Can't Get Enough Visual Imput

by Sara

My four year old son was diagnosed with SPD six months ago. He also struggles with anxiety but has found some relief from a low dose anti-depressant. As expected the anti depressant does not decrease the SPD symptoms which brings me to the conclusion this concern is SPD related.

My son has been obsessed with the television from a very young age. I know kids like t.v. but it truly was an obsession. He watched particular shows over and over, never appearing to really enjoy them. He never took his eyes off the screen and if you dared to walk across his path he would become extremely aggressive. The volume set unusually high was also protected like a mother protecting her young.

As he matured a bit video games took the obsession to another level. It was all he could think about, talk about. He'd wake during the night, ask continually to play, cry, beg and become aggressive. It was a real addiction, the same as the television. When he would settle in for the night he "needed" (his word) to watch a medical show. He is content to play the same game over and over, watch the same show over and over.

His psychologist suggested allowing him to watch or play at will as we feared the extreme frustration and aggression would become such a learned behavior we wouldn't get it turned back around.

Now being a bit older he is mastering the computer. He is again showing the obsessive need, aggression and frustration when away from it. When allowed, he sings, talks, laughs and has self taught his way through games with the constant repetition. He attends a private christian based preschool as well as a preschool for special needs children.

Before visually charting every moment of his day he couldn't function at school. The screen in whatever form is truly his greatest joy. We offer him other alternatives but then acts like an addict withdrawing.

Has anyone had similar experiences?

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Apr 23, 2009
Sounds familiar
by: Kim Sullivan

Boy that sounds familiar. We had the same problem. We use it to our advantage. My son is now seven and we GRADUALLY worked with him to calm his body down with deep breaths, heavy work, and other techniques. He has to complete very simple tasks to be allowed to have his TV program. We are now to the point where we have gone all week without TV. TV and computers make his symptoms MUCH worse and limiting those activities help. At four we could only limit so much due to the situation you have on your hands. Often going to a park or playground and doing a lot of climbing twice a day provided a place where TV was not available and heavy work. Good luck, I know what you are going through and it is really hard.

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