SPD and Autism

by Stephanie York
(Simi Valley Ca)

I have a son with many of the symptoms described. I have noticed that many of these symptoms also coincide with those of autistic children. Is SPD clinically on the spectrum of Autism? Is a child with SPD necessarily Autistic?

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May 04, 2009
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Crossing over between SPD and Autism
by: Anonymous

My son, now 2 1/2 has also been diagnosed with SPD. As of now, we are waiting to meet with a Pediatric Neurologist to see if the OT can help with his disorder. He has a huge list of symptoms that cross over from Austism to Sensory Disorder. However, we have seen dramatic leaps forward with his therapy, as well as small steps backwards.

My insurance did not cover any of the testing and therapy, and I will admit I was concerned about the cost of these. With a little research, I found out about the Early Steps program for children under 3 (I am in Florida but believe it is available everywhere). We have been able to do much of his therapy and evaluations through this program without any cost to us. We are already interviewing with our local school programs to get into a class for children with disorders when he turns 3. These are such amazing services, and not everyone is aware that they are available (even my pediatrician did not tell me of them).

Aug 06, 2008
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Symptoms overlap but different diagnosis
by: Debbie

I had some of the same concerns regarding my son who is now 5 years old and has been receiving O.T. and Speech Therapy since the age of 2 1/2 years old. Although many children that are on the autism spectrum do have Sensory Processing Disorder, not all children that have SPD are on the spectrum. The relationship of these two diagnosis are explained very well in a parent-friendly book "The Out of Sync Child" available on amazon. We initially sought treatment for my son's symptoms which included tactile and auditory defensiveness, difficulty with transitions, and word retrieval problems. The therapists that worked with him said that they treat the symptoms, not the diagnosis.

But at the age of 4 we as the parents felt that we wanted a more firm answer to what we were dealing with and sought out the opinion of a pediatric neurologist in our area that is well versed on SPD. We were ultimately given a diagnosis that our son was not on the spectrum, but has SPD as well as mixed receptive and expressive language disorder. Although many of his behaviors do appear on the checklist of the spectrum of autism, his socially related, although poorly equipped to function equal to his desire. If it's important to you to know whether it's SPD or autism, I would recommend researching your area for a well respected neurologist so that you have confidence that whatever the diagnosis is, it's accurate.

Jul 19, 2008
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My daughter has same symptoms.
by: Anonymous

I know what you are dealing with. My daughter has a lot of the sensory symptoms on the checklist too. She has so many in fact it is just tremendous. She also has signs of mild autism or what they call autism spectrum disorder (asd). My daughter is nine and I was told this would be something she would grow out of. She hasn't and it was getting worse.

So I decided I needed to get really tough with my doctor and demanded he send her to be tested. Right now we are in the phase of her being tested for all kinds of things. Like seizures and hearing test, etc. It does cost a lot, but well worth your child getting the treatment he needs. After they rule out all this other stuff. They will send us to their group of doctors who is the (ados) team. They will officially be the ones who will rule on the autism spectrum disorder. She has been diagnosed with sensory processing and modulation disorder, severe receptive-expressive language disorder, memory disorder, tactile, oral seeking, they also put she is very hyperactive, and she has autism features in a lot of areas. I could go on forever. Just remember to listen to your heart and do what you think is right not what anyone else thinks.

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