Is this SPD?

by Marianne
(Canada)

5 year old with mild/moderate symptoms

by: Anonymous

My 5 year old son definitely has some sensory defensiveness issues. He is in Kindergarten and we have been called many times regarding his behavior. He becomes upset easily over seemingly small things. He has meltdowns and has a difficult time with transitions and change. He is an extremely picky eater, can't stand certain smells, hears and is bothered by noises that wouldn't register with most people. He has a meltdown if he gets caught in the rain... and while on a beach vacation he would instantly disrobe when he got out of the swimming pool.(hated the feeling of the water on his legs.) He also doesn't like the feeling of some clothing/tags etc. On top of these issues, he is shy and anxious.

Yet, as extreme as some of these things sound, he functions very well. He doesn't cause much problem at home at all....he is funny and sweet and extremely bright. He seems to be finding his own coping mechanisms. I'm guessing an OT would be helpful to him, but getting him into one where we live is difficult.

What kinds of things can we do to help him and advocate for him at school? Difficult to know what his triggers are at school because different things seems to set him off on different days! Most outsiders seem to think he's just a "hard to handle" kid who is spoiled because he's an only child. I want to help him in any way possible, yet hate the thought of him having to deal with a "label". What's the first step in diagnosing this disorder?

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Apr 13, 2009
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Hi!
by: Anonymous

First of all try and get comfortable with the "label" if he does indeed have sensory issues. Parents have to make it O.K. to be different. We had to teach my daughter from the get go that her sensory issues can be managed but will more than likely be something she always has to deal with and to not feel bad about it. "Some people have brown eyes, some people cry when they hear sirens ect."

Believe it or not an OT challenges the kids to try feeling things, eating things, moving their bodies in ways that our kids normally would avoid. The setting can look very much like a kids play area with ball pits, things to climb, swings, and games. It's work disguised as play.The idea can be that the more our kids are challenged the more desensitized they become. That is what we found with my daughter.

My daughter's school was very impacted and it took 4yrs. for the school OT to see her. It was way too little too late. We were able to get an OT through our doctor because she had an awkward pencil grip and other delayed small motor skills. It's so important for a child with sensory issues to see an OT because they teach coping skills for age appropriate life challenges. My daughter could hardly sit through class because it was too noisy, but the truth is school is going to be her reality for many many years.

The OT taught her valuable skills to help her focus plus she had a couple months of group OT and met 6 more kids just like her. It's worth it's weight in gold if your child is struggling so be diligent find him good help.

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