Possible SPD in 7 month old infant

by Janine

I just read about SPD in the most recent issue of Today's Parent (Canadian Magazine). My son has several of the infant SPD checklist symptoms. He had full blown colic for the first 4 months of his life, but now, he is a very different baby from all the other ones in our mom's groups


#1 major difficulty falling asleep. Right now, he will only fall asleep if outdoors surrounded by white noise, but must not be anyone talking. He will only fall asleep vertically in my arms while bouncing/walking or in the baby carrier while nursing. This is a huge stressor. I can put him asleep by a walk around the block or bouncing on our stoop, but when we are out in public, it becomes very difficult to create the conditions for him to sleep, especially if there are any sudden noises... even if they are not loud

#2 extreme sensitivity to sound. We cannot do many social events, as he becomes very agitated by the sound of voices. Certain peoples laughter or vocal tones will cause him to wail. On the flip side, he is soothed by my voice. Singing softly to him will immediately calm him down when fussy.

#3 lagging behind physically: all the other babies are crawling, he still won't tolerate being on his belly for more than a few minutes. He is very floppy and wobbly. He can sit up now and has strength, but not much co-ordination.

#4 lagging in starting solids: spat everything out and made faces for a whole month. I'm a chef, and I was crushed. I made the most delicious yummy baby food, and he rejected it all. Turning up his nose, or crying if I tried to feed him.

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Jan 05, 2017
Two boys SPD
by: Erika

I have two boys. One was diagnosed this past year with autism. He has SPD as well as a severe language disorder. He is now three. When he was a baby, he had latch feeding issues and had to have supplemental syringe feeding and would only latch using a nipple shield. He cried for hours in the beginning until I figured out a system to help him cope with his sensory issues. I had to cover the windows in our bedroom so no light would peer in. I had a fan to create white noise and that helped him sleep better. Getting him to sleep was a real challenge and still is. Today, he is prescribed Melatonin to help him fall asleep. He still wakes at least 3 times a night. He has food issues still and can't handle pungent smells. He has many sensory issues to this day.

My newest son is 7 months old. He is meeting all of his gross motor milestones but still has some sensory integration issues. He cries when I feed him baby food. And will only happily eat crackers. He doesn't like car seats, high chairs or anything that you'd normally sit a baby in. He also has sleep disturbances and wakes up roughly every 45 minutes to an hour and needs the above routine in order to sleep at all. This really isn't the half of it. Between the both of them, it's extremely challenging. If anyone experiences any of these traits should seek out a developmental pediatrician. They could have SPD. It's a real disorder although it's not officially accepted in the DSM yet.

Aug 06, 2008
Ideas for evaluation
by: Debbie

Hi Janine -

You have legitimate concerns. It does sound like your baby has some sensitivity as well as sensory-seeking behavior (requiring excessive motion and touch to sleep). Pediatricians often chalk up some of these behaviors as typical, blame it on poor parenting skills, but it's real. It sounds like your baby could benefit by an evaluation by both a pediatric Occupation Therapist for the sensory issues as well as a pediatric physical therapist for the low-tone. I am not familiar with your area, but in New Jersey there is a state run program called "Early Intervention" that does evaluations and provides home therapy for children from birth to age 3 years old. You can ask your doctor if there is an equivalent in your area. Otherwise, it would be good to get a private evaluation or screening done for O.T. and P.T.. I have used P.T. for one of my sons that was born prematurely and had low-tone; and O.T. for my other son that has SPD.

Jul 20, 2008
I've been there
by: Lora

After reading what you are going through with your child, I can say I was honestly there and now what it is that you are dealing with.

Our son will be 6 soon and was just diagnosed with areas of SPD. Like you I had to rock him, bounce him, take him in the car to get him to fall asleep. He had to sit in a car seat upright vertically for the first year of his life to sleep as he was gassy, colicky, etc.! Sometimes it feels like your nerves are being fried!

He is a very, very fussy eater! Only will eat Tomatoes, Cucumbers with Ranch Salad Dressing on it! Eats very few choices of meat.

Likes to have his clothes heated in the dryer no matter what season it is and will ONLY sleep on Fleece Sheets ALL YEAR LONG!

I highly recommend reading this book - Sensational Kids by Lucy Miller! AMAZING and after beginning to read this book I can see our son in this book and what the author writes about.

School was very hard the last two years and now going into grade one I am at a loss as he finally got assessed for SPD just before the school year was done this year and we are on a LONG waiting list for the ONE and ONLY Occupational Therapist who has SPD training where I live and my son will "MAYBE" be seen for OT with her come Fall 2009! Ridiculous. Meanwhile this means another school year from "H..." and constant notes coming home because Teachers are no aware of what SPD is and how it affects children.

I will tell you if SPD is what your child has, remember, it is as if your child is driving a car with no brakes and is constantly ON FAST FORWARD and that sometimes taking a step back some days as he gets older to gain your "nerve" back will be how it is some days. I vividly remember those baby days as to what you are gong through now. Get OT help now so you can have your child learn (as he develops and grows/matures" what it means to live with SPD and to get the help for you as well so you can help your child.
Best of luck.

Remember through it all, no matter how hard the day has been, this child is still your baby and the good will out weigh the bad.

Jul 17, 2008
Feel your concern
by: Anonymous

My son is 3 1/2 and since he was a baby, family and friends always criticized me for sheltering him from the world. I had months of guilt. I stayed home for 4mths from work and I was unable to allow him to go to daycare for the very same reasons. My husband ended up being able to work from home and stays home with him.

When he was an infant, I too had to lay him vertical in my arms and rock him for at least 1 1/2-2 hrs in order to put get him to sleep and put him to bed. For naps, it was him breast feeding and the only way he would continue to sleep was to sit very still and hold him. We had to totally block out any light from our bed room in order to get him to take naps and sleep on a schedule otherwise there's no way he would sleep during sunlight hours. He has never fallen asleep in the sunlight even if in the shade.

We have to have a high powered fan going the entire time he is sleeping otherwise any noise will wake him. All the symptoms you have expressed are exactly four of the traits my son also displays. Even today, he mostly eats soft foods and I still feed him baby food vegetables. I felt like something was wrong with me, but after researching this it's a relief to read others stories and know I'm not alone. Nothing has changed with the sleeping except he's to big to rock so it takes me an hour and a half-two hours to put him to sleep laying next to him. He still wakes through the night and has to be right next to me. As he's gotten older, more and more symptoms are displayed that are on this websites list.

Jun 08, 2008
Another Observation
by: Janine

One more thing about my son is that he is very sensitive to light. He cries when sunlight is on his face. I have to keep him shaded all the time when outside. He cannot sleep in sunlight, only the shade. He won't sleep at night until the sun goes down. SO now that it is summer, it is like 9:30-10:00 when he'll sleep, he wakes up every hour crying, then he'll be up at the crack of dawn. 5:30-6:30. This is much less sleep that any of the babies I know.

I'd appreciate any advice or help. Does this sound like SPD? My doctor dismisses my concerns. Most of my friends think I'm nuts and that I'm imagining these issues. My family is supportive.

I've decided to stay home and not go back to work because I can't imagine him in daycare. Just 5 minutes around other babies and he starts to flip out if they make startling noises or movements. I'm concerned that I'm sheltering him too much from stimulus, but I hate to see him in such pain.

What should I do?

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