Autism or SPD in 2.5 year old?

by Kelly
(Rhode Island)


I'm a mother of a 2.5 year old who was recently seen to be diagnoised with autism. The therapist that he saw was on the fence about his symptoms because he does suffer from the repetition problems and severe language delay. However, she was confused with his decent social skills that accompany austism. After doing some research myself, I was wondering if he was suffering from SPD rather than autism.


At this time, his biggest problem is speech. He doesn't say any real words except for "uh-oh", although he does make approximations now of others words. He understands very little spoken language to him, such as his name, "more", "please", and some other simple phrases. He is extremely hyper. He constantly jumps, climbs, and "flaps" his hands by making fists and opening and closing them. He is obsessed with flourescent lights, fans, music. He had trouble concentrating with them around, so usually the lights will have to go off for better focus from him. He has unusual sleeping habits where it takes awhile to fall asleep, and he has trouble staying asleep. He is also the worst eater. He was using a bottle until a couple weeks ago. His diet is restricted to mostly snack food, waffles, cereal, and chicken nuggets. For a long time also, he was very resistant to different texture such as grass, sand, furry items, etc. His biggest problem is having his head touched. He wont let his hair be cut/brushed or wear a hat. He also wont let his teeth be brushed. He throws many tantrums due to frustration or if you take something that is overstimulating away from him.

With this being said, his social skills are quite decent. He has attachments to certain people, although he isn't too shy around strangers. He used to have much worse eye contact, but he has improved and will usually make eye contact unless something distracts/excites him. He initiates to be picked up, hugged, and kissed. He also hates playing alone, and will always take a person by the hand to make them join in his playtime. He is fascinated by other children, although he isn't too sure how to share yet. Usually he just smiles or tries to hug.

I was just wondering if anyone has a similar situation or any input because SPD is a new topic to me. Does it sound like he is on the autism spectrum, or could the doctor be overlooking something and it could be SPD that is affecting his speech delay? Thanks for reading! :)

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Jun 28, 2012
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ASD?
by: Anonymous

Hello, I have experience with a girl with many of the symptoms you described her. Well in the language, but otherwise very similar including eating difficult. andthe neurpsichiatra child believed to have autism spectrum. Best wishes for your child.

Jun 27, 2012
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Could be
by: Anonymous

Could be SPD. I am not a trained professional obviously and have never met your son, but you could be on to something. My son also has a lot of autistic traits,such as hand flapping, and getting fixated on certain objects etc. But, he has been to 4 different professional teams and all agree that he does not have autism as he relates nicely to other people etc. But the autistic characteristics are still there. He has been diagnosed with SPD through a sensory processing research center here in Denver (STAR center) and also with tourette's through a developmental pediatrician as well as SPD through them too. My son will be 5 in September and recently has been making HUGE leaps and I am so proud of him! His language used to be severly delayed and now is a moderate delay, he is learing to make friends a lot easier now and is communicatin better as well as getting some of his sensory problems under control. I cannot stress how important therapy is and also my son went to a pre-school under an IEP plan (where he got services through the school but was still in a typical pre-school) and that was a HUGE help as well! Good luck!

Jun 15, 2012
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A few ideas
by: Janice

He sounds like a lovely boy when all is said and done. My suggestion about touching the head - my son was also sensitive to touch, but when I discovered SPD kids prefer firm touch over light gentle touch, I was able to introduce head massage; pulling my fingers threw his head to relax him, as long as it was firm. I think over time that has allowed him to be less sensitive. Also I let him brush my hair when he was younger, and sometimes he would let me brush his hair. As far as the teeth, my son likes the vibrating tooth brush - we first put it on his arm so he could get used this new sensation. Your son is very young, and seems to have great potential. Whether you get a SPD diagnosis or not (hard to get in some areas) I suggest you begin doing the exercises with you son (see this website)because it can not hurt to help you son's neuro system. Also, as far as diet, add omega 3 oils like flax seed oil to a banana shake if you can, and also a lot of studies on Acidophilus found in yogurt helping a yeast build up in kids system fed by sugars that causes poor behavior - I am adding that also to my son's morning banana shake, along with protein powder to help get the nutrition in when he won't eat properly. All the best to you - just some suggestions from a mom of a SPD kid!

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