Calsita and Cameron's Story

by Elizabeth Matthews
(Kingman, AZ, USA)

As a new mom of a baby girl named Calista I didn't know what to expect. I was told by many moms many different things. To still make noise when the baby slept, to sleep any time the baby slept, and that they loved to be tightly wrapped. Well, from the moment she arrived into the world, she was not your typical first child.


She screamed every time she was wrapped in a blanket, every time I would put her in her bassinet, and any time someone in the house would make the slightest noise. The only thing that seemed to work for her to go to sleep was bouncing her vigorously for several hours, even then as soon as I would lay her down and tiptoe away, she would start screaming and I had to start all over. She never took a nap unless she was lying on my chest. I thought that this would be making her to reliant on me so I tried many different things before resulting to her lying on my chest for sleep. After four months of this routine, one day she fell asleep in a vibrating bouncy chair. I was so excited that I didn't move from that spot, afraid I would wake her. She slept there for 30 minutes.

I recall that she always had her hands in a fist position until she was a year and a half. I would have to pry them open just to wash them. Even when she finally opened her hands she would request that they be washed if the slightest bit of anything got on them. I remember her screaming during a bath and as soon as I put clothes on her. She was happiest just being naked. The doctors told me she was just a colic baby and would grow out of it. Well, she eventually slept in bed with me instead if on my chest and gradually to her own room by the age of 4. However, that was just the beginning.

Once she could talk she would tell people not to yell at her when they talked to her. It took five trips to the hair salon to get her hair cut and three trips to the dentist office just for her to open her mouth. She is afraid of the dark or just to walk down any area of our house by herself. She is terrified of shots. She will only wear loose dresses made out of cotton, elastic cotton shorts or skirts, loose cotton shirts, and flip flops. Socks, blue jeans, tennis shoes, and jackets are a nightmare for her to wear. She will through a fit for a good hour if she has to wear them or will walk out the door with only her underwear on if she could. She will go through winter wearing only a sweat shirt and sweat pants. For years her dad has fought with her about her clothes. He thinks she is just not being stubborn or picky about what she likes; I explained that there is more to it and not to fight her so hard. He always says then she gets her way. I have explained that she has no way, however he sees other wise. After reading the information on this site I hope he sees things from her point of view like I have now.

Calista is six years old and has just completed her first year of Kindergarten. I read about SPD one other time when she was two and a half years old. However, it was not because of her. It was because of her little brother Cameron.

He was a year when he started doing strange things. He was a baby straight out of the book. He took a nap everyday for three hours no mater how much noise was made or where he fell asleep. He loved being cuddled, wrapped up really tight, and touching anything he could get his hands on; your typical little boy. However, when he was one he started doing strange things and still does them to this day. He will bang his head on the wall sometimes when he is told no or just all of a sudden, he spills his drinks over constantly or drops them, he falls out of his seat or completely misses it when he goes to sit down, he will play with my ears when I put him to sleep, he wraps himself up tight from head to toes when he is sleeping, he has sudden out bursts of tears or anger for no apparent reason that I can figure out and then just as fast as it started it stops, he randomly hits people for no reason, he sucks on his arm or bottom lip, he cannot sit for long periods of time, he hardly ever makes eye contact and if he does he is concentrating just to do it, he only hears us call his name when it is yelled, he enjoys shots and offers to take his sister's, he gets filling filled at the dentist with no pain medicine, and he is mean to our pet dog.

I thought that when he first started doing these things that he would grow out of them, however as the years went on and he started pre-school at age 3 he still continued to do things and more and more added.

I talked to the teacher about Autism or ADHD. She said he just doesn't listen. Once he chooses to listen he is fine. Well, another year later with the same teacher and I ask again, how is Cameron doing? Same thing, just needs to listen, he is really helpful with others and only likes to play in certain centers. I have to remind him over and over the same things. I said, just like at home.?

Well, Cameron is now five and nothing has changed since he was one. I thought my husband and I were disciplining him wrong. I didn't want to overreact at the doctor's office when I took him so I just didn't say anything. I also knew he wasn't autistic or ADHD so I didn't want him miss diagnosed.

As a school teacher, I would share these things about my children and ask for any advise or possible reasoning's my children did these things. I was told that there is nothing wrong with them and that I was just not being stern enough. Not once did anyone mention SPD. Other teachers would just say how smart they were and that all children have their quarks. Well, I knew different and finally decided it was time to do something.

You see, my husband and I have four children, Calista, Cameron, Kelsie and then Kayla. Once I had my other two children I knew something was not right with Calista and Cameron, however I could not figure it out. Then one day my dad said that they should go to the doctor for a routine check-up since it had been a while. He said it seems they have a chemical imbalance or reactions to food. I figured that if he was still noticing it at his house that it was time to do something. That is when I searched the internet and found your web sight. I went threw the check-list and started to cry. Why after all this time didn't I get help sooner? Calista showed a few signs in specific areas and Cameron had every symptom in certain categories through the entire check-list. I now know where to go and what to do, thank you everyone for your stories and in-put. I know now I can get the help needed for them and the entire family.

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Jun 29, 2009
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by: Kim Sullivan

These things are so often diagnosed very late even though Mom knows there is something wrong. It makes me so frustrated knowing that there are mom's out there who may not have the skills we do to keep pursuing a diagnosis. I still don't think anyone but my son's occupational therapists really understands what is going on. OT theory is not something the psychologists or psychiatrists really know. The kids get diagnosed wrong because after years of being subjected to pain from noise and touch of course their behavior will be affected. My wish is to see the psychiatric community better educated as well as pediatric doctors.

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