Trying to Find the Right Key

by Tess
(Singapore)

Our son Leo, now 31/2, was diagnosed a year ago as having SPD. While this was very early to be sure of such an assessment, he did and continues to exhibit classic SPD symptoms. Even now, after a year of OT, audio and speech therapy (admittedly not all of it regular - reasons to come) he still prefers not to speak much and uses maximum 3-word sentences. He still refuses to toilet train, tho if taken can at least pee (if not "empty").


Luckily he is naturally a sunny nature and is always looking for a laugh, becoming quite the clown in the process (we were recently having his hearing re-tested and during a test that required him to be very quiet he, purposely, produced a massive belch that had all of us in silent convulsions of mirth). He adores his older brother and they can play romping/chasing games together - and lately he's developed a cheeky habit of rushing up to Luca and wacking him to make him play chase and wrestle.

With other children in a school setting though, he retreats into his own world, obviously turned off by the ambient sounds and bustle. While Singapore (where we live) is an fantastic (safe) place to raise kids, it is limited in mainstream schooling options. Currently he's in a local (chinese) pre-school and while they are very fond of him, there is inevitably a limit to what attention they can give.

Other options for schooling present the danger that he will be classed with children of a worse condition and thus not be prepared for mainstreaming. Leo is odd in that he's incredibly agile, so it's been hard to work out what OT can do for him as he flies around the "course" with great joy and quickly mastered vestibular challenges. For speech therapy we've also been frustrated as 3 teachers have not really cracked what is going to incentivise him to speak. Clearly what he hears is not what comes out as he fumbles many sounds (yet can sing and say the alphabet and numbers up to 50 perfectly and has done since 18 months!) and seems to struggle to find the right words, even if they are simple ones that he's used repeatedly before.

I would love to know what speech-therapy techniques people have found that worked for an SPD child that really doesn't feel much need to use words. And any tips on toilet training......... I really feel that there is a key to Leo that we're missing. He responded quite well do Samonas therapy and will always respond to music or rhythm, yet a conventional "class" sends him into overload. I don't want to "cure" him of his wonderful feyness, but I do worry about the long-term prospect.

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Nov 11, 2013
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Singapore
by: Anonymous

Hi Christine - if you are based in Singapore, you could contact WeCare at Tanglin (opposite Tanglin mall, the old Post Office). Denise Lai is the founder and very compassionate and helpful Overall I found them to be wonderful for Leo. In the end his diagnosis concluded that he was on the autism spectrum, but the sensory issues are still integral to that condition. And, true to their prediction, he has progressed to mainstream schooling and so far is flourishing, with few people knowing that he ever had problems! Hope that helps and best wishes


Nov 11, 2013
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Can you recommend your therapist pls
by: Christina

Hi, as my niece has SPD as well, I will love to get her a therapist, was wondering if you can recommend the fabulous therapist you had. christin.ng@gmail.com.

thanks so much for your help.

Mar 15, 2010
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What a difference a year makes
by: Anonymous

Hi Linda, having just re-read my original posting, 1 year on I cannot believe that Leo is the same child - take heart! We have undertaken some very alternative routes (cranial sacral, bio-medical intervention) as well as lucking upon some fabulous therapist. Leo is not only toilet trained, he is a functioning member of his school, he is reading and writing far ahead of his peers and is learning how to interact and play with them too. His speech processing is still behind, but he's progressing really well and at a review with the therapists just this saturday, they concluded that he was ontrack to be in the same mainstream school as his brother for year 1. As I gained so much help and ideas from other mothers, I am very happy to chat and share our experience. I know what a lonely journey it can seem.

Mar 14, 2010
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Thanks!
by: Linda

Hi Tess,

I'm from Singapore too and until 5 months ago, I have never heard of SPD.

My son was diagnosed with SPD late last year at the age of 5, and we suspect that his twin might have some issues too. I am currently trying to source and provide him as much support as I can. With their P1 registration looming, I am getting overwhelmed!

I'm writing just to let you know that I am glad that I came across your story. I don't feel so alone in Singapore now.

Linda

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