Not understanding Sensory Processing Disorder

by Michelle
(Niagara Falls, ontario)

My son is 16 and in grade 11, when he was in grade 9, 14yrs old the resource teacher in his school called me in for a meeting. When I arrived she told me she had sat at the back of his class without him knowing and watched him throughout his class. She believes he had a sensory processing disorder. She said he can't sit still and always figgity and always touching stuff. I had never heard of this before but when my husband and I look back we remembered he's always up and down doesn't sit still and when he watches tv he always has to have some in his hands.

We've also always had problems with him in school but some of his teachers just called him lazy! He has a difficult time working in full class setting. He's been tested twice for ADHD and both time were negative. We've also tried different textures on his pencil(helped a little) music while he does work(seems to help) and therapy putty seems to help but he's still struggling in school. Any suggestions??

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May 23, 2014
Is it SPD??
by: S. Roman MA OTRL

You might want him to get screened by an Occupation therapist (OT) to see if he needs to be evaluated. Did you look at the "Symptom Checklist" on this website? If he receives several checks on this list and these sensory avioidances or seeking behaviors disrupts his daily life or academics, I would suggest an OT evaluation. Also, find out which classes or homework assignments he fidgets the most with. If he struggles mostly with tasks that require copying from the board, written tasks or reading that require eye convergence and eye tracking, or if he has any troubles with catching/hitting small balls,have the OT check his eye-pursuits and have his eyes/vision tested by an optometrist. An OT will also check his muscle tone to see if he is fidgeting because of postural control. An OT will also look into other sensory seeking (i.e. touching/tactile or auditory etc,)behaviors. Good luck, Sheryl

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