Cause of Some Sensory Processing Disorders

by Susan A. Redding
(Broomall, PA)

I am a Teacher and Reading Specialist. I have six children

and have worked with many types of children including autistic children. I read about a new theory of SPD that might blame the environment.

If a child is left by a babysitter or a busy mother in the crib or in their room for hours, or if the mother or babysitter do not speak to, make eye contact with, teach their baby to sit, pull themselves up, crawl or walk during prime development days, this can cause the child to be autistic or seem sensory deprived. They can't make eye contact because no one is teaching them to. They can't speak when they should because the mother or babysitter is not actually teaching these children to speak. Babies do not teach themselves these things, their parents must by demonstrating how to and giving them positive reinforcement when they learn something new.

I have members of my family who do this. They are too busy to teach what really are the milestones of a baby's development. My sister's baby just turned 1, and just learned how to crawl.
The baby is uncomfortable when I make eye contact with him, and is shocked when I clap for him when he tries something new. He smiled readily when he was 3 months old, but at 12 months doesn't smile much and has no real consistent vocabulary. He was and is perfectly healthy, but is not developing as he should because he is not being taught to smile, talk, make eye contact and walk. Mom's too busy. I cannot imagine how many hours a baby spends alone when a babysitter is their primary caretaker.

I now teach reading, but I was at home when my children were little. I knew what the milestones were, just naturally. They rolled over at 1 day to 3 weeks, sat up at 4 to 5 months alone, crawled at 6 months. They ALL walked before they were 1. They all smiled before 1 month, some at 1 week. I was in their face all the time, making eye contact with them, hoping they would smile at me, and they did. They all spoke many words by their first birthday, and those who did not pick it up as quickly I spent more time with. I used my instincts. It was MY JOB to teach them these things, I am their mother, HOW COULD I NOT??

Having a baby is not like having a puppy. My sister's dog gets more attention than her fourth baby. Once the milestones have passed, you can't get them back. You have to teach your baby out of the womb, not classical music, just how to smile, talk, walk, etc.

Susan A. Redding Broomall, PA

Comments for Cause of Some Sensory Processing Disorders

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Jul 05, 2016
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Ignorant
by: Anonymous

This is an ignorant article. Good for you that you were able to "teach" your babies to do all of these things so early, but these milestones don't come as easily for other babies. I believe my baby was born with his sensory issues. From the moment he was born he did not make eye contact with me. When I was in the hospital he never looked up at me. I spend hours every day doing everything I can to help him. People like you should not even be wasting their time spreading their so-called "wisdom" on the internet. I have real struggles with my baby every day, but at least I have the courage to notice something is wrong and do something about it. By the way, how much time did you spend writing this article? Maybe you should have spent that time training your kids to do some other neat hat tricks so you could come on here and brag some more about how awesome you are.

Dec 29, 2013
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I Was Right, After All!!!! THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY HOLDS PARENTS RESPONSIBLE!
by: Susan Anne Redding

My Book is for Sale on Etsy, my shop is BranowenBooks, my self published book containing by Globally famous Blog.
Because I wrote about Babies and how they should be stimulated to reach their maximum potential, Pediatricians are now addressing problems in the Doctor's Office at check ups! I could not have been more right. I am sure as I write Doctor's are doing their job asking parents why the baby can't sit up, or talk, or roll over, oR why they are so thin!
MY PEDIATRICIAN ASKED ME QUESTIONS, INFORMED ME, ASKED ME WHEN SHE SAT UP OR WHAT WORDS HE CAN SAY!
Just the way the Doctor was supposed to!
The people who live near me know I wrote my articles and effected Pediatricians and their expectations of Baby Development, and they go out of their way to hold the baby, talk, walk, play, etc.

THE BABIES ARE SO MUCH BETTER OFF!!!!


I COULD NOT BE MORE PLEASED THAT I HAVE THIS EFFECT ON THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY!
PARENTS HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES...BRING A BABY INTO THE WORLD AND MAKE SURE IT REACHES ITS FULLEST POTENTIAL!

SUSAN ANNE REDDING

Nov 07, 2013
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Are U serious???
by: Anonymous

You have no clue what you are talking about! What if you have 1 child who is sensory seeking and another who has none of these issues?? The cause of sensory issues comes from the fact we are all wired differently! My daughter was never left in her crib as a baby, started walking @ 9 months, & is a very good child. I'm actually too irritated by this article to even bother explaining her to you. Besides you wouldn't understand.

Nov 26, 2012
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prior behavior
by: Anonymous

When a mother does not allow their children to cry and be picked up and held by love ones, Will result in bad behavior as that child becomes an adult.

Nov 26, 2012
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cry for help
by: Anonymous

Did you allow your children to cry as toddlers?

Nov 21, 2012
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I Disagree
by: Anonymous

You seem to be experienced in that area....loud defensiveness covering up what truly lies beneath the surface? I wish you all the best in your search for purpose and meaning, to publicly attack a sister with a developmentally delayed child is clearly a cry for help. But my thoughts are with all those mothers who love their disabled children unconditionally despite the unfair criticism they endure, much like your sister has in this article, because those mothers are the true champions of this world.

Nov 21, 2012
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response by susan redding, writer of the article
by: Anonymous

Just what I thought, defensiveness, such loud defensiveness is often a cover-up for what we know to be true.

Nov 20, 2012
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Really?
by: Anonymous

Where is your research to support such an antiquated, outdated opinion on child development or the lack there of? Blaming mothers for autistic behaviors or sensory processing disorders would be laughable, if it weren't so cruel. What professional experience or educational degree have you earned to speak on this topic in such definitively harsh terms? None that you've listed.

It seems to me, your article is not based on reality, research, or truth, it is based on a grudge you hold against your sister as well as an utter disdain for her parenting style. I call that revenge, not worthwhile data.

What you describe to be your sister's clouded vision of herself as a mother and the lack of concern for her child's developmental delays, may merely be an acceptance of her child as he is, not denial. Perhaps she sees him as perfectly as God intended him to be seen through a mother's eyes. Her unconditional love of this child despite his needs, may be causing you some confusion on the subject matter. I don't hear compassion in your article, only biting criticism and sarcasm.

Nov 05, 2012
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My Sister's Child
by: Anonymous

It's nice to have an opportunity to update information concerning my nephew. He has been understimulated, leading to delayed speech, physical development, etc. As you can see this situation is very different from being overstimulated. He is now 28 months. She is not concerned, and sees all things as normal.

My youngest child is 15. This is a different world. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, pediatricians evaluated babies and young children, and discussed them with the parent. Most parents automatically knew what these milestones were. And although it is unfair to completely put the responsibility on the parent, what is wrong with asking questions to make sure babies develop properly?

My question to everyone is "Why, right now in this time are young children having all these problems?? Why this generation? Vaccines? Pollution? DNA? The developmental problems of the generation of children now are astronomical. Is it something wrong withing the child, or the child's environment??

My view as a teacher is you can only control so much of what is inside the child, but the right environment can provide advantages that can overcome weaknesses.

Your first question to me is where did I learn these milestones, and my pediatrician knew what she was doing. There were posters on the walls of her office plotting and describing the milestones.

You have to ask yourselves, why are pediatricians afraid to expect the young children of today to attain these milestones which have been around for a hundred or more years.

Nov 05, 2012
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Where's the research to support this?
by: Anonymous

Susan - you said, "I knew what the milestones were, just naturally" How did you "naturally" know this? I imagine it was because your children are "normal" and developed on schedule, and as you witnessed what was supposed to be happening you were smart enough to know what to encourage them to do next. Some of us are not so lucky and have babies that, from day one, are wired differently. If you had a child with autism or SPD, you might not be so critical and so fast to judge your sister and blame her for her son's developmental delays. My daughter has SPD and was easily overstimulated as a baby so I was not "in their face all the time" as you wrote that you were with your kids. My daughter's brain is simply wired differently. She was given the same start in life that her younger sister was given, and yet she has SPD while her younger sister does not (even thought her younger sister received less attention as an infant because there were now two kids for me to tend to).

I understand that severe cases of neglect can result in developmental delays, but you could have made your point without being so judgmental about your sister's parenting. Your article comes off as you saying, "Look at me! I'm a better mom than you are!" If you are truly concerned for your nephew, very delicately discuss your concerns with your sister and suggest that she have him evaluated by an OT - not just by a pediatrician as they often miss the signs. It's a very delicate subject. No one wants to be told that there is something wrong with his or her child, but if approached in a caring and non-judgmental way, your sister may appreciate your concern and it may actually validate some of the fears and concerns that she herself may already have about her son. Many parents of kids with autism or SPD know early on that something is a bit off, but it's just hard for us to put our finger on what the problem is, and we just wonder if it is something that they will outgrow or if they are just a late bloomer. Many of the signs are hard to read - even by pediatricians.

For the sake of your relationship with your sister, I hope that she never stumbles upon this article.

Sep 02, 2012
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My son no longer has sensory issues
by: Anonymous

I posted as anonymous a few posts back, about the chicken or the egg.

My son did the Have A Ball Learning program for ADD/ADHD and no longer has any sensory issues. The neurodevelopmental specialist who created the program added in specific exercises for SPD. My son no longer mouths objects, bites his nails, chews strings and his sleeves. No longer. He gets haircuts and nails cut without a whimper. He mixes his foods readily on his plate. He no longer seems to have any auditory processing difficulties, when I speak to him, he hears me and responds appropriately instead of ignoring me or asking: "What?" all the time. He plays sports every day and has much better coordination and motor skills. He no longer stands on his head, begs to be swung, or bumps into everyone. I suggest anyone with sensory issues, hyperactivity, compulsiveness, etc., seriously consider the program.

Sep 01, 2012
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Normal Children Need Extensive Stimulation Too
by: Susan Anne Redding

The ability to see both sides of an issue is a sign of intelligence. Obviously, if you have spent quality time during those milestones that are essential to every human being, I am not referring to you.

I watch my nieces and nephews and family friends. I know they have not given their children quality time during their milestones because they TOLD ME. They think it is cool to leave their children in their cribs for very extended periods of time, they think it makes them tough. Some think it is cool to leave them with young people as babysitters. I am from a middle class background, these are not people who want for anything. In fact they send their children to private schools.
My nephew did not learn to walk until he was 18 months!!! There is nothing wrong with him except that the caretakers chose themselves over their children.

My niece did not talk until she was 3.5. There is nothing wrong with her!
The problem lies in selfish parents and caretakers who choose themselves over their children.

The problem really is that they will never be what they could have been. Aren't my family and friends lucky to have had what would be described as completely normal children? Isn't it sad that their children will never be as verbal and physical as they could have been?
These children developed, children who are far more deprived are far worse off, therefore I am not talking to you....

Sep 01, 2012
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WOW, I can't believe your article
by: Anonymous

enough people chimed in on this, but i feel personally compelled to do so, even though it's been some time since you submitted it. You must not know any families with this. My kid is profoundly gifted. I spent all my time with her. She is bright, friendly, readily makes eye contact, etc. Loves to play with kids, is warm and loves performing in plays, drawing, playdates. She also started reading and writing at 2.5 and not because I overtaught or advanced her. But, she has sensory processing issues. They are NOT MY FAULT.

Before we knew that she had them, I was already offering lots of sensory play, daily. She swims, she rides horses. She has tons of loving "eye contact time" with mom, dad, and grandparents. The sensory issues are so much that we hardly get to take care of our pets. Living with this is at times devastating. To see your child suffering like that. To haul her across town several times a week with her siblings along, to therapy. To not be able to help when she is shaking from it, or crying. Or when she is terribly frightened by auditory input that overwhelms. Or on days that this brings me to my knees, in tears, because she may never outgrow it fully, I can't fully fix it, and for sure I can't turn it off. I made no mistakes - we didn't. I breastfed until 2. I stayed home. I was just on here, to try and see if I can find any more info that can help, is there anything else I can be doing, and I find this horrible thing? Do you know how many hours of holding hands and loving contact that is? Do you??? We did finger plays, songs, all sorts of things from an ealry age. The stuff emerged at 3, there was nothing before. But she was born this way, it just wasn't obvious/or visible. If she was my second kid, I would have known from day 1. But she was my first. And make no mistake. No one knows she has this in our family, among our friends. only our doctor and therapists know. No one can tell. But she has it, and I want to swear at you, because you have no clue what you are talking about.

Her dad has some of it, he happens to be an astrophysicist, one that can draw and is successful in business. It's genetic in part. There is nothing you can do to make it not manifest. I made no mistakes, lady. And to say this ,to parents who feel guilt even though there is nothing they did? you really are something else.

Jan 16, 2012
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Response
by: Susan Anne Redding

Somehow there is a lack of understanding where my statement is concerned. In no way do I present a blanket statement that parents are the cause of all sensory processing issues. That would make no sense. I have experience with both genetic and environmental factors.My point is that society in general has to acknowledge that all children are NOT raised equally, not ALL parents create the perfect environment for sensory development. There are various reasons for this, and some are economic. Not all children are middle class, not all children are raised with proper care given to sensory stimulation, and those who are not should be given the opportunity to develop. I am defending
those children who are not given the wonderful opportunities that you are giving your children.

Jan 15, 2012
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A response to Susan
by: Anonymous

Dear Susan, To say I was shocked when reading your article is an understatement! I am a stay at home mum with two daughters aged three and 9 months. My youngest daughter has recently been diagnosed with sensory processing issues. As a special needs teacher, who has worked with many children with sensory processing disorders at a high profile school in London, I feel compelled to respond to your statement that SPD is due to a lack of attention given by parents. Have you got research statistics to validate this statement? I consider myself to be an extremely dedicated mum who spends a great deal of time each day nurturing my children. My youngest daughter has from birth been given a great deal of attention, love and stimulation. I know that I can honestly speak with my hand on my heart when I say that her challenges are not as a result of neglect on our part. I don't have an exact answer but believe that they are partly a result of genetics as both my husband and I have minor sensory sensitivities but they are also a result of the unique wiring of our brains. I feel fortunate that I am a confident mum who did not read your article and blame myself! having a child with SPD is heartbreaking enough, please don't post statements that could really upset people and cause undue guilt. You have a right to an opinion but in this situation perhaps keep it to yourself.

Nov 09, 2011
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Why not video?
by: Anonymous

This is a culture where parents hand over their children to strangers and random family members for free time, to further THEIR careers, and to shop. I do without.

This is the first time in civilization where parents have so freely given their children to strangers, and people, many family members, who leave them in a crib all day. Why not video and find out what actually happens?
My pull to my children is like a magnet, I can't give them away.

Nov 07, 2011
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Children need roll models in life
by: Anonymous

I think that these people that are responding on this page need to understand that ALL parents are not totally committed to the kids if they were not ready to have kids. ALL adults that have kids dont stop their life and do the right thing and raise their children as first priority. I wish that susan would not act like she is the perfect mother out there because NO ONE IS PERFECT. Your kids are not going to act PERFECT because you made eye contact and was with them all the time. My son is 20 months & has SPD and does fine without me there all the time with him. I have been there with him since birth. He knows when i am not home if he wakes up from his nap but doesnt act any different when i am not there. Children dont act any different on who they are being watch by. I have 2 nieces that i have been with every day and they still know who there mother is. They still dont have to be with me all the time becuase they have so long. People just need to grow up and the more you complain shows that your family life is not as good as you make it sound..Susan is probably from a broken family that is trying to fix her family as she wanted from her childhood. Parents tend to try to relive their childhood in there kids...hmmm

Jul 26, 2011
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What came first, the chicken or the egg?
by: Anonymous

My oldest has SPD. To say it was because I didn't give him enough attention- ludicrous. He is my oldest and I am a SAHM and played with him all day and took him wherever I went. As much as he wanted. Now, looking back, and after I've given him some siblings, I see the difference. He never asked to be stimulated in certain ways. My other kids naturally find activities that are sensory. My oldest isn't interested, never was. Would he have been better off if I got him used to playing with playdough as a toddler or finger painting? Probably. But his vestibular and proprioceptive awareness was already off and there was no way I could tell about that when he was an infant. Even if I had known about those things, when he was a toddler I still wouldn't be able to tell. Now he's older and it's obvious. I've started to blog about the experience we've had raising him (to this point) at www.sensoryandmore.com. As I write, I laugh at the memories. And I am grateful that I can laugh as he's gotten better and I know well that we are lucky.

Jul 08, 2011
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Response
by: Susan A. Redding

Both the environment and heredity play a role in the way children develop, and they need to be viewed as two different things. Having an attitude which refuses to accept the fact that there are parents, babysitters, etc. who are not aware of child development and a baby's need for stimulation and attention at the milestones, especially the first year is to say all adults are the same, and they just aren't. There are a certain percentage of people who do everything in their power to give their child exactly what they need, and yet they may still have a difficult time. If this is true these are not the people I am addressing. The other caregivers who are not aware that it is their responsibility to stimulate the child and bring them to optimum development should know that the quality of a child's life could hinge on their behavior. You can't stop the information because it does not pertain to your parenting style and committment. Other people need the information.

Jul 07, 2011
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fantastic you
by: Anonymous

susan,susan,susan do some research please your comments sting. it is hard enough to make people understand S.P.D. without trying to lay all the blame onto the parents and the childs environment. how do you have the right to stand in parental judgement i gave my third child a lot of attention and spent time trying to learn him all the things i did with my older children but after a lot of time and attention i realised that he was not absorbing the things that he should of been.that was nothing to do with his environment or me please think about your comments carefully before upsetting parents who already find every day a challenge.

Jul 05, 2011
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Comments for Susan Redding in PA
by: Anonymous

Susan - you have really said it all in your msg. Its fantastic and a super eye opener to inexperienced mothers and all of us. If everybody cared for their kids like that, most of the problems can be eradicated or understood at an early stage and then supported with the necessary extra care.

All parents love their babies but perhaps not all mothers KNOW how eye contact and stimulation can help so much. It does take a while for parents to realize something is wrong and by then something IS wrong. I fwdd your msg to several others who will hopefully gain from it.

I feel your message should be brought out periodically as a guidance and reminder.

Jul 04, 2011
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hmmmm.
by: Anonymous

I was home with my oldest (Who has SPD) she got tons of attention, play dates, teaching, training, Easter Seals visits... she has sensory processing disorder. I believe as does our former OT, that the cause of her disorder was that her cord was wrapped around her neck three times and she was not able to practice with the amnio fluid like most kids.

I think that comparing your parenting to your impression of your sister's parenting has a dash of "look at me I'm awesome and better than my sister". I signed up for this to learn more about my child's disorder. As a teacher, I think you would have something more valuable to say than "its all the parents fault."

Yes, some kids don't get EVERYTHING we think they should from their parents, however LOTS of those kids are just fine. I think sensory issues are bigger than one factor.

Jul 04, 2011
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Response
by: Susan A. Redding

I believe that an argument can be made that the proper development of a baby is essential to the
quality of the rest of their lives. If a mother, grandmother, babysitter, etc. is on the phone, watching tv, talking neighbors and everything else but giving a baby stimulation at various times during the day, the baby will not develop normally.I know babies who rarely get out of their car seats. Why can't they crawl at 6 months? It doesn't take a specialist to conclude that babies need many varied experiences to develop normally. Television or bright exciting toys can't do it.
I see this in the middle class, and the lower socio-economic class in which I teach. This does not just happen in orphanages in Third World Countries.

I believe the defensiveness comes from realizing that parental choices and behavior might be a lot more integral to a child's development than is thought. A baby can't be part of a multi-tasking schedule. They need to be the number one priority or the parents and the educational system will have another student who for some reason can't accomplish what all of the books say they should.

Jul 04, 2011
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regression
by: Anonymous

I honestly think that the problems are not caused your grandchild will be your sister will be babysitting. I think the regression is part of some developmental disorders. What is to highlight the two years of age. it is necessary to seek answers to medical problems.

Jul 03, 2011
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we understand your frustration
by: Anonymous

Yes, Debbie I agree with your post. I have heard of babies with problems due to lack of stimulation/neglect, but those cases tend to be adoption cases domestic or from countries where the babies were left in busy nurseries. I have heard of adoptive families struggling with the after affects left previously. Parents are on this site because they are active involved parents seeking info on how to further help their kids.

Even though you posted your letter here, it sounds like your letter may be written for your sister. If you don't want to tell her directly how you feel, maybe you could just print and send your letter. Or talk to her with someone else. Thanks for sharing your story here, we can probably all sympathize and relate on how hard it is to deal with situations like that. I hope things get better for your loved ones soon. Best wishes

Jul 02, 2011
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Lack of stimulation
by: Anonymous

Susan, You certainly make a valid point. If you are too busy to raise a child then you should not have one to begin with. Most of the posts I have read on this web site involve children that have genetic disabilities,birth defects or other reasons for Pervasive Developmental Disorder , including my grandchild. It is certainly heart breaking to think that a perfectly normal child would develop problems from lack of stimulation. It would seem that with 3 other kids in the house he would get quite a bit of stimulation. Are you sure that you have done enough research on this site and others to determine that your nephew does not have symptoms of something other than lack of stimulation? If you have, then I hope that there is some way you can some how help your sister see that your nephew is suffering. Hopefully the pediatrician will be alert enough to notice and further testing can be done to ascertain whether or not the child needs treatment.

Debbie G. R.N.

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