Lucas - (almost) 4yrs old.

by Ella
(West Sussex, UK)

My son Lucas is 3 yrs old (almost 4 now) and he is sooo sensitive with certain things. He overreacts to a lot of things, or what we think is overreacting, obviously to him it's not!

He just had a haircut today, which is always a massive battle with him and that's the reason I came to your website as someone mentioned it on another website mentioning kids being scared of haircuts.

Lucas is mainly very sensitive to sounds, petrified of hair-/hand dryers, hairclippers and other loud sounds like when an ambulance comes past and the siren goes off right next to you!

When he started weaning at 6 months old he struggled with transitioning to the more lumpy foods, he always used to spit it out! After he was properly weaned he was ok, he'd eat most foods, especially pasta's and things like Shepherd's pie. Ever since he was about 2.5yrs old he stopped eating most things, the only things he'll eat for dinner now are Turkey dinosaurs and chips, pancakes or TINNED spaghetti with sausages - It HAS to be tinned spaghetti with sausages, he doesn't eat normal spaghetti and he doesn't like it if it's not spaghetti with sausages, like if we'd buy him (or let him pick) a different type of tinned pasta, the peppa pig shapes for instance, he won't eat it, even if he's picked them himself!

He also doesn't enjoy a lot of things other kids enjoy, like fairground rides, like teacups, he won't go near them!! We don't force him, but I know he would probably like it if he would try it, but he won't!

He used to resist wearing new clothes, trying them on in the shop just turns into a screaming fit! We had to buy him wellies for nursery and he screamed as if the wellies were going to eat his feet or something like that!

Showers are also a nightmare, he won't let me rinse him off with the showerhead if I've washed his hair - we used to go swimming every week when he was a baby and he used to go in the shower with me everytime after we'd finished swimming, now he won't go near them!!

He screams bloody murder when you try to turn the shower on for him.

Baths were a problem just for a little while, every now and then he'll play up and he won't like it that the tap is on, even if he's not in the bath! Especially once his little brother was big enough to go in the big bath and we suggested they'd have a bath together, he screamed and was afraid to sit down, so we decided they'd have a bath separately but he still seemed scared of the bath. This lasted a few weeks and then he was fine again, like I said: playing up every now and then.

He doesn't like having dirty hands, freaks out!!
Doesn't like suncream being put on his face, or anywhere for that matter.

Suddenly doesn't like 'medicine' (calpol) anymore when he needs it. He used to ask for it sometimes and of course he wouldn't get it if he didn't need it. Taking his temperature (under his arm) is also a nightmare! He screams the house down whilst we try to take his temperature.

There are just so many things I keep coming up with, I could probably keep going for a while!

When we talked to doctor's or health visitors they all just play it down and say it's normal (or can be normal). We keep saying it's not normal and my parents agree - my mum is a teacher who works with kids on the autistic spectrum, so she knows her stuff. We took Lucas to the hospital to see some doctors about his behaviour etc they didn't think he is autistic as he doesn't really have the social 'problems' that autistic children have. They did say they'd refer him to an occupational therapist but we haven't heard about that yet!

We just want someone to take our concerns seriously!!

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Jan 26, 2015
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Sounds like SPD
by: Vicky (hampshire, UK)

Reading your story reminded me of when my daughter( now 11,) started showing these signs when she was about 3 yrs old. Sadly I did not know about SPD until about 3yrs ago which would have saved our family a lot of heartache .
Our daughter would have meltdowns over clothes, socks & shoes in particular, so school uniforms have been a continuing issue! She's a fussy eater and prefers baths to showers and hated having her hair brushed.

I have found that teachers and GP's are very unaware of SPD and like you, I only discovered about it by chance . Keep pushing your doctor to get you referred to an OT , it will take a while but is worth it. It was such a relief when we first saw our OT as she had an entire questionnaire on SPD symptoms, which finally confirmed that our child was not being "difficult" or "fussy"and that this was an actual condition. And by having an OT on board we have been able to liaise with school with regards to our daughter having some time out sessions in school to help her relax if her symptoms are affecting her in class. Because our daughter wasn't diagnosed till she was older she had had to keep her emotions hidden in school which often led to extreme melt downs at home . Now she has teachers who are aware about SPD and know that she has it , it's definitely helped her relax a bit more in school. As she's got older she has learnt to manage her temper better , most importantly, to push herself to fight her SPD. Certain clothes like jeans which she had refused to wear for years , she has now found one pair that she likes and can wear which is a massive achievement for her .

SPD has no quick fix but early diagnosis helps and when your so. Starts school get them on board too .. Good luck x x

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