Is SPD A Motor Skills Thing?

by Linda

My little guy

My little guy

My son was just dianosed with SPD. He will be 3 in December. He has a severe speech delay, and he is very clumsy and falls a lot. His problems seem to be more with his bodily functions.

I went over the SPD checklist, and was happy to report that my child doesn't have too many of the symptoms on there. We are currently involved with the Early Intervention program and I am writing a list of questions for them at our next visit.

I'm wondering if it IS SPD or another disorder that he could have.
Is it common for children with SPD to be so clumsy?

The SPD Help Line Answers...

The simple answer is YES, it is absolutely related to SPD... the clumsiness. It is in fact, one of the hallmarks of this disorder. I am curious... which checklist did you do? The Infant/Toddler SPD Checklist, or the regular SPD Checklist for all ages. Perhaps I don't have enough symptoms in that particular area listed? I would like to double check that if you can let me know, ok?

Processing information from the muscles and joints is the job of the proprioceptive sense. When these messages are not received or interpreted properly, clumsiness results. His vestibular system could indeed also be impacted. Ask the OT to really explain how his sensory processing issues relate to this to fully understand. It will also be a good idea to start reading some books about SPD to get a good handle on the disorder and how it relates to your son.

My top recommended books can be found at my book store.

These articles may also help; Signs Of Dysfunction, How Does It Feel?, and this one in particular... Proprioceptive Dysfunction.

I also suggest you join our online support group that has over 1,000 other parents who can help you through this journey, both as a support and for information purposes. Here's the link:

Make sure your OT is knowledgeable about SPD, how to treat it, etc. Make sure she has experience working with kids with this disorder. If she isn't/hasn't, we can help you find one that does, ok? I am so pleased you have identified the SPD already... what a great start at a good young age. Therapy will indeed make a huge difference for him! Good job Mom!

Let us know if we can help further by using the comment box below.

Take good care.
Michele Mitchell

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Oct 28, 2007
by: Linda

Hi Michele,
Thank you so much for the response with all the helpful information. I wanted to get back to you on the checklist. I used the Infant/Toddler SPD checklist. And I just went over it again and he's the model candidate for #3 the poor muscle tone/cordination area. Wow, it was like describing my child to a tee.

I think you have plenty of symptons listed on your checklist. I'm wondering if more of these "symptoms" will arise as he gets older. But for now, we don't have any issues with sensory/touch and feel or sounds. Just the muscle tone thing.

I'll definitely join the support group. Looks like just the sort of thing I've been looking for.
I'm early with my research and I appreciate any information I can get.

Thanks again,

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