Previously Well Child with SPD Symptoms

by Melissa

Last spring, my 11 year old son began suffering from severe migraines and vertigo. He then had a severe side effect from prophylactic medicine for the migraines/vertigo that set him down a path of panic attacks and anxiety. It has been rough. I am starting to wonder if he is suffering from some sensory dysfunction issues since this past March-May. While the migraines and vertigo have subsided, he is still on the road to recovery with anxiety. These are the new issues we are seeing in our son that seem to all be sensory related:

He used to love long showers, now complains that the shower is very painful to his skin (now resists showers and is very quick).

Not that he was ever the toughest kid, but he now seems overly sensitive to pain. Any bump/bruise/scratch/injury becomes a major issue. This is hindering his ability to return to sports and even participate in PE.

Once a very snuggly child, he now visibly cringes/shakes if you give him a pat on the back or a hug.

He now has problems regulating his temperature (shivering cold or beyond miserable in the heat).

Is now sensitive to bright light, especially stage type lights (also a headache trigger).

He is also sensitive to sounds (i.e. loud talking, the swooshing sound that I made when straightening the silk draperies, etc.).

He is having difficulty with fine motor skills, especially his hand writing, as well as gross motor, especially balance.

I have seen all of these items on SPD checklists. Does this sound like SPD to your or just signs of an anxious child? We do not want to put him through any testing/therapy unless we feel strongly that it will help him. Is it possible that our son's medical issues (many of which were neurological) triggered SPD? Any thoughts on how to make him feel better or desensitize his reactions to stimuli?

From what I have read, anxiety and giftedness are 2 traits that predispose our son to SPD. Thanks in advance!

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Aug 28, 2011
Vestibular Dysfunction and SPD
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your reply and well wishes Kim. We immediately took him off of the offending medicine that caused the anxiety/panic attacks, but he did not immediately improve. He still suffers from pretty severe anxiety months later. The other symptoms pre and post dated the medication, so I do not think they are related.

I am concerned that if he is having sensory issues that are causing a fight/flight reaction, then it will be very difficult for him to fully recover from the anxiety.

Our son was diagnosed with vestibular dysfunction last April, so I cannot help but wonder if it is related to his SPD type symptoms.

What is an OTR?

Thanks again!

Aug 28, 2011
Well it seems
by: Anonymous

that the meds started it.... OR exaggerated it....
Wean him off slowly and completely, after a few months , see if those issues go away.
If not, then go have an evaluation from an OTR.
And take it from there..
God Bless you and your family :)

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