How can I help my son?
My son is 4 years old now and has been different since birth.
He never wanted to breast feed, and would pull away from me as if he was trying to get away. He has never slept and would wake like clockwork every hour and a half "screaming" for food 24 hours a day. He never snuggled or seemed to be at peace. I was so tired and felt like I could not be a good mom. All my other friends had these easy going sweet children,and my son wanted nothing to do w/ me.
Now as he has grown, we are great buddies but his reactions to things are very extreme. If he drops a few blocks or knocks down a tower he flips out, and if anyone accidentally knocks down a tower he has made he gets so angry and mad as if it were a personal thing.
He hates noises and has always held his hands over his ears. He melts down at automatic toilet flushes and hand dryers... to to the point where its embarrassing. He will often tell me to turn the radio off that he needs some peace and quiet.
He only likes certain types of clothing.
He drew from age 2-3 nothing but maps and bridges and was completely fascinated with them. His pictures were amazing. Then one day he proclaimed that "I AM DONE DRAWING BRIDGES, NOW I CAN DRAW HOUSES". So he closed that book and opened a new one and began filling it with house pictures.
He has a very active imagination and likes to discuss what his life was like when he lived in Africa(we have never been to Africa).
He rarely plays with other children, and when they do play with him he bosses them around. He has kicked and hit a few kids that would not do what he wanted.
He has vision problems too and wears glasses, as well as patching for 2 hours a day. One eye is 20/50 the other is 20/40.
The teachers at his school have no idea what might be going on with him, and have recently recommended that we see a child psychologist. I can see, as nice as his teachers are, that they do not like him very much and I am fearful he will be labeled a PITA and not get the help he needs.
heard of SPD through her school and thought I should look into it.
Do know who can help me?? We live on Long Island In New York.
I am really desperate for help at this point!
Believe it or not, your story sounds extremely similar to MANY parents of children with SPD! You may certainly be on the right track by checking out the possibility of an SPD diagnosis.
Here's what I would recommend, based on what you have told me:
1. Read my Step By Step Guide For Parents
who are new to SPD. This will bring you through the process you need to go through... from identifying whether it might be SPD, to getting an evaluation, treatment and support. Make sure you follow ALL the links listed in that article. Just follow all the steps I have mapped out for you and you will be well on your way to getting the help and resources you need.
2. Click here
for a listing of New York SIPT Certified Occupational Therapists that could evaluate and treat your son for SPD (there are 13 pages of possible OT's!).
3. Make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician for a thorough evaluation that would rule out any other comorbid/co-occuring conditions or diagnoses. Call your local children's hospital for a recommendation of who to go to. Even better? If you can also find one that recognizes SPD it would be GREAT!! Ask them.
4. Get a copy of some (or all) of the following books:The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, Revised EditionThe Mislabeled Child: Looking Beyond Behavior to Find the True Sources and Solutions for Children's Learning ChallengesBuilding Bridges through Sensory Integration, Second EditionRaising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues
5. Talk to the Special Education Team or child Find Program through the school system. Tell them (instead of just the teachers) your concerns. Request an evaluation by the team... it would include OT, speech, PT, developmental specialists, psychologist, etc. Get as many professional eyes on him as possible to assess, address, rule out, and/or begin treating anything that will be needed.
Let us know any further questions or updates. An OT evaluation (separate from the school one) will certainly be a great place to start regarding the possible SPD!
Good luck. Hope this helps.