SPD Teens

I live in West Jordan, Utah. I have a 14 year old son who struggles academically, socially, and emotionally. Over the years he has seen several different doctors and therapists and has been on many different medications for conditions such as depression, bipolar, OCD, ADHD and anxiety disorder. None of these have produced any significant results in helping my son.


Desperately, I went on my own search for answers. I've been thrilled to learn about SPD. The more I learn the more I am convinced that this is what he struggles with. It has been the only thing that explains all of his behaviors. My frustration comes from the fact that all the info I find seems to be geared towards younger children. I have found very little info regarding teens with this disorder. Is it possible at this stage to help them overcome this challenge? Are there any resources available that are geared towards their specific age group? Everything I've found seems to be geared towards early intervention and/or young children. What can I do to help his high school teachers know how they can help him? Thanks, Jan

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Jun 18, 2013
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For Melissa
by: Jan

Oh Melissa! My heart goes out to you and your son! I was the one who initially posted the question here regarding SPD and teens. That was 4 years ago . My son just graduated from high school and will be 18 in August. He is doing much better. After posting my question things continually went downhill for my son. His frustration turned to anger. He became very withdrawn because he felt no one understood him. Which was true. He had been misunderstood for so many years . We did take the whole psychiatrist and drug approach. But NOT FOR LONG! My advice to you is DON'T DO IT! The effects that the drugs had on him were horrible! The doctors were happy with the calming results of the drugs but my husband and saw the sparkle leave our son. Sure he was more relaxed and easier to deal with but that's because he wasn't there anymore! That was my breaking point I couldn't watch my son continue to be misdiagnosed by doctors who truly didn't understand. I'm sure they meant well but it wasn't until we scooped our son up and took him away from all the doctors and drugs. We started treating him ourself. I went on an intense journey for answers. I researched every thing I could find. Our main focus was diet. And as the journey continued I was astounded at how much his diet affected our his ability to cope with those sensory issues. And not just with but with all my other children and even myself. I had no idea foods could have such a dramatic effect on emotions. Most especially on coping skills! My sons progress came in baby steps. Sometimes I wondered if we were making any progress at all but then he'd surprise me by doing something he would have never done before and I knew we were moving in the right direction. His improvement was slow but steady. Now 2 1/2 years later those baby steps have turned into huge leaps and bounds. I certainly don't have all the answers and I still continue to search for ways to help him but 2 years ago he was in so much pain emotionally he didn't even want to live anymore. Now he smiles and laughs looks forward to a bright and happy future. He has his sparkle back! My heart aches for you and your son. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Jun 17, 2013
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Comment to Jan
by: Melissa

Hi Jan , Thank you so much for your response to me .I really needed someone's advice on if I was feeling the right things for my son and not being selfish I guess . My husband doesn't go to my sons appts cause he needs to work so I don't feel like he has the info I have from the doctors and doesn't understand the feedback from the doctors and him and I disagree on some issues. I feel like this is a huge decision that rests on my shoulders . And my health suffers from the stress !! I cry alot cause I want to make the right decision for my son . Today I decided to take him out of OT and no meds no child phycyatrist . I am going to take what I've learned in OT for the past year and a half and apply that at home to work with our son as a family . Your comment made me feel like that is the right decision to make and I thank you with my whole heart . I would like to keep in touch with you . I feel I need to talk to someone who has been through this and really understands . My email is condonmelissa109@gmail. Com and I would love to keep in touch maybe exchange numbers from there . Thank you again Jan . Your comment made me feel like we r not alone . Thank you so much . This means everything to me.

Jun 17, 2013
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My advice is don't do it!
by: Jan

Oh Melissa! My heart goes out to you and your son! I was the one who initially posted the question here regarding SPD and teens. That was 4 years ago . My son just graduated from high school and will be 18 in August. He is doing much better. After posting my question things continually went downhill for my son. His frustration turned to anger. He became very withdrawn because he felt no one understood him. Which was true. He had been misunderstood for so many years . We did take the whole psychiatrist and drug approach. But NOT FOR LONG! My advice to you is DON'T DO IT! The effects that the drugs had on him were horrible! The doctors were happy with the calming results of the drugs but my husband and saw the sparkle leave our son. Sure he was more relaxed and easier to deal with but that's because he wasn't there anymore! That was my breaking point I couldn't watch my son continue to be misdiagnosed by doctors who truly didn't understand. I'm sure they meant well but it wasn't until we scooped our son up and took him away from all the doctors and drugs. We started treating him ourself. I went on an intense journey for answers. I researched every thing I could find. Our main focus was diet. And as the journey continued I was astounded at how much his diet affected our his ability to cope with those sensory issues. And not just with but with all my other children and even myself. I had no idea foods could have such a dramatic effect on emotions. Most especially on coping skills! My sons progress came in baby steps. Sometimes I wondered if we were making any progress at all but then he'd surprise me by doing something he would have never done before and I knew we were moving in the right direction. His improvement was slow but steady. Now 2 1/2 years later those baby steps have turned into huge leaps and bounds. I certainly don't have all the answers and I still continue to search for ways to help him but 2 years ago he was in so much pain emotionally he didn't even want to live anymore. Now he smiles and laughs looks forward to a bright and happy future. He has his sparkle back! My heart aches for you. If you ever want to talk in person I'll be happy to! I guess you could just respond back through this post and I'll find a way to give you my number. I wish you all the best in your journey. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jun 15, 2013
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Any advice
by: Melissa

I have a 14 yr old son diagnosed a year and half ago with SPD . He only eats a handful of things , always has, I was told all these years I'm making something out of nothing and he's a picky eater . Finally after me documenting his reactions to just seeing foods and the clothing issues and he is terribly nonsocial they finally sent him to an OT therapist and a counselor . The counselor said he wasn't depressed and she didn't think he needed her just the OT. We have been going to OT for about a year with no progress in foods . He's had progress in his vestibular exercises which has helped with coordination and balance . Now he has been referred to a child psychologist to medicate him to help with trying to deal with his fear of foods and clothing materials but I am extremely hesitant to sedate my son . He gets A and B in all his classes and is very well behaved and smart. First I'm scared to see my son sedated and second is it a good idea to introduce a drug to a teenager . I'm afraid of what it may lead to . Will he like the way it feels? Will he start seeking out other sedating drugs? I just don't know what to do ! He is very resistant to change and doesn't even seem to want help although he says he does want to work on this and it does bother him that he's different from his friends . Any advice would be greatly appreciated ! And I can't believe I found this site. All the info IS in relation to younger kids and I have been very frustrated for alot of years

Dec 01, 2011
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Comments from a School Nurse
by: Anonymous

I have been frustrated, as well, by the lack of information out there on SPD in teens. As a matter of fact, I just wrote a couple of weeks back to the SPD Foundation requesting information specifically for the older child.

I work at a very small private school where the teachers are exceptional at working with the kids to allow them to learn at their own pace, however, we are not a special needs school. Our teachers certainly have no training in how to teach children with SPD.

We have a student in the 6th grade with SPD and I have heard an incredible amount of complaints reflecting the teachers' frustration regarding this student. It seems to be the overall consensus that the student doesn't want to make an effort.

While compliance is especially difficult during the pre-teen and teen years, I feel very badly for the this student. I was hoping to find some teaching tips for this specific age group but to no avail.


I am sure there must be many, many concerned parents, educators, etc. out there in search of information/help for this age group of children.

I would love to make a suggestion for the SPD Resource Center, SPD Foundation, and any other establishments dedicated to this disorder to make a special effort to publish any helpful information they may find to help us help the older child with this disorder. Thank you very much for allowing me to express my concerns.

Apr 10, 2010
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Spd teen
by: Anonymous

Have your son evaluated by a trained OT who specializes in Sensory Integration theory by Dr. Ayres. this will help explain most if not all of the difficulties.
Jeanette

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