Social Withdrawal

My child is three years old and has SPD. Her symptoms are many, but my concern lately is that she is beginning to withdraw even more from any social contacts. She only wants to be at home, and asks constantly if we do dare go out "when can we go home?" She does not play with other children. She isolates herself at daycare (which we put her in part-time to engage her with other children).


My dilemma is, is it better to "force" her to start preschool or is it less traumatizing to let her stay at home and try to find a way to pay for the OT sessions that our insurance won't cover? She is extremely bright and verbal, and she absorbs knowledge like a sponge. I know that preschool would be very mentally stimulating to her, but I know it will be a horrible meltdown battle with her ending up vomiting from crying so hard because she doesn't want to go. Any insights?

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Aug 31, 2008
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P.S.
by: Jessi

About getting OT paid for - I've read that if you can find someone to correctly code the therapy, they can get your insurance to pay for. You may have to ask around and see if you can get some help with this issue. As a last resort, I would read a lot of books on OT and try to work with her yourself. I'm sure this isn't as effective and I know my son's therapy center has tools that aren't available to me at home, but it would be worth a shot if you had no other options. If you haven't already, try to get her in with a developmental pediatrician to discuss your concerns and get a referral to therapy - which may help you get it covered.

My son was NOT verbal like your daughter and that was why we went to a developmental pediatrician. However, she very quickly picked up on the other symptoms he presented and diagnosed him with SPD and other things and referred us to therapy. Someone with that kind of knowledge is very helpful in the process - at least was for me. Fortunately, my insurance covers my son so I have not had that issue, hopefully someone with a similar experience will be able to respond with what worked for them.

Aug 31, 2008
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OT
by: Jessi

I'd suggest getting her to OT if possible before starting preschool or at least at the same time. I think forcing the issue without intervention may very well intensify the problems and may create new ones that cause her to 'hate' school permanently. An OT can diagnose SPD and provide treatment that will make it easier for your daughter to cope with the bombardment of sensory stimulation that will come with preschool.

I would also seek a preschool with as low a student to teacher ratio as possible. Up to the age of 3 my son was attending a daycare that had 20 students and 2 teachers. 20 kids running around was just way too much for him to be able to actually learn anything. So when it was time to start preschool, I found a school where he only had one teacher and 9 students. I also passed out information sheets to his teachers and the directors of the school so they would understand what they were dealing with. It's important for these kids' self-esteem to not be treated as 'bad' kids and rather with understanding for what they are going through. I've explained that sometimes he has trouble regulating himself and he depends on a caring adult to help him re-focus when this happens.

My son has an 'I can't do that' attitude sometimes and I am constantly working to correct that by telling him he can do anything he really tries to do. I think getting your daughter into therapy will help prevent her from feeling that way in preschool.

Good Luck!

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