Diagnosis and prevention

by Batya

Is there a medical test that can look at my child’s brain and prove this diagnosis to me? I just had another baby, can he get this too? How do I prevent it? Is it genetic? Can my child still go to a regular elementary school? Can I still discipline him without causing more damage? Do they understand things like bedtime or do I forever have to lay with him to put my four year old to bed? He will not stay in his bed; he gets up and gives reasons to talk to me and we go back and forth for an hour. How about potty training? How do I get him to be able to have a bowel movement on the potty? He will urinate on the potty but he wants to poop in a diaper still and will have a melt down if I make him sit on the potty if I see him in the corner trying to poop. Is this behavioral or the disorder?

Thank you for your help,

The SPD Help Line Answers…

My goodness those are a lot of questions. Lucky for you most of them have been answered on my site. I know, if you spend time on my site, you will find the answers. That said, I will tell you the best places to look in a minute.

First, some general comments/answers to your questions...

There are assessments that can be done to identify this disorder. They are more functionally and behaviorally based, not actual “brain scans”. These assessments will need to be done by a SIPT certified (preferably) Occupational Therapist.

There are definite indicators that there is a genetic link… we don’t know the exact cause, but it often does “run” in families. It does not mean your other child will have it too, but it is possible. It is a neurological disorder… just as any neurological diagnosis can be caused and influenced by many factors, so can SPD.

Disciplining does not cause more “damage”. It may not be effective if it does not address the underlying disorder, but it will not damage him or his nervous system. But, behavioral issues as a result of SPD will need to be treated differently than traditional behavioral problems.

Bedtime will improve as therapy helps him regulate his nervous system, sensory responses and internal regulation issues. An experienced OT will help you resolve these issues.

Potty training will also get better as you work on the sensory issues underlying his difficulties.

The bottom line? He needs an assessment and probably treatment with an experienced OT who is familiar with and trained in sensory integrative therapy and theories.

That said, please look at my site map for specific articles that will address all these questions. They are listed there… take some time to read them and you will find the help and resources you need. Also, go through the SPD Help Line Questions, as many have asked similar questions and those questions have been answered. I also suggest you invest in a few books about SPD so you can better understand the disorder and how it is effecting your son. You can find these at my bookstore. You will also get these answers from your OT when you get connected with one.

Besides the site map and the help line, make sure you also read and follow the steps in the Step By Step Guide For SPD Parents. These will get you started on the road to success!

Take some time to do some reading on my site and/or the suggested books, then if you have further questions, let us know.

Take good care.
Michele Mitchell

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