Could this be SPD?!

My daughter is 15 years old. As an infant she never slept and had to be held constantly.

Shes always had problems with food- she has never eaten meat, vegetables, or really anything but macaroni and cheese, potatoes, ice cream, pizza and pasta. She could go weeks without eating or be starving all the time. She still has an extremely limited amount of foods she eats and what she does eat has to be excessively covered in cheese salt or butter. She has times when she is so thirsty she drinks herself sick.

She constantly craves motion and will often just run back and forth until she cannot run any more. She adores swings and trampolines and could go for hours if need be. She rocks a lot when stressed or bored and when she panics she hand-flaps. She also has this weird thing where she has always (since she was a tiny little thing) stuck her finger into her bellybutton and pushed the nail deep in and wiggled it around. To this day she cant sleep without doing it. She feels the need to stretch out her legs arms neck and back out as far as they go , push her index and pinky out and squeeze her eyes shut. Sometimes until the point where it is hurting her. She says she can keep herself from doing it if she wants, but it feels good and calms her down. (It is mostly a boredom/stress thing) She has to have something in her mouth constantly or she complains of nausea she always has gum in her mouth unless eating or sleeping. she is fairly clumsy and loves to roughhouse.

She has problems with touching things as well . Certain fabrics hurt her and

she says she feels like being sick and that she gets covered with goosebumps and shivers whenever she touches them . One of her uniform shirts this year is that type of fabric and she pointblank wont wear it. She used to have to have tags cut out of everything and have socks inside out, although she has since grown out of it. Her problems are especially bad in the winter or when drying off after being wet. She says that sometimes everything hurts to touch and she feels miserable. In the summer her problems are almost nonexistent. After washing her hands she will keep them balled up in fists until they feel better.

She smells everything when first encountering it . She loves strong smells like sharpies gasoline and whiteout. Although she is good at identifying people and things by smell.

She was put on zoloft for anxiety in third grade and was taken off of it later that year and has been put back on it for the past year. She always needs help from me to recover from panic attacks or worries. She cannot go to sleep without Benadryl, not because of sleeping problems but because she cant calm her mind down enough to lie down and sleep without worry.

Are these signs of SPD or are these just normal traits all children live with? She is my only child and I don't know. She is a pretty healthy teenager now with lots of friends. as she gets older she seems to be able to cope with these oddnesses. I still cant help wondering if all these Things are normal and if she needs help or not. Does she need help? I am so confused.

Sorry it is so long! Please respond!

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Feb 25, 2009
by: Anonymous

I agree that it does sound like SPD. The clothing thing is not normal for most people. Needing something in her mouth at all time without being nauseated is also not normal. I would definitely get her to an OT. There are some OT's out there who seem to know nearly nothing about sensory integration therapies so make sure you ask. Auburn

Feb 24, 2009
It really sounds like SPD
by: Anonymous

Your daughter sounds just like my 2 boys, my oldest is autistic and my youngest has PDD/NOS and both have major sensory issues. Their diets (not the same for either) are very limited. My oldest only eats plain spaghetti noodles, pizza without sauce, breads, salty crunchy items, hard crunchy cereals. Crunchy items are a calming mechanism for them. My youngest only has 3 meals he eats and one of them is pizza with no sauce.

They can not get to sleep at night either without help. I would like to encourage you to switch your daughter from Benedryl to 1mg or 3mg of Melatonin. You can get it anywhere. Our boys have to have 1mg to go to sleep or they can not shut their brains down enough or relax enough to go to sleep. Melatonin is all natural with no side effects like the Benedryl could have. Something for you to look into.

My boys only have certain clothes they will wear, mainly soft clothes, nothing with buttons, zippers or snaps and on most of them the tags have to be removed.

My oldest flaps his hands also. When he gets really excited or anxious about something we declare he's going to fly away at times.

They both love swings and spend hours on the trampolines. The big one outside and the small exercise ones inside.

I take care of 2 typical children also (daycare) and the "oddities" that you describe of your daughter are not typical. Remember "normal" is just a setting on the dryer, so we like to use the word typical. With everything that you have listed about your daughter I would like to encourage you to have her evaluated by an OT or some professional, not necessarily an MD. If you have an eval. done, list everything you can think of that she does. Evaluations are hard because they don't usually paint a nice picture of our children, but going thru the process gets them the help that they need to help them thru their day.

This is probably way more information than you wanted but I hope it helps. Best of luck to you. I know how hard it all is.

Feb 23, 2009
Sounds like SPD
by: Anonymous

It does sound like she may have SPD to me. I would definitely get an OT eval. to see for sure. It seems to be helping my son a lot. Good luck!

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