SPD symtoms in the older child/teenager?

I am the mother of an 11 yr old boy who was diagnosed with SPD when he was almost 6. He had intensive OT intervention and progressed fantastically. His academic abilities are very good but his concentration and focus can be poor. His gross motor skills are hugely improved so riding a bike, swimming, running and some team sports have been conquered. His fine motor skills including writing, however, are poor. His social skills were not good when he was younger but he has improved there also although he wouldn't have a huge circle of friends. He is outgoing, confident and generally positive.

However, 10 months ago he started developing twitches or habits (something he had done before but which didn't stand out too much) that became quite pronounced - shoulder shrugging, smelling his fingers, eye blinking, repeated touching of doors when he would go by etc. They would come and go somewhat but the shoulder shrugging has remained and sometimes can be very frequent. It also upsets him as he has been called names by some of the kids in school and he is very aware of it himself.

I am anxious to find out if these habits are a feature of SPD in an older/pre-puberty child or whether they are something entirely unrelated (OCD/ Tourettes?). I am currently visiting a Craniosacrel therapist who advocates Listening therapy which I will be starting with my son over the next few weeks in conjunction with a lot of his previous OT exercises etc. But any information that I can get which will perhaps explain these habits and more importantly help him to deal/manage them would be great. He is entering his last year in primary school and I am very anxious to sort out his 'problems' before he moves onto secondary school, and a whole new set of teachers and classmates, next year. I would be grateful for any feedback/experiences/information that might be out there.

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Jun 12, 2013
13 yr old son with SPF
by: Melissa

My son was diagnosis with SPD when he was almost 12 and he's 13 now and has been in occupational therapy for almost a yr with little progress . He has a very limited diet and all his life I was told he's picky eater . He has sensitivity to some textures and not very social . I feel for the comment bout the mother who got her son to eat a Jelly sandwhich and she cried . I would cry too if we could ever get him to eat . It just hurts to watch . He's done the brushing technic and music therapy and now we work with him touching foods and are working with his core body exercises . He has made progress in the exercises and says he wants to get better but has a meltdown over even touching foods. Now we are waiting for a child psychologist to get in touch to make an appt for medication to assist in his occupational therapy. Something I have resisted the past year and a half but he is having such difficulty in therapy and even worse at home . It's hard not to get frustrated and I cry alot watching his struggle and even let him go without touching the food because its hard to watch.

Aug 29, 2011
Similar problems
by: Anonymous

I was also told that my son (who is now 12)had sensory integration problems and he also underwent a term of occupational therapy which seemed to help a great deal. As with your son, his gross motor skills have improved, but his writing is still quite untidy and badly spaced. I would be very interested to know what remedial action you took to help with your son to see if there is anything else I should be doing with mine. I would also like to have your feedback on music therapy and whether it is worthwhile. My son also began to develop OCD like habits eg grunting, but with gentle reminders not to do this he seems to have stopped. This seems to have worked for him, but of course each child and circumstance is different. Good luck.

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