5 yr old boy with SPD?

by Stacey
(Windsor, Ontario, Canada)

Here are some 'symptoms' my son has displayed since birth and I am not sure if he may fit into this category...any helpful comments are appreciated.

-very 'needy' baby
-difficult to settle to sleep, needing to be nursed or to sleep in my bed next to me
-high pitch screaming with loud noises
-lots of tantrums with high-pitched screaming
-would get scared and scream for me when in a different environment other than home (i.e., my brother's house)
-lots of crying fits
-would scream if the sun was in his eyes
-screamed during bathtime when water was on or near face, eyes, ears
-aggressive with older sibling and other children
-as a toddler would push other children down "for no apparent reason"
-would walk by people and hit them, swat at them
-would "whack" brother over the head with an object "for no apparent reason"
-asks me to turn off the vacuum cleaner as it's too noisy
-screams at the top of his lungs when he gets hurt (minor injuries) like someone cut his head off
-when a child bumps into him he says that they "did it on purpose" and will hit or push back
-having issues at school in the playground with aggressive behavious
He had an OT and Psych assessment at 3.5 years of age which identified that he does have some sensory issues, but they seemed to have taken the "let's see what happens" approach.

I feel he is being overlooked and labeled as a behaviour child, when in fact, I believe there are underlying issues, such as SPD.

Pediatrician does not agree with me.


Comments for 5 yr old boy with SPD?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 24, 2011
by: Anonymous

Yes, I think your son DEFINITELY has a lot of SPD. I think an OT would diagnose him with it, but I would get an eval just to be 100% sure!! My son was diagnosed at five, he's six now, but he had a lot of behavioral issues too, still does, but much improved. IT's not easy. My son was hard to get to quit nursing, he wanted to be with me constantly, still does a lot and likes to sleep with me. He likes to be held and did so as well when he was a baby.

Feb 22, 2011
by: Stacey

Thanks, Julie! I have read a few of Kranowitz's books, which first prompted me to think there was indeed a real issue, not just behaviour. I am continuing my path of enlightenment and have checked out a few more books from the library about these issues. I am excited to learn more so that I can help my son have a happy and productive life and for those teachers who work with him to better understand his issues so that they, too, can serve him better. Thanks for all the support.

Feb 21, 2011
5 yr old boy with spd?
by: Julie

Don't give up. SPD is real and can be treated. The earlier the better. My 3 1/2 year old grandson was just diagnosed with it. We were lucky with his preschool. The teacher mentioned that he was still running like a toddler. So my daughter took him to his pediatrician and found out he had low muscle tone in his torso. While she was there she mentioned his eating problems. He will only a few things. And it seemed it had to do with texture. From that the pediatrician suggested he may have spd and sen t them to a physical therapist for his slow muscle tone and an ot for the spd. Of course on learning about it, we realized what has caused all of his behavior problems. He is not aggressive, but just won't listen. As it turns out
instead of raising your voice at him we need to lower our voice. His first ot session she took him up high and was having him sing a song. Before the song was over he got upset and wanted to go down. She spoke softly to him and asked if they could finish the song first. And he calmed down and said yes. Another thing we learned is that bear hugs and good for them. Soft touches don't register that well and the bear hugs feel good. Kranowitz has several good books. "The Out-of-Sync Child" and "Growing an In-Sync Child".

Please,please search for a good doctor or ot.

Feb 20, 2011
by: Stacey

Based on all of the reading I have done recently and filling out checklists, I DO think that my son fits under this big umbrella of SPD. Since he was a baby I noticed that he responded to the world "differently" than my other son.
I have been involved with an agency in my area that has been helping us deal with the behaviour side of things and then I took a couple of courses through them. One was a COPE program which focused on helping your child manage his/her emotions effectively and giving both parents and child a set of skills to help them cope.

The second one I took was called the ALERT program which was all about, "How does your engine run." And we found out that my son's engine ran slower than others at times and faster than others at times and I am able to recognize this and guide him through the tough times.
Also, he had an OT assessment which indicated pretty much that he "responds" to the world 'much more' than the average child. Everything has been "MORE" than the average child. A Psych assessment was done, but at 3.5 years of age and so he would need another. They claimed that he is at a very high risk of developing mental health issues in the future and that he showed signs of high anxiety. (Really? I wonder why!) Both of which are in the family. When he started kindergarten we had a big meeting about his "issues". The OT's that work for our school board will not take him because they do not deal with sensory issues and the Social Worker will not take him because they do not deal with these type of behaviour issues and we were referred to another agency in our area for that, which lead us back to the first agency. The teacher at school is aware of his issues but I don't think she believes me when I tell her that I think it's a sensory issue. She just clumps him into the "behaviour kids" group of boys in the class. Very frustrating! I know that he is not always able to control his 'behaviour' as he is merely responding to stimulus in a negative way.

Many people say, "Oh, he'll grow out of it!" Well, let me say, that since I've been researching this...I know my husband suffered with SPD as a child and it has certainly carried over into adulthood...depression, anxiety, substance abuse...MY DEEPEST FEAR FOR MY SON!! I don't want to dismiss this as a behaviour problem as I believe in my heart that the behaviour is a result of SPD.

There is also no sensory room at our school although there may be some equipment for the children with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.
I am a primary school teacher and I see this in my classroom as well. I feel like I am in a difficult situation and needing to find answers. I also feel like people are looking at me like I'm crazy and that I am just giving excuses for my son's behaviour through the agency I worked with previously.

It's a relief to know that I am not going crazy and that my concerns are indeed valid.

Feb 19, 2011
advocate 4 help
by: sue

Dear Mommy of 5 yr. old: have you filled out any checklists or anything similar that has signs and symptoms and talked to your doc? Check around, including this website & get yourself one, fill it out and then make an appointment. Also, do you have any Kranowitz books, or any of the other great authors that can give you some guidance so that you can advocate for your son.

DO NOT give up! You know your child. Talk with the special ed teacher in your child's school, maybe the speech person, & read, read, read yourself so that you know about the SPD signs. If you can find out what through the info you read and the research you do on your own, then you can advocate for your son and get him the help he needs. Does your child's school have any type of sensory room at his school? Go to workshops, check out the local college or universities in your area, etc. Good luck w/ your searching.......it's going to be a great & informative ride to help your son!

Click here to add your own comments

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