by Sherrie Kinard
Hello. I am a mother of 2 sweet little boys. My oldest, Evan (almost 5) and my youngest, Zachary (2). We have recently had Evan evaluated by an Occupational Therapist, finally, and have confirmed that Evan has tactile (sensory seeking), oral defensive, emotional, and some auditory defensive and visual defensive (minor) SPD.
It has been a long frustrating road to get this diagnosis. We first started thinking about the possibility that Evan may have SPD several months ago. Evan started having behavioral problems in his preschool and they had asked if Evan did any other "corky things" like getting very upset if his shoelaces touched his leg when you tied his shoe.
After thinking more about it it I though, "Yeah! He does a lot of corky things!" Anyway, I have quite a few friends with children that have Aspergers and various degrees of Autism, and a couple of them gave me some information on SPD. After reading up on it just a little bit (on this site as well as others), I knew Evan most likely had some issues with sensory processing.
My first step, I went to my pediatrician and described what I thought was going on with Evan and why, and they gave me a referral to Childrens Hospital for an evaluation. I quickly filled that paperwork out and returned it to Childrens Hospital and called for an appointment. I was told that it would be 9 months to a year before I could get an evaluation. UNACCEPTABLE!!! I needed help now! They in turn sent me to some private institutions that can evaluate young children for these types of issues.
Before turning to the private institutions, I tried to get services.... what a waste of my time that was!!! Basically, though they spout early intervention, they are strictly a reactive service. They evaluated Evan's academic level and said that he is above average or right on target; therefore, they could not help him. He has to fall behind before they will help, which is what I was trying to
avoid! So I turned to the list of private institutions.
Well, as you can probably guess, I called them and realized that I did not have the money to pay the fees for the evaluation so I set up an appointment with an Occupational Therapist (OT) to meet with Evan and I for an hour. With in the first few minutes of speaking with her on the phone she thought that Evan was having issues with sensory processing. She then confirmed it in our session.
I finally found a place that specializes in SPD and treating young children that is covered by my insurance, but was forced again to pay out of pocket for another session with the OT that had evaluated Evan at his preschool. Evan's behavior is a big problem at his preschool, but after talking with the OT about it, I now know why. They are constantly sending him over the edge and into fight or flight. We are currently working with them and they with us to help avoid some of the triggers.
I am also looking into preschools with experience working with SPD kids (Montessori, Waldorf, and Goddard) and hopefully will be able to put Evan in an environment and with teachers more educated on SPD.
I am having Evan evaluated this week by the place that accepts my insurance and will hopefully begin OT shortly after that, but it has been a pretty painful process. A bunch of my family, as well as my husband (which I think had SPD as a child as well),has been telling me I am crazy and that there is nothing going on with Evan. I am happy to be able to say I told you so! On one hand, I am relieved that we now have a reason for Evan's unacceptable behavior and corky issues, but on the other, no one ever wants to hear that there is something wrong with their child.
Good luck to all fighting for their children. Stay strong and hang in there.... for your children will only benefit.