Could I have caused this???

by april
(st louis mo)

My son is 3 months shy of turning 3 years old, he is a 'free spirit' according to my entire family. But he doesn't talk so very much. I have been worried for some time about his speech, at his 2 year old appointment, his pediatrician said that they would 'keep an eye on it'. Well, at first I waited, but the flurry of words never came, he only says around 20-30 words and half of those are the same word that has 2 different meanings (nook means either book or nose depending on what he wants it to mean). He also has a 9 month old sister who babbles almost as well as he does, so I have been getting increasingly distressed.


I contacted our local Parents as Teachers and had an evaluator come out, she referred us to our local FIRST STEPS. They had an evaluator come out, and we were thinking that this was just for a speech impairment, like a developmental delay. Well, the first steps lady seems to think he has a sensory processing disorder and is sending out an occupational therapist to evaluate him then we are going to be developing an IEP.

I have a pediatrician appt for him in a few weeks, and the OT should be coming before that.

I have been reading and it does seem that some of the symptoms/things on the check list are my son to a T.

I am scared that I am making something out of nothing, searching for a disorder that isnt there just to explain the high spirited/ hard hardheadedness of my son (I also have a 10 year old who is the polar opposite of my younger son).

In reading on this site, I want to cry because I am scared that my son does indeed have a sensory disorder. AND most of that is because I am afraid that my shortcomings as a parent have somehow caused this. I worked alot (Primary breadwinner for a family of 5) and his father took care of him. I love his dad to death, but I always been concerned that he didn't do things with our child the 'right' way. That he didn't cuddle, or play with him as much as I thought the baby should have been. The way I would have. Then when I got home from work tired and still needing to do the housework and cook, etc. I feel like I could have been a more attentive mother, but I left him to play by himself (he always was contented to do so) in his playpen while I attended to other things. It is killing me to admit to anyone that I feel this guilt that I was not attentive enough to my son. He never was hungry, or dirty, or uncared for physically, but what if I didn't spend enough TIME with him? He never wanted to be cuddled, so he wasn't very often.

Did I cause this to happen to him? Am I to blame? Even partway? I read that lack of stimulation during key developmental time periods could be a cause, and I worry that this is the case with my son. But at the same time, he never wanted to be held, and was always a fussy baby (colicky).

Does it get better? Is this something that can be 'cured' or overcome? Or is it more like teaching coping mechanisms that will be used throughout his life?

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Apr 12, 2012
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Stay at home Dad
by: Maureen

Hi April,
I am also the breadwinner for our family and our son stays at home with his dad. I have some issues with trying to blame my husband for not doing things the way I would have, thinking that our sons problems could have been avoided. The therapists keep saying we didn't cause this. I understand your feelings. Honestly, I think the feelings are normal. Remember nobody is perfect and you should never expect yourself, your husband or your children to be perfect. There should be a support group for working wives of stay at home fathers. It is a crazy situation. I hope you are doing well.

Feb 01, 2012
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Not your fault !!
by: Anonymous

Please stop blaming yourself, even a little bit! You said yourself he was fussy and colicky even as a baby, which could, even then, have been early signs of SPD. Lack of stimulation during development is SERIOUS lack of stimulation...a busy home with 5 kids is not usually lacking stimulation!

Sounds like you are doing all the right things! Getting in contact with the Dr, the schools, the speech and OT. Letting them do their evaluations and getting him started with the help he needs this early will have a huge positive impact on his future. My son got help with speech issues young, but nobody ever "put the pieces together" to diagnose his SPD until this past summer...and he's 12 now. So he missed an opportunity to get early intervention, and has struggled over the years. But we're getting help now, and even just recognizing SPD is a huge step in the right direction, and a big relief to know what's been going on all these years.

SO Find out as much as you can, read books (the "The Out-of-Sync Child" books are great), talk to professionals, and trust your instincts, and you will be fine. From what I have read, SPD can get better with early intervention and OT, but is not something that is "cured". Personally, we are more working on recognizing problem areas, and working on solutions and coping techniques that will help him become a successful happy and healthy adult.

And your little guy will be fine too with your help! So stop beating yourself up (and see a therapist yourself if you need help) and keep being a great parent! Best Wishes!


Feb 01, 2012
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You Did NOT Cause This!
by: Anonymous

SPD occurs during the early development (lack of) of the fetus. From what I've read it occurs naturally, there isn't anything anyone does to cause it. Great resources to read are "The Out-of-Sync Child" and "The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun".

Feb 01, 2012
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by: Anonymous

You must not feel guilty, as the SPD is not caused by attention or not the parents. the cause seems to be biological. Because many children with ASD have sensory disorders, with varying degrees of differences.

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