Are these symptoms associated with SPD?

by Beth

My son is now three years old. We've had concerns about him since about two weeks old. He's been to many doctors to try to find out why he cried more often than not (until about age 2) doesn't sleep, and other issues. At about 1 1/2 we took him to a developmental pediatrician to look into the possibility of SPD. At that time the doctor said he fell into the range of "typical" though showing some signs of SPD. Now at age three, things are a little better but I wonder if there is cause to look into this again. I looked at the checklist and he certainly does display some of the behaviors there. We are dealing with some issues that i don't see on the list but they don't seem to me to be just behavioral, or normal for his age. They are: extreme aversion to potty training, though a fascination to looking at the potty and watching it flush. He has stated that if he uses a potty he "might be lost". Still dependent on a paci. Still dependent on a 4 oz bottle of rice milk when going to sleep or stressed.

Weening him from either would be a huge battle. He sometimes hates to come in from the car when we get home, sometimes gets extremely upset over a diaper change, following me to try to get the wet/ dirty one to put it back on. Sometimes is very determined that he either doesn't want jammies on or doesn't want to take them off. (crying like we've broken his heart and begging for the jammies back even when he's changed out of them.) He doesn't sleep well. He wakes up at least once per night, usually more. He seems to have vivid and disturbing dreams. We have reverted back to giving him a bottle in the night so we can get some sleep.

When I read advice to use charts, etc. my reaction is that he wouldn't get that. Do most 3 year olds get that? He talked very late and does not engage in the kind of reasoning that other parents seem to think he is ready for.

Is this childhood behavior and we just need to go through the hard part of training him or could it be something else?


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Jul 22, 2011
iron deficiency and SPD
by: Anonymous

Your emails sound very similar to my son. We had problems with toilet training, sleeping, extensive and frequent tantrums for his first 3 1/2 years. We also went to many doctors and were brushed off by them. Finally, a doctor took his blood and found him to be iron deficient. We commenced supplements and after 5 months, his sleep improved, tantrums decreased and his words flowed {he was slow to speak}. It made a huge difference to our lives. He is now a fairly easygoing little boy, however he has now also been diagnosed with spd and is seeing an OT. No therapy has been commenced yet. The brushing therapy has been recommended which we will probably try. He has red meat 7 nights a week and no iron supplements anymore.

Jul 20, 2011
follow your mothers intuition...
by: Utah

i knew something was different about my son from a very early age as well. and though it got a bit better as he became a toddler, he still displayed some behaviors and 'quirks' that didn't seem to fit what i knew to be, for lack of a better word, 'normal'.

i've been around kids all my life and i spent many school age years tending children. i too, took my concerns to my pediatrician, more than once. she blew me off and told me i was a first time mother and that being a mom is hard, to basically suck it up and deal with all the sleepless nights, the incessant crying, the melt downs at a young age over things that i couldn't even detect, etc.

well, i switched pediatricians. and she took my concerns more seriously. i started talking to people and reading and educating myself just like you are. and it took a while, but we're finally piecing it together! at age 3 i took my son to an occupational therapist facility (one locally who have staff that are knowledgeable about spd and other issues) and i had him evaluated. sure enough, the ot validated the very things i'd been concerned about all along.

and so it began there. we've been working with an ot on/off for the last 3 years and we've made strides in a positive direction! we've worked on everything from texture issues with clothing and food, to potty training and being comfortable in the bathroom (which btw, my son didn't potty train until he was 4-so you're not alone and he didn't give up the binky until about that age as well).

we've done some play therapy to help him understand 'force' and boundaries, we've worked on self soothing tools, learned coping strategies for what to do with emotions and anxiety, we've done listening therapy, we've worked on becoming okay with routines when they change and don't go as planned, etc.

so so many resources available, so many people walking this path and exchanging ideas. i would suggest that you do what you think you ought to do. and don't underestimate your intuition, if you have concerns, don't stop, keep asking questions and pressing forward. if your son needs help, now is the time to seek it.

there is a link on this website to help with locating qualified ot's in different areas. may want to look into that and just make a couple calls and ask some questions. :) good luck!

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