From the beginning, Jeffrey was a very sensitive child. He had issues with formulas as an infant and co-habitated in our bed until he was nearly four years old. He was sensitive to light and even more so to sounds. Three sets of ear tubes later, the ear infections had finally stopped and he was able to hear normally, although VERY startled by sounds, alarms, the dog barking.
He ate very few things that had to prepared in a certain way. He was fearful of so many things, we just chalked it up to being an only child. He walked on his toes and ran on his toes as well. He absolutely hated playing in the mud, sand, fingerpainting and even playdough.
When he started school, he cried every day, sometimes to the point that he had to be removed from the classroom. It broke my heart, but we continued to send him hoping that he would grow out of it and become more comfortable with the routine. There were so many signs that we missed, but hind sight is 20/20 isn't it!
In kindergarten, the teacher said Jeffrey's behavior was due to lack of discipline, in first grade it was ADD/ADHD. The second grade teacher was wonderful and a great match for Jeffrey. The school called meetings with the Speech Therapist, the occupational therapist, special education, school psychologist, social worker, the principal and the current teacher and even recommended a psych evaluation. Jeffrey's father and I agreed to everything in hopes of finding an answer. Finding SOMETHING!
The pediatrician wasn't convinced of an ADD/ADHD diagnosis but recommended Ritalin as a trial. The school recommended medication for both ADD/ADHD and anxiety. The special education teacher
was convinced he had severe psychological problems because of his reluctance to participate in ANY learning activity with her. (It turned out his anxiety was so great that in order to cope, he would mentally 'check out' because he wasn't capable of filtering the sensory/anxiety.)
Not comfortable with the recommendations, we sought a family therapist to further vet out the issues that Jeffrey struggled with everyday socially and academically. The therapist sent us to a center that specializes in children with sensory issues to 'check off' one more evaluation. The OT specialist came back with a SID diagnosis! She gave us a book to read and some information on the disorder-it was our AHA moment!! As I read more about the disorder I realized that she was right-IT WAS JEFFREY!!
We have begun aggressive OT including group sessions so he can learn to utilize the strategies with peers and be more comfortable using them in the school and social setting. So far we are seeing progress albeit slow. My only piece of advice to any parent is to follow your heart. I may not be clinically trained, but I know my own son and I knew that drugs weren't the answer. I also know that he is not a boy with severe psychological problems, but rather someone who is on sensory overload and who is learning to cope and find 'homes' for all of the input that he is challenged with.
Thank God my husband and I persevered and found the appropriate treatment before medicating him into a zombie for the sake of good test scores. We are resolving the underlying issue in order to help our wonderful boy succeed not only in school, but in life!