Hello, I have a 6 yr old boy with PDD-NOS and quite severe SPD. When he was 2 1/2 he went from being very social to having a meltdown if any woman other than me, his mom, spoke to him or touched him. Gradually that improved but at the same time he began saying he didn't like my face whenever I looked concerned or said "No". Now he says that I have "the wrong face" and avoids looking at me. Everyday he tells me that he doesn't like me anymore.
When I pressed him for specific reasons he says that it is my breath, my face, my voice, and everything that I do. Of course I brush my teeth, take care not lean closely to him when I speak and make sure that I am very clean. He has suggested that my husband find a new wife, thoughtfully explained how I could die in a few different ways and glares at me if I make any attempt to talk with him when his dad is around. He told me today that he stopped liking me when he stopped liking hugs.
I am at complete loss as to how I should be responding to this and how I can help him. His OT says that it may be my phernomes that he is reacting to. I feel that he also has difficulty with processing facial expressions. He resembles me a lot and the other day he asked his dad "why do people like me if I have a face like this?"
Your son is exactly where he needs to be... in OT. I am curious... how long has he been in OT? All four years? If this is the case, I wonder... is he receiving the proper treatments in OT? What therapies/treatments/programs has she done with him? What has improved? What hasn't (besides the facial expressions, etc. you wrote about here)?
Have you done The Wilbarger Brushing Protocol
with him? Intensely? Consistently? Did it/has it helped? If your OT did not do this with him I am inclined to wonder why not?! This would definitely be an important part of therapy for him (from what you have shared so far).
Also, does your son have a sensory diet
Has he done any companion programs; i.e., Therapeutic Listening, EyeQ, Vision Therapy, Brain Gym, The Alert Program, etc.
I am curious to know because if he hasn't, these ARE programs that could definitely help his processing issues, especially his visual processing and defensiveness. It is the underlying sensory processing issues that are causing the major issues he is having with smells, facial expressions, eye contact, tactile defensiveness, visual processing, etc.
His visual processing issues are obvious and he clearly needs therapeutic intervention regarding this. As you search for answers and gather information, please read my newsletter that deals with Visual Processing issues. It is... Issue #011-- Visual Processing Deficits; Often Misdiagnosed, Clearly "Visible
. I think this information will help you tremendously. And, as you have time, I do highly recommend taking the time to read The Jess Oppenheimer story, which is the featured article within that edition of The SPD Companion
(my free monthly newsletter).
Oh, two more things, Naomi. Did you read in my story
that my daughter literally decides whether she likes people based on their faces and the sound of their voice? She often rejected her dad for this very reason. She would say things like, "I have to get used to him" when she was asked why she wouldn't hug Daddy when he came home from work or even talk to him for an hour or two. There are certain voices and faces she really can't tolerate (VERY pronounced early on in life!!). But, it has gotten better. Before it was emotionally painful, now it is just somewhat unpleasant, you know? And, my last thought for you? Many kids/adults with SPD have almost another "sense"... when they look at people they literally feel everything they are feeling and it gets quite overwhelming for them. They take in WAY more than we would ever know and they feel WAY more than we can ever truly understand. I can talk about this more if you would like, but just wanted to let you know it is not uncommon!!
I really want to help you. Your pain is just heartbreaking. And your poor boy... it must be so hard and confusing for him too. I really believe the vision therapy and the visual processing issues needs to get going asap.