Why does our 3 yr old get stressed when his twin siblings suck on or put their fingers in their mouths?

by Cadi Watchman
(Bendigo vic Australia)

Flynn becomes very stressed when his twin siblings suck or put their fingers in their mouths, he cannot focus on anything until he has pulled their fingers out. The twins are 9 months and we faced this problem about 4 months ago. Our son got over it and it wasn't a problem til now (again). Breastfeeding was also an issue, however that isn't as bad this time around. He also hears them sucking (thinks he can when there is not sound at all) even when they're not in the room. Do we ignore this problem? Is there a problem or is this a stage?

The SPD Help Line Answers...

Hi Cadi,
To be honest, I am not sure what is going on based on the information you provided. I can't say I have ever encountered an issue like this.

That said... there is one thing we can do to figure out if his reaction may be related to his own oral or auditory defensiveness (causing him to be uncomfortable seeing or hearing someone's fingers in their mouth or sucking noises). If you can fill out the Infant/Toddler SPD Checklist to see if Flynn is showing any signs of SPD, that would help answer some questions I would have.

If he does NOT show several signs of SPD on the list, then I am afraid I don't know how to help you other than to say it might be more of a psychological/emotional issue. In that case I would direct you to a psychologist for help.

If he DOES show symptoms of SPD, particularly regarding auditory defensiveness, then I would address this by getting an Occupational Therapy Evaluation. If this is the route you find yourself going, please read Finding An Occupational Therapist For SPD, the first edition of my free monthly newsletter-- The SPD Companion.

If you are not sure if an OT evaluation is warranted based on the checklist, you can post the results here and we can help you decide if it may be SPD related. Just use the comment section below.

I hope this helps you begin to figure this out.

Take care.
Michele Mitchell

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to The SPD Q & A.