I'm just not seeing it

by Ginny
(Newburyport, MA)

My 4 (almost 5) year old son has only a few of these "symptoms". His pre-Kindergarten teacher told me she thinks he has SPD because he is "too friendly". He is a very outgoing child who loves to talk to people (even strangers) and will tell people he barely knows that he loves them and ask them if he can give them a kiss or a hug. I thought it was because we are a loving family, always showing affection to each other, but apparently not so.


He does have a favorite blanket that he likes to chew on and only started this behavior after we took his binky (pacifier) away when he was 3. He hates most (but not all) tags in his shirt, but I'm with him on this one...some of them are rough and itchy.

He is afraid of the dentist, but I attributed to a bad experience with his first dentist that landed him in children's hospital for a week.

As far as his fine motor skills go: He has a hard time holding and writing with a pencil, but this was his first year of extremely part-time school. He can play video games better than most 12 year olds.

I'm not sure if he has this disorder or if he's just a normal 5 year old. I would appreciate any insight on this...Thanks, Gus's mom

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Aug 16, 2015
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take a look at yourself
by: Ettina

Keep in mind that SPD and conditions associated with it can be hereditary. I've encountered some parents who think their child can't have a neurodevelopmental disability because he or she is just like them, only to find out they have the same disability or features of it themselves!

When one of my teachers suggested to my parents that I might be autistic, they had the same reaction. Four years later, I was diagnosed, and we now realize my Dad is on the spectrum too and never knew it. In fact, I'd say he's more autistic than I am, but when he was growing up, only the most classic autism was being diagnosed.

So take a look around at your kids' classmates and other (unrelated) children you know, and think back to your own childhood and how you compared to other children. If your child is different from other kids, and you were different in the same way, then it might be that both of you have the same condition.

Nov 08, 2011
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SPD, Autism, Aspergers, oh my!
by: Mom of 4 year old

My son has had two teachers that have commented on odd behavior. They too wanted to "diagnose" him. He likes to tell memorized stories but will ask you if you want to hear it first, lol. He listens intently to all sorts of sounds, his teacher claims his left side is "weak" but he kicks a ball like a S.O.B. and after a few minutes of working on kicking the ball with the weaker side, he was doing fine.

He has trouble following directions, seems to wander and be in his own world when he is supposed to move purposely from activity to activity. He may ignore us when we talk to him, but it is clear he is listening. He doesn't socialize that much with other kids at school, but loves having kids over or playing at other people's houses. He doesn't like to finger paint, but doesn't hate it. Since he was little I couldn't take messiness, so I would continuously clean him up; so I suppose that's my fault that he doesn't like messy activities.

He doesn't like to eat his lunch at school and eats when he comes home. He too loves to hug, but mainly my husband and I. He might lean on someone, or touch them to show them a toy; even a stranger. He loves to act out cartoons in a sort of drama where he is the main character, and adds his own verbal embellishments to the drama.

He has trouble getting to sleep. We were at a loss and now for the last few days, we have been getting him ready for bed by about 6 or 6:30 then he has til about 7:30 to wind down and he has been out like a light sleeping early for the last few nights. I realized he was overtired past 8pm and then couldn't fall asleep . Poor guy, we couldn't figure out what to do for the past year and a half, at least!

I kept wondering about these behavriors and the teachers comments, but thought maybe I was in denial. I feel like my son is a bit quirky, he exhibits some odd behaviors, but they are not THAT odd, and more importantly they don't remotely meet the criteria for any diagnosis of autism, aspergers and even the PSD list on this site. I still intend to get help for him with socialization and any other issues that can only help him. I have had a psych eval and will have an OT eval and socialization therapy and even go to a neuropsychologist, but I am hard pressed to accept diagnoses from teachers who think that they can make a diagnosis about my son's behavior without the knowledge or professional credibility. You must do whatever you can to help your children, but do not let "trigger happy" individuals who have no credibility to put a label on your child. Seek knowledge and reconfirmation, be open and do not deny the obvious, but follow your heart and eventually you will figure it out.

Oct 06, 2011
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Get a new teacher
by: Marianne

I have to say, as a special education teacher, that your son's teacher should have never suggested a diagnosis for your child. A teacher is not a psychologist or a medical doctor. The teacher should have had a conference with you and at that conference, listed areas of concern. He or she should have told you that your child seems to display these behaviors and that you should consult with your pediatrician. Unless you are in a pre-k program that is in a public school, most pre school teachers are not certified teachers and they are nothing more than little Bobby's mom that wanted to keep busy so became a nursery school teacher at the local church or community center. I have two master's degrees and I would not offer a diagnosis to a parent. This was unprofessional and illegal.

As for the person that told you to cut out the video games, video games do not cause delays of significance and they do not cause disabilities of any kind. If your child enjoys video games, then allow him to play with them. You are obviously a good parent because you sought out answers to an issue that concerns your child. You obviously monitor how long and how much he plays video games. That comment was meant with good intentions but shows how ignorant people can be. Good luck to you and I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

Jun 27, 2011
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Trust yourself
by: Not seeing it either

I too have a son who was "diagnosed" with SPD, but aside from one or two things on the checklist (which I know every child would tick as all of my other children have one or two as well!) I consider him perfectly normal. If an OT specialist had not said "SPD" I would never have even considered there was any problem - especially at his age - with him being overly affectionate and having difficulty holding the pencil.

My boy is extremely active and never wanted to colour in or draw... so holding a pencil at school age is a new experience. He is being compared to other children who have been writing their name and colouring in for the past two years...so, I have decided to trust myself. I know my child better than anyone and I know there is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, over the past 9 months since 'diagnosis' my son has improved greatly to the point that no one can see the difference between his work and the work of others.

He has also socialised to the point he only gives hugs to his very best friends, who hug him back enthusiastically. We are very affectionate at home, and he has realised that with school friends and teachers, hugs may not always be the way everyone wants to start the day!!

Please trust yourself, I have very high doubts about the sincerity of a lot of OT professionals. In my area, the private schools have huge numbers of children diagnosed by the specialist... all of which have parents with money who can pay for therapy, and do. The public school children seem to have a much lower incidence of SPD...and parents that can't pay the OT fees. Co-incidence? I don't think so.

Be sensible. Be wary of who is diagnosing and how they are doing it and what they want from you after diagnosis.

Trust yourself as parent... I received this advice from a mother whose son was 'diagnosed' with autism. She took him to several other specialists whom all agreed. Waited a year. Went to see one of the State's most respected autism doctors and.... diagnosed with nothing, told to go home and relax, her son is not autistic. She told me she knew all along that he may have displayed a behaviour (such as ordering his toys) that indicated autism, but she knew he wasn't. Trust yourself, she said. Great advice.

Jun 22, 2011
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video games
by: Anonymous

I would think about getting rid of the video games if my child had signs of a neurological problem. Just saying...

Jun 08, 2011
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AJ
by: Anonymous

have you read over the list of signs & symptoms listed on this website? that might be a good start to see what your gut/intuition tells you about where he may be on scale. and i agree with the previous post, sounds like you need a one on one with your son's teacher to get much more specifics about what's she's observing. also agree, that if you suspect anything at all, making an initial meeting with an ot is never a bad idea. they can be a set of new eyes, with unbias and a sounding board for any concerns you may have. good luck.

May 30, 2011
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clarification
by: Anonymous

I would ask the teacher to clarify specifically what all the symptoms are. It certainly would be good to have an OT evaluate him but you need more specifics. There is a wide range in severity in this disorder.

May 30, 2011
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???
by: Anonymous

There are many reasons a kid would be overly affectionate. My child acted like that due to RAD. Have you talked with him about how it is not ok to kiss and hug strangers? I am surprised a teacher said this to you.

May 29, 2011
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SPD
by: LJ

Yep ...it is SPD He likes to receive hugs because it gives him the sensory input that he needs ...sound like hypo SPD...."sensory seeker" ....good luck....Occupational therapy can help with his fine motor skills and show him (and the parents) how to meet his needs.

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