Chanelling Excess Energy

by ANNE
(UK)

Hi

I suspect my son, aged 5, has SPD, mainly under responsive in many areas. I do not have a diagnosis, I am still waiting for him to be assessed. I've been to the doctors with the check list and the school has also requested an assessment but we're still waiting 6 months later! Any way, his speech therapist suggested that he should take up a hobby/activity to channel his energy such as drumming.

We've tried karate but that was a disaster - he spent most of the time spinning around on the floor and ignoring his instructor! He is very sensitive to his environment and doesn't do well in busy noisy classrooms. What would be the best activity to channel his energy - something he could cope with? I'm thinking horse riding, swimming, music, football etc.
Any suggestions?

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Oct 31, 2011
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Cardiff
by: Anonymous

Cardiff is not too far, about a 45 minute drive. I'm in the process of applying for a formal statutory assessment. I'm hoping this will lead to a diagnosis. I'll definitely check out the resources in Cardiff once the assessment is complete. Thanks for the advice.

Oct 30, 2011
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Services in Wales
by: Anonymous

Hi

You are right. It's not so well recognised in the Uk. I am an Australian OT now back in a Australia but I worked for 8 years in Cardiff. I don't know how far you are from Cardiff but it's worth phoning the head of the paediatric OT team in Cardiff based at St Davids hospital. The head is interested in sensory integration therapies and may be able to help you with identifying who can help with SPD. Best of luck.

Oct 08, 2011
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Feedback Response
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the feedback - I live in the uk and as far as I can tell (from the website you suggested and from my own searches)there is only one OT and therapist that specialises in SPD in the country, near London. Unfortunately I live in Wales at the other end of the country.

SPD doesn't seem to be recognised here like it is in the US. My health visitor tells me that it's up to the school and not the gp to push for an assessment. I can also write to the head of education for the area and demand a general assessment which is what I am going to do now.

I really appreciate your advice - I always get an excellent response from the members of this site. I will keep trooping for my boy!

Oct 07, 2011
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PS-
by: Anonymous

My message was too long so I had to split it in two.

Here are a few of the resources we?ve found helpful:

The Out-of-Sync Child
The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun
Raising a Sensory Smart Child
http://www.alertprogram.com/
http://www.socialthinking.com/
http://www.sifocus.com/home.html
http://www.modelmekids.com/
http://www.creativetherapystore.com

There are many types of stores like this one online that are full of ideas/resources with great games, books, videos, etc. (My son loves to swing, it serves many purposes for him and so we bought a large chilly swing and hung it in his bedroom.) We have to work quite consistently on social boundaries and rules, but it?s paying off. Good luck.

Oct 07, 2011
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Re: swimming
by: Anonymous

I don?t know much about evaluations & assessments pertaining to schools, but I do know that when my son was really struggling and I knew something needed to be done in a timely manner, I sought out a local facility to get my son & myself some help. After explaining my situation and deciding that they could help, I set up an appointment for an initial consultation. This took about an hour (no referral was needed) with an occupational therapist (OT). We went over my concerns; she interacted with and observed my son and I filled out my own evaluation of my son so that the OT could have more in depth information.

The checklist I filled out was similar to the one found on this website, which I believe comes from the book, The Out-of-Sync Child, which is a great resource if you aren?t already familiar with it. I would suggest going this route if the school is dragging their feet and do it soon, because many facilities have a wait list. This is the link on this website to help you locate a qualified OT in your area.

(http://portal.wpspublish.com/portal/page?_pageid=53,83247&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL)

While searching that out, I would be contacting everyone & anyone at the school that has to do with assessing children who may need different accommodations. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. I feel for you, been there. Keep at it. My son also struggled with social interactions, still does. But after a couple years of occupational therapy and implementing some things in our home about boundaries and being in tune with your emotions and your what your body is telling you, he has come a long way.

Do you feel like there might be more to the picture that just SPD? Many children who have SPD can also have other issues, for example - they can have crossover issues with add, adhd, emotional challenges, autism, anxiety, etc. I think my son has a touch of a few of these and with much help and advocacy, he is learning to cope in his environment and with others in a successful, positive way, most days.

Keep trucking. Seriously, look into finding an OT in your area if at all possible, if for nothing else to ask some questions and know what resources are available out there. My son did several different types of therapy, including food therapy, play therapy and problem solving skills therapy with emphasis on emotions. And I agree, he is going to need to social interaction to be able to learn the skills he will need in life. Good job mom for being plugged in, for educating yourself and for being his advocate until he can do it himself.



Oct 05, 2011
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swimming
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much for the reply. Yes I think a 1-2-1 lesson would be much easier for him but they're expensive and we don't have much money. The group lessons have 6 children in each class with 1 instructor. The instructor he had last year was excellent and very patient - he managed to finish the course. I think they do 4 child classes in a smaller pool nearby, I'ts a little more expensive.

As for an occupational therapist - he has not been diagnosed yet so I dont think he could see one. I keep fighting for an assessment but it's the school who's suppose to do this - I feel powerless!

At school he works well when put on a task but when it comes to playtime, dinnertime or free time in the classroom - he shouts, screams, says inappropriate things, and has started hitting! As all this is happening at school, all i can do is talk to him about it.

Id love to send him to school just for morning work but i know he will need to get used to social situations. But he's been at school for 2 years and its not improving.

I just don't know how to help him.

Oct 04, 2011
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RE-swimming
by: Anonymous

well, of course you have to find a good fit that works for the dynamics of your family. some times that's tough and some times we have to make sacrifices to make it work. if swimming is a problem then you may look into something else...

that said, maybe you could find one on one swimming instruction in a small facility with minimal distraction. i know for my son, the more kids in a class the more difficult it becomes to pay attention. also, the bigger recreation center has not proved well for us because of the number of people that go there, the echoing in the swim area and just all around to many 'triggers' for him. so one on one or two to a swim class has proven best in our situation.

i think it's good for these kids to have the instruction, not just from us as parents, but from teachers and mentors in various areas. we live in a neuro typical world and our children with spd are not neuro typical in many ways but the demands and expectations of our society will still remain. and so we help them learn to cope and learn skills and tools to implement so they can effectively and successfully meet those demands. so what i'm saying is any type of instruction from others in any realm, is good experience. if swimming just doesn't work right now, maybe like you mentioned drumming could be looked into. but continue to go swim as often as you can and use drumming as another outlet. ??

as far as social issues-how are social situations a problem? my son has struggled with them as well in many different ways. i may be able to gear you toward some ideas of things we've tried, implemented or heard about to help in this area. also, does he attend school? do you live in a populace area where an occupational therapist could be part of improvements?


Oct 04, 2011
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Swimming
by: Anonymous

Yes my son does love swimming! I'ts difficult for me to take him regularly as i also have a 2 year old and im not allowed to take them both in the pool. I don't have anyone else to go with as my hubby and mam hate swimming. I might enroll him in swimming lessons this weekend. He went when he was 4 but found it hard to concentrate and listen to the instructor. His swimming has improved alot since then as i take him about once a month.

Shall i try him in the classes again or just take him more regularly?
Also, social situations are a peoblem for him but I feel this needs to be addressed rather than avoided.

Oct 03, 2011
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my vote would be swimming!
by: Anonymous

i have a son who has some similar behaviors and has mild spd. over the last several years we have tried several things to help with energy outlet. and over all, we have found the best thing to be swimming. few reasons being, it's fairly inexpensive. most people have access to a public pool. it's a life skill that's important to have. it tends to have calming/organizing effect on the neurological system. you can swim year round. of course there are many things that work for different people, but give it a try!

Sep 23, 2011
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Trampoline
by: ANNE

Yes my son loves bouncing too! He has a small trampoline in the garden and I've just ordered an 8@ one with an enclosure. Your musical indoor trampoline sounds good as it will keep them occupied on a rainy day (we get loads of them!). I'll check it out but I don't have mush money so maybe I'll just bring his small trampoline inside and put the radio on :)
Thanks for the reply.

Sep 22, 2011
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Abundant Energy
by: Denise(Phila.)

Hi! Anne,
I read the letter that you posted. My grandson is 5 Years old and has always had alot of energy. I have two grandsons 5 and 3 years old. A couple of years ago I was trying to find something that would help to slow down some of the energy in my daughters home. At christmas I bought a small trampoline that came with handle bars attached to it and it fit in the corner of the playroom. This also played music and recited the alphabet(that part can be turned off when necessary). They absolutely loved it and it did slow their abundant energy down. I don't know if this would help your situation,though. I purchased it at Toys-R-Us. My letter is posted also, feel free to read it.

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