hands and arms to curb what she is seeking. But, how can I do this if she wants to go outside and play with no notice. I know that this is just the start of her friendship issues. I need guidance to help her get through this and be a little girl that all kids will want to be with!
To add a little more to my original story. Hannah tested poorly for Kindergarten and went to a ready start program in the summer at age (5). The teacher picked
up on her not being able to process information and moving into others space during class. She mentioned it and after some thoughts of my own I contacted my pediatrician who referred me to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati and in November, 06 we met with a Dr. in the Developmental and Behaviors Division of the hospital.
From the testing they found that she had sensory processing difficulties, a Receptive Communication Disorder, Fine and Gross Motor delays, an adaptive skill delay, is at risk for language based learning delays, weaknesses in working memory and processing speed.
We started immediately with a physical therapy evaluation and continued with 6 months of therapy every other week. In that time she learned to ride a bike and her balance became better along with motor skills. She worked on strengthening and balance issues and also getting her aware of her self. Worked on the balance ball and arms and legs working together, etc.
We also had a Occupational therapy evaluation and continued with over 6 months of OT every other week. I am not sure what this person is certified in but I will check. She did improve in some areas but has not improved in the touching of others. We noticed that swimming does help with the territorial problems-- but she can't do that at all times. She worked on writing (since she switched hands a lot) and awareness of your own body space, catching, and climbing. She gave us a few techniques to use at home (deep pressure), wheel barrel type exercises. But she still has problems touching others and in loud places (restaurants like Fridays) will react with oppositional behavior.
We had an EEG and also a MRI done and both came back good.
She has had some speech intervention at school (15 Minutes-1 day a week) and also speech through our Children's Hospital. 3 months--every other week.
She receives some help in the classroom but not enough. She has an IAT and will meet on Tuesday 11/13 for another meeting to work toward an IEP. The school has a sensory center but without an IEP I don't think she can receive the help.
Also, someone mentioned cranial sacral therapy. Do you know anything about this and how it could help?
I hope that this will give you enough information to help us. My answer is too long to be put here... CLICK HERE for the rest of the answer