What do you make of my daughter 3.5

by Melinda
(Boston, MA)

I am trying to figure out if we are dealing with a sensory issues, possibly, sensory seeking. My DD had severe reflux for the first 12 months of her life, but was basically happy, slept well, and even said 25 words before her first birthday. She met her gross motor milestones at the expected times, but she was less interested in exploring than most toddlers.

She liked to read and was very smart: she knew alphabet, upper and lower case letters, all shapes including ones like pentagon and trapezoid, counting, etc. before she turned two. She loved other people, was outgoing, but didn't seem as coordinated as some kids at the playground. She preferred to swing. She loves swinging, jumping on the trampoline, and spinning on a merry go round or in a spinning chair.

After two, her brain took off: she started reading, spoke in complex sentences, made up rhymes, did 48 piece puzzles, etc. but her emotions were in turmoil (a baby sister arrived during this time). She became volatile and her tantrums were intense. Her energy level and impulse control seemed different than other kids her age. When she was happy, she is REALLy happy, but then can lose a bit of self control. She doesn't hit or bite or throw things or things like that, just becomes wild. She cannot stop talking, singing, etc. Seriously, she talks 14 hours a day and it drains me.

She is very smart and now at

three she can do simple math, count by fives and tens, sound out complicated words, and people are constantly commenting on the things she knows and says, and many people say she is adorable and funny, which she is, but I am always a little tense and worried she is going to have one of her little explosions over nothing or get a little too wound up and lose control. She over-eats on a daily basis and just gave up a pacifier. She always wants to eat or drink something. She hates wearing socks but other than that, she doesn't have anything else she is over sensitive too. She also talks too loud and no matter how many times and ways we asked her to turn down her volume, she is back to LOUD while talking and singing.

She loves to throw toys (in a fun playful way, but more explosive than I like). She goes to preschool a few hours a week and the kids like her, but I worry about her pushing them away because she can sometimes be a little too much. I am not sure what else to add. I know I am lucky she is smart and healthy and loves me, but I want to find something to turn the volume down a little and wonder if this has anything to do with sensory issues.

I am sorry this is so long. If anyone has any constructive thoughts, please share them. Thanks, Melinda

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Aug 23, 2010
wow, I wrote that
by: Melinda

Hi,this is such a trip. I am the original poster and had forgotten I posted this but was doing a google search and this came up on top! My daughter is now 4.5 and was just evaluated today by an OT who recommended treatment. We did see an OT last year who briefly helped her with some gross motor things, but dismissed us before dealing with the issues around regulation, impulse, high activity, etc. so I took her somewhere else just today. I am hopeful that they can help us with the regulation of her intensity. I have wondered about Asbergers, but no one thinks it is worth considering. I think they think I am nuts for suggesting it, but she has some traits along those lines, but since she is so extroverted, and sensitive to people's facial cues, etc. no one (doctors, former OT, etc,) think it is worth investigating. I am not sure. She has a freakish memory, taught herself to read before three years old, etc. She uses words like "configuration" and so on. She may "just" be gifted and have sensory issue, or perhaps it is more. I just need help figuring it out. I am hopeful this new OT will help us. Good luck to all of you out there who are struggling with these issues. Sorry for all the typos in my first post! YIKES, I must have been sleep deprived with my baby.

May 03, 2010
Another idea
by: Anonymous

Hi. Based on her extraordinary verbal abilities, some acting out, difficulty modulating her volume and possibly not absorbing social cues (toys thrown too hard, verbal output), you might want to have your daughter evaluated to rule out anything on the spectrum disorder. As much as I hate to put a label out there, I think it can feel validating and supportive when we figure out what's going on. That being said, you might want google a bit on Aspergers symptoms (one of the spectrum disorders). If the label fits, there are plenty of tools and interventions readily available. In California, we have a local Regional Center that offers support services. Good luck!

Feb 20, 2010
re:what do you make of my daughter 3.5
by: Nicole OT

It sounds as though your daughter may be experiencing sensory processing disorder and may be what it considered as "mixed-responsivity" to sensory inputs...meaning, at times she seeks out additional inputs such as food, gum, noise; while other times she's a sensory avoider such as with touch inputs. I would recommend that you seek an evaluation by a local pediatric occupational therapist. The therapist will interview you, observe/assess your child, and ask that you complete various checklists in order to determine which areas may be influencing your daughter's daily performance and participation.

Feb 15, 2010
does sound like it to me
by: Anonymous

Ya know, it does sound like she has something sensory going on. She seems to be more hypo than hyper. I actually have one of each in my house.
Also, most kids with SPD are above average as well. I would look up in your area for a OT that specializes in spd and get an evaluation. If you can get her into something before she starts kindergarten it will help her make and keep her friends, which is really important once they get into grade school.

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