My Four Year Old

by Samantha
(Craven County NC)

My son is 4 & 1/2 and has propioceptive dysfunction. We can't afford therapy for him.

"For their sake, get them the help they need. Their poor little hearts are sad. They feel "different", left out, are struggling so hard, and losing more self-confidence every day. Like I say, "if we can help even ONE child..."

This really hurt to read. I wish there was something I could do to get him the help he needs. He has fine and gross motor delays. He has made improvements in the last few months. He will start school in 4 months and I worry so much for him.

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Jun 16, 2021
You are not alone.
by: Anonymous

You are not alone. My daughter was diagnosed until the third grade.

But these are things they did.

Lots of swinging
Spinning is super important but limit time
(If they don’t get dizzy then you have to watch the time)

Jean Ayers had her nephew do 20 minutes every day on his belly on a small scooter using his arms to propel him

As much swimming as possible
Anything that requires both sides of the body
Make obstacle courses
Pressure on them- smoosh them gently under couch cushions
Do gentle brushing every hr
Get a yoga ball for bouncing
Trampolines are really good
Bean bags
Good luck! 4 was super hard. It got better.
Consider noise canceling earphones if sound over reactive.

Anxiety is usually a biproduct.
Trying to help my daughter think of her superpowers and her cryptonite. She can hear a siren before anyone else.

May 06, 2015
From one mom to another
by: Anonymous

Hi again,

So my son had the auditory issues too. He was super sensitive to loud environments yet acted like he did not hear me when I spoke to him. We learned to take him out of a loud, noisy, busy room and go outside or somewhere less noisy when we go to restaurants, parties, etc. We try to avoid them when we can but that is not always possible. We also tried getting him songs from his favorite movies and we put them on my husbands phone and he will listen to them with head phones. The noise cancelling head phones worked best. But, what really works well is letting him play games on our phone. I was never really a fan of this but it helps him in certain situations.

We recently were told that he has anxiety as well as sensory issues. We are working on that right now and it seems to be getting better. Poor little guys just want to feel normal.

I have some of the issues too and never thought much of it. I get nervous if I come home and there is music playing, people talking, dishes being used, dinner being made, lots of noise drives me nuts. I understand where they are coming from.

Good luck!!

May 01, 2015
PDX resources
by: Mariah in PDX

I too have a 4 year old with sensory needs (vestibular and proprioceptive) and happen to live in NE PDX. We've been going to Sensory Kids and they offer a free bi-monthy care-giver support group. Don't go it alone. It's a good group and there are other parents with valuable insights, even if every kid is different.

Other PDX resources: The Children's Gym has a Sunday Sensory play time. I haven't been yet, this Sunday will be our first time, but I've heard good things. $10 per kiddo I believe.

The playground gym on Grand. While it is not specifically for sensory kids, it is a great space and reasonably priced at $8 or $9 a session for open play for you and your son. We go here often especially in the rainy season.

PPS--they offer free evaluations and possibly services. My son did not have enough delay indicators to qualify for pre-k support, which was frustrating.

Providence on 47th hosts free classes on SPD parenting. There is one coming up in mid-May

If or when you get coverage for OT through your health insurance check out Sensory Kids on Killingsworth. We went there until our insurance coverage ran out of the year and are trying to get back on the schedule for private pay. It is expensive around $125 for 45 minutes.

I'm looking for a facilitated weekend play group, but have yet to find one in Portland.

Best wishes to you.

Apr 29, 2015
by: Samantha

Thank you for your suggestions! Some of these things I have tried. He is not interested in a lot of the fine motor skills activities. I have been trying to get him into that type of stuff since he could pick stuff up and it's often a failure. He does love scooping and dumping dirt and sand! He recently discovered water guns and it was like a light bulb moment for me. I think this will be a great tool for helping work those muscles for fine motor skills.

I am doing research, and looking into more pressure related therapies for him. He also has hyper sensitive hearing. The more I learn about his sensory issues, the more I realize he got them from me. Everything sounds so familiar to me, but no one was diagnosed with this kind of stuff when I was a kid.

He didn't receive his diagnosis until after his 4th birthday, so it's all still pretty new for me. He has a mild to moderate fine and gross motor delay. There is no public help for his needs in my county. The is no public help for children unless they are on public assistance. I have been told there is nothing the school can do for his particular needs. They could help him if it was a cognitive delay.

I am pretty much on my own.

Apr 29, 2015
school system help
by: Anonymous

I forgot to also ask if you have looked at your public school system to see if they offer OT or PT. Usually if there is a gross or fine motor delay of 25% or more they will help you with therapy. Where I live Child Find is what we use. Good Luck!!!

Apr 29, 2015
Things to do at home from one mom to another
by: Anonymous

Hi there,

First off I just want to say I feel for you as I know this is a tough road to go down. I too have a son that has Sensory issues. We got free help until he turned 3 then we tried private but it wasnt much help and with the weekly expense we discontinued it. I have learned a lot a long the way though. There are so many things you can do and books that can help you through it. It is a daily thing that you need to do to help him. A "diet" and of course all diets are different depending on each kids issues and it changes as they change but here are the things that I have done to help different issues.

Overall having heavy play helps with a lot. My son loves to help so I have him push or pull the laundry basket, I have him wheelbarrow to the bathroom to brush his teeth, I roll him up in a blanket and pretend hes a burrito and I pretend to eat him and tell him how yummy he is. He loves this. I put pillows on him and say hes a sandwich and add another pillow or pressure for each topping (cheese, turkey, tomato, lettuce, mustard, bread), I have him use his muscles to push the wall. He loves getting back rubs so I give him one before bed to relax and I give him a body rub with lotion when he gets out of the bath. We did brushings and compression but that didnt seem to help much. I can give you more info on that if you want to try it though.

I try to incorporate ways for him to help with everything I do. He likes this, it gives him purpose, confidence and sometimes gives preconception work. He jumps on the trampoline a lot and when he gets off I have him push something heavy for me or wall push ups. We make it fun (lets see how many we can both do- then I let him do more then me and I tell him how strong he is).

For fine motor I have him color, pick up rice or beans or beads with a large tweezer and then we make necklaces, pictures, etc out of it. I have him string beads on a necklace too. I also have a puzzle board that has a bear with buttons, zippers, snaps, etc that he can use him "pinchers" his two fingers to strengthen. We draw, color, paint as well. He loves to paint cars, airplanes, etc so I buy the little wood ones and he paints them and puts stickers on them. This takes fine motor skills.

For gross motor I play soccer with him and make a game out of how long he can balance on one foot before he kicks the ball. We jump down stairs, and walk up them and count our do the alphabet. I try to do gross motor planning like how to get on and off a bike, climb up a play structure at the park, etc. There are so many fun things to do to help our little ones grow and develop. It takes constant work but its worth it when you see them accomplish something. I hope this helps. I have tons of ideas. I can look at the books I have too. I have bought everything on SPD, anxiety, etc through amazon. Oh yeah consistent schedules work great for us, reminders of changes help with transitions.

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