Tactile and Vestibular/proprioceptive SPD

by Kate
(Salt Lake City, UT)

I have done a tremendous amount of research regarding my 3 1/2 year old daughter. I am trying to find exercises I can do to help her. Her SPD involves all of the senses but we have found ways to manage and work with all of them except for two.

The TACTILE sense seems to be most troublesome when people touch HER. (she is over responsive to touch stimuli) She is very reluctant to give hugs or to let anyone help her with her coat, etc.

What do you suggest?

She is also extremely sensitive on her neck and chin. Can you suggest any exercises or occupational therapies that could desensitize the neck area?

Also, my daughter is extremely fearful of tight spaces or of being "squished" by peers or seat belts, etc. I thought this may be the opposite of vestibular or proprioceptive. Is that possible or does it fall under TACTILE? What exercises can I introduce to help her?

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Feb 20, 2009
My Heart Goes Out to You
by: Jeanne

My daughter, 4 1/2, is similar. It is hard to see the gift of a kiss or a hug be painful.

When she became 3 she began to socially shutdown. At 3 1/2 she shutdown from us,her parents. IT is hard to think about her withdrawal last year. Thinking of how she protected herself hurts my heart.

I truly believe my perception of her idea:if she looked at anyone, they would be interested in her,then she was going to be hurt from the experience.Even when I kissed her cheek while she was sleeping the discomfort was displayed.

Arm flapping,finger flicking,spinning,repetitive words or phrases, odd giggling, eating paper and other small items began last spring. Her language was disappearing. Echo sounds from bathrooms and church became a problem. Our awesome eater became picky. She wanted to be naked at home. Emotional meltdowns were increasing.

What has helped?

Please know everyone is an individual despite similarities. Here it is: OT, SP/L,Maximum doses of B6, additional supplements are magnesium,omega 3's,mult. vit.,and benefiber (for constipation),lots of physical play that changes frequently to distract her from the discomfort (sledding,swinging,many balls,climbing,hammock, rolling on the floor/hills,wrestling,carrying groceries,swimming,making sandwiches with large pillows,etc.).

Coloring/writing w/markers, playdough,baking,pulling out the baby teething toys,chewing on an old hose from the breast pump, popcorn,carrot sticks,straws,dress up including several types of scarves,vibrating toothbrushes (princess theme and we call it the tickle brush), painting, etc.

We try to link anything to pretty,pink and princesses. We hug her differently. I place my arms under hers and hug her body,or place my arms around hers w/my elbows out wide and place pressure on the center of her back.

One night I asked to see her hand and told her I had a present for her. She extended it,I gently opened the fingers, placed a kiss on it,then I closed her hand and placed it over her heart.I said, "This is a gift from my heart to yours." She LOVED it... She did the same for my hand and I placed her gift on my heart.

This new routine made kisses/hugs tolerable. Now she regularly gives kisses. She no longer meets the criteria of autism. She loves preschool. She still has sensory issues.Many are gone,tolerated, and improving.

One of the biggies is the B6. If I decrease it by a small amount all of the classic autistic behavior returns. The doctors call her a mystery because of the improvement. I call it prayer,research,and open minded attempts to try whatever seems to be able to help my girl. We continue to research and do what we can w/a limited budget.

My mom helped us fund making a sensory room. The room contains many climbing and swinging items. We look at sensory and autism sources for ideas and build it ourselves or go to general ebay sites and stores like LOWES. My mother-in-law found a swing in LTDcommodities for $8.It was $160 in an autism site.

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