Is really bad behavior SPD or something else?

All,


I was hoping someone could help us. We have a 7 year old child diagnosed at 5 with SPD. Very bright not delayed. Smart, funny, sweet, etc. We waited a year to get her in kindergarten and she was doing pretty well. She had been in OT for a year and seeing a therapist as well.

We've always struggled with defiant behavior at home but it has gotten so bad lately we don't know what to do. Her school was going good too but that has also been off and on lately too. She had to be removed at one point from the classroom for kicking kids.

At home she is out of control, spitting, writing on the walls, refusing to get dressed, throws unbelievable tantrums when she doesn't get her way (where she can't calm down), peeing on the floor. There's more but that's the worst of it.

We have an appointment with a Behavioral doctor next week we expect they will confirm the SPD but there may be another aspect.

Autism spectrum was ruled out already because of her language skills/communication skills, etc. We were wondering if this behavior could be ADD or ODD or possibly bi-polar.

I know SPD kids have behavior problems, but I'm not sure as bad as what we're experiencing.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Comments for Is really bad behavior SPD or something else?

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Nov 03, 2010
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24 years ago
by: geekaysee

I love this mom's approach. You child is so lucky to have you. My son is now 24 - SPD wasn't discussed when he was young.He was my first child (and only) so I had no comparison. Mother's intuition told me that something wasn't right.Although "The Sensitive Child" had been published, I didn't know about it.

Through observation I found that when he was around people/children, when he was in new situations, and when he was strapped into anything that he had the most problems.Sounds were definitely a problem. The grocery store and the new mall were problems (lights? smells? ).High chairs, car seats, backpacks, bicycle seats etc. were a prob.Other problem areas were changing activities, tantrums, overwhelming hard headedness (I love this mom's approach to discipline-I commend her). I believe that my son's SPD was very mild compared with many cases that I have seen. (I used to work in a class with kids who have language delays and kids on the spectrum). We limited the amount of time that he was in group situations - on days that he had preschool, we didn't try to have a friend over to visit, go to the grocery store, or the library. We avoided noisy situations at restaurants, fairs, etc. We avoided long car rides, and eliminated rides in back packs, bicycle seats. We tried new situation when he was well rested and in the morning (when he was at his best).

I did freelance work at home, so I could adjust to his needs. I wish that I had known about SPD - it would have helped make things easier for me and my son. He is now a successful, well-adjusted, delightful young man. It is interesting that he doesn't keep the TV or radio on in his own home. Certain sounds are still hard (filing nails!)He enjoys people, but likes time to himself. I strongly believe that he would not be successful if he had grown up in group day care situations. He had no "voice" to tell me that all of those sounds/smells chaos were overwhelming (and personally, I couldn't imagine spending my entire day with 24 children and no place to retreat to). So, be ready to rethink your life in light of your child's needs. Give your child an environment that he can thrive in. Even if it means changing your lifestyle so that you can limit your work hours (and his hours in day care) or adjusting your work hours so that a spouse can watch your child.

Mar 21, 2010
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my experience
by: Anonymous

My child is 9 now. He has been diagnosed with High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder when he was 6. He is very bright and has good communication skills.... How is your child socially? Autism is not just about language. I would advise you to get a second opinion from an specialized pediatrician. Ask to your GP to refer you for a second opinion. All the best.

Mar 10, 2010
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Coming from a place of Empathy goes a very long way.
by: Anonymous

I had the very same tantruming trouble with my SPD daughter when she was 2 then 3 then 4. By the time she was five we finally got the SPD diagnosis and I knew then that she wasn't a badly behaved child but rather, a little girl trying her best to cope with what she was dealing with. She would become very defiant when she perceived discipline being done "to her" rather than me coming at it with an understanding and an empathy that the situation was difficult for her. The house rules didn't change to accommodate her but it they were enforced in a more empathetic manner.

Instead of trying to make her do something in a way that resulted in a confrontational standoff, I now start with a "I know this is hard for you, but you need to wear shoes in the snow or your feet will freeze." She chooses to not wear them, her feet freeze, I look like a pathetic mother, she asks for her shoes and finds that wearing them is better than not! A long was around but it means much less of the tantruming and more working through things for herself. Now that she is 6 years old she has the cognitive ability to understand for herself that eg shoes on is better than cold feet. Before I tried to make her believe me, now I find she works this out for herself!

The work of Gordon Neufeld, Power To Parent videos, has changed almost everything about how we now parent. His work is definitely worth looking into and was especially relevant to helping me guide my daughter rather than overtly discipline her with the usual methods advocated by professionals like TimeOuts, Reward charts and the like.None of those did anything for our daughter, well maybe they did...They made both her lives and ours miserable :(

Mar 09, 2010
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Hang in there.
by: Anonymous

My daughter is five and just recently diagnosed with SPD. She has some unbelievable tantrums as well, lasting hours sometimes. She also was pulling out bits of her hair for awhile, which really had me freaked out. It has lessened now but the damage is still there. I was definitely wondering about other causes of her behavior besides SPD (and haven't completely ruled that out), but our OT reassured me that we are on the right track. One thing I realized with my daughter is that her behavior often seems defiant when she is really just trying to cope. So often in the past I thought she was fighting me when the poor precious child was really fighting herself! She wants to please me just like any child wants to please their mother, and when she can't and senses my irritation she acts out even worse! This may not be the case with your child at all, but I know it is common with SPD. I hope your struggle does get better soon.

Mar 09, 2010
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I understand!
by: Anonymous

We're going through the same thing with our son, also 7. It seems that Depakote may work, but we're still looking at our options. It is very frustrating....feeling lost. I think a psychiatric evaluation may help. Talk with your OT to see what they think. I'm just beginning my journey of learning more. I hope that this helps. Hang in there!

Mar 09, 2010
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IT WILL GET BETTER
by: Anonymous

YES SOME OF THESE THINGS SEEM TO BE NORMAL IN THE SPD AREA. YOU SHOULD SEE ABOUT SEEING SOMEONE TO HELP FIND THE RIGHT DISCIPLINE PROCEDURE. MY SON IS ONLY 2 1/2 BUT HE HAS ALOT OF THE SAME ISSUES. HE SEES A LADY THAT IS HELPING HIM AND ME BUT ITS A SLOW PROCESS. OFTEN I HAVE READ THAT THIS DISORDER CAN SEEM LIKE ITS SOMETHING ELSE. IT MAYBE BUT KEEP GETTING SO ADVICE AND I HOPE AND PRY THAT THINGS GET BETTER FOR YOU.

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