Feeling frustrated and hopeless

by Michelle ortega
(Claremont NH USA)

At 14 months old my son was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction and received weekly help from an occupational therapist, speech therapist and a feeding specialist due to him overstuffing his mouth.

He had all of these in home services until he was 3 and started preschool for developmentally delayed and special needs children and had an IEP. He then went into Kindergarten with an IEP but the school decided he no longer needed it.

Now my son is 10 and is in the 5th grade. Since the start of 2nd grade he began becoming extremely time sensitive, has serious meltdowns before going to school and has consistently been an ongoing struggle for the last several years. I have spoken with his school, and that gets me nowhere.

No one thinks he has any "issues" because he is very bright and and does his work just fine once he is actually in school. His doctor dismissed his Sensory Integration Dysfunction saying he "grew out of it" and that he needs to see a psychologist.

I know my son better than anyone else, I see his struggles every day, I see his anxiety intensify over time and the thought of leaving the house and going to school, I experience daily, several times throughout the day, having to repeat myself over and over again, and the constant struggle of him completing his homework because it is a complete overload for him.

I guess my question is; can a child who clearly exhibits behaviors associated with Sensory Integration Dysfunction and has actually been diagnosed with it simply out grow it? Does my son just have extreme anxiety and "depression" at 10 years old like the doctor suggests?

My son is a happy go lucky child with a great personality as long as his daily routine and expectations are not altered without fair warning. I am feeling alone, helpless and frustrated. I want to do what's best for my son and not have HIS self esteem be diminished by his teacher who doesn't understand that everyday normal things such as going to school are extremely stressful and cause anxiety for him.

I don't want the school staff to tell him to "act like a big boy" and tell him "you're too old for this" it breaks my heart to see his self esteem draining out of him and to know he is being belittled and misunderstood.

I truly hope someone, anyone can offer some advice or resources or even support on how to address this and even how to effectively be supportive to my son.

Thank you

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Sep 18, 2016
Don't lose hope
by: Alison with Captain Tutu Clothing

I dont know if you can "grow out of it" but I would think having a history of sensory issues would make you more susceptible to other things. I have one little guy who had a very mild case of SPD but has gotten substantially better as he has gotten older. I have a daughter that never had SPD but is just like your son. Follows me around every morning for 20 minutes crying that she doesn't want to go to school (she is in the first grade). Once she is there she does really well but the actual act of getting ready and going causes her stomach aches and major anxiety.

We have determined she also has acid reflux and now that she is on medicine the stomach aches seemed to have gotten a little better. Upon doing research I came across an article about "school refusal". Who knew they actually had a name for it. I think it is ridiculous that the school can't understand this is tough for your son and would say "you are too big for this". He is entitled to feel whatever he wants.

I am sure it is a struggle for you and I always feel bad as I get embarrassed when my daughter starts to cry. I know I shouldn't care what others think, but it is hard to ignore the states. I try never to let her see though. You are doing great mom and the fact that you posted to me means you are rocking being a parent and your sons advocate. Keep it up.

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