SPD And Language Delays
My son, AJ, was recently diagnosed with the following:
1. Developmental Delay (not pervasive)
2. Mixed Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder
3. Idiosyncratic Autistic Behaviors (not Autistic)
4. Sensory Integration Dysfunction
This week we went to a Children's Therapy center and AJ was evaluated for speech therapy and OT. He will begin getting both therapies, twice a week, next week.
My question has to do with his language skills. So much of what I have read on this site and others, is very helpful, but there is virtually no mention of children, like AJ, who have SPD and also a language disorder. I feel sometimes that he suffers even more because much of the time he cannot even tell me what is bothering him. He is almost 3 1/2 and has finally picked up some words, but he is still very difficult to understand most of the time.
I suppose I just wondered if there were some parents out there who had this problem who could offer me some advice about what to do when he is out of control and cannot tell me what is causing problems for him.
Since reading (a ton!) of information about SPD, I have found that when he's upset, it helps to just lay on top of him. I remembered that he always likes to hug me that way at night, and when he wakes up at night, he lays on top of me. However, being able to calm him down doesn't address the issue that I often don't know what set him off in the first place.
Just for background info:
AJ, as a baby, reached many of his milestones just before it was time to really worry. For example, he sat up at 9 months, army crawled until 12 months when he finally got on all fours, then walked at 16 months.
As far as language goes, it seemed apparent to me that he was behind, but people (and doctors I might add) would tell me he was just a boy, and launch into a story about how their son/grandson/nephew/etc. didn't talk until they were three years old.
Problem is, 3 has come and gone, and he is just now beginning to understand some things, but still doesn't talk understandably very much. ECI worked with us from the time he was 2 until he was 3, at which time he was evaluated by the school and I was informed that he no longer required any more help. (Never mind that I've now been told by a developmental pediatrician that he has the language skills of a 24 month old!) So we are waiting to be reevaluated for that. He did make some huge improvements from 2 to 3, but they all had to do with his social skills.
I have since realized that he was experiencing some trauma due to the life we lived when I was still married to his father, and now that we have removed ourselves from that situation, he is much happier.
So that's us, and I would love to get any suggestions any of you
have to offer. Or just to read your story. Sometimes I feel a little down when all I read about is "gifted" children who have SPD. AJ may not be "gifted" as far as speaking and learning goes, but he is a gift in all the lives that he is a part of.
A language disorder AND SPD is so common! You are definitely NOT alone by any stretch of the imagination.
The differences and underlying causes of receptive/expressive language disorders and auditory processing delays, since we very frequently see auditory processing issues in our SPD kiddos.
A receptive/expressive language disorder can coexist with auditory processing issues but one would not 'cause' the other. Auditory processing may look like a receptive language delay to some degree, however, with a comprehensive evaluation it should be possible to determine which is the primary deficit.
For "central auditory processing" which I assume is the type of auditory processing you are referring to-- where the brain does not always process the auditory message correctly (not to be confused w/ a hearing loss because they would have normal hearing acuity) that is diagnosed by an audiologist and requires that the child be 8 years of age for the assessment to be most reliable (some audiologists will do it earlier but the reason for waiting has to do with maturation of the neural pathways).
Given her son's age, other diagnoses, and the expressive language disorder, as well as receptive, I would not suspect an auditory processing delay at this time.
As far as an underlying cause for the language disorder that could be any number of factors!
Hope that makes some sense and is helpful.
Keep those words in mind as he matures... auditory processing, as it may be something to keep your eye on. Information regarding auditory processing, even now, in my opinion, may very well help you.
It is common with SPD kiddos who have difficulty processing any of so many types of sensory input and messages. Some of the tips and tricks for helping kids with language disorders such as your son's can also be similar to those with an auditory processing delay, so I thought you may find more information about other kids with SPD and language delays by doing some research into this as well.
Even though it is NOT the diagnosis he has, or may ever have, the information may still be "relevant".
One more thought regarding treatment and help... please make sure the OT and SLP are both addressing the underlying SPD in his treatment sessions. Watch what they do in therapy and do the same things at home. Get involved in the therapy as much as you possibly can. And get a good home program going that complements what they do in his therapy sessions. Progress will be much faster the more invested you are.
Your experiences with your son are very common and with the help of therapy and other parents who share similar struggles, things WILL get better, they will. Your relationship and understanding of him will only get better from here with therapy.