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sensory hyposensitivity disorder...or an overreaction?

My 6 year old stepson's teacher told me today that she thinks he may have sensory hyposensitivity disorder. I came home and read up on it and I'm really not convinced. Apparently he had a rough day at school today - couldn't seem to keep his hands to himself, etc... Now and then he has days like this but it hasn't been a consistant issue - she told me just yesterday that he was having a great week and suddenly today she thinks he needs to see a therapist for this disorder?!
We were warned at the beginning of the year that this teacher is really strict and that our "spirited" child may have issues in her class. We decided that we didn't have an issue with a strict teacher, but he seems to be in trouble a lot at school and when he tells us what for, it seems like overreaction...talking too much, bugging other kids while in line, running in the classroom, etc... Wouldn't we notice this behavior at home if it were a real issue?

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Asked by stepmom929 at 4:35 PM on Mar. 27, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 12 (920 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • OP here - Just to clarify - I am aware that the behaviors I described are against the rules and that he should be properly disciplined for them at school. My issue is just that he is a 6 year old boy with a big personality and a lot to say - I don't want to squash his personality and turn him into a robot! I understand that his behavior may annoy his teacher but I'm not sure therapy is the answer - especially if they prescribe medication for this issue she thinks he might have.
    I'm just wondering if parents of children with this disorder see obvious issues with their children or if it's possible that it just comes out at school (??) - or if his teacher might be mistaking a kid with a lot of energy with one that has this disorder...... help!!

    Answer by stepmom929 at 4:43 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • Kids with any disorder will have behaviors in all situations. That much I can say. the age of 6 he would be expected to keep his hands to himself and stand in line quietly most of the time, and should not be running in the classroom.

    If he's only not following the rules in school....but he doesn't do those things at home or in other social situations...I'm not sure how to handle it. (here it's consistent we're dealing with it at all times here with the older two)

    There is a huge difference (in my mind) between "squashing his personality" and making him behave in school.

    I hope you're able to find a way to get through to him....

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 6:04 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • Thanks for your response. I do agree that he needs to behave in school - what I meant by squashing his personality was that I don't want him to be put on meds unless he REALLY needs them, and I'm not convinced that he does. I feel like when I read through the list of symptoms I see a few things that he does - but he only does them SOMETIMES. Like spinning in circles - I've seen him doing that before but only maybe 10 times in his life. And as for loud noises - he didn't like the buzzer during basketball - but niether did the other kids on his team, and that's the only sound issue that I've ever seen him have.
    And I do realize that at age 6 he SHOULD be able to stand still in line and not run in the classroom - I'm just saying that I'm not sure that because he's doing these things it means he has a disorder of some kind... I appreciate your opinion - thank you!

    Answer by stepmom929 at 6:13 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • Might I recommend having him evaluated. A teacher can't give you a diagnosis, and she sure can't prescribe medication!

    Have him evaluated and then when you discover that he has no disorder, the next time she brings it up, you can show her the results report and tell her to learn how to do her job because there's nothing wrong with your son!

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 6:33 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • A teacher is NOT a doctor and should NOT be "diagnosing" your child. Also it is pretty rare for a child to have a serious disorder, like she is suggesting, and for it to appear at 6 yrs old and only at school. What is the teacher doing to help him to re-direct his high energy in appropriate places? It sounds like the warnings were right. I have a first grade boy who fits the "spirited" definition perfectly! I'm so glad that his teacher is understanding and knows how to help a child with this kind of personality and temperment.

    Perhaps you can suggest a meeting with you, the teacher, and the principal.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 7:04 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • Perhaps she is seeing him in a completely different environment than you are. At the same time, if you've looked at some of the checklists available online and don't see a correlation with your child, trust your Mommy instincts. You are and will always be your boys biggest advocate.
    I take exception to her attempting to give him a diagnosis in an area she probably has very little training (a weekend continuing education class, perhaps) An occupational therapist (extensive training required) would be able to tell you if they see a problem with any of the sensory processing disorders. They won't evaluate or treat without your consent or authorization. You can authorize for an evaluation only if that's what you decide to do. On the flip side, IF she is right and the issue is sensory related, they don't medicate for that and it IS manageable through techniques you can implement at home and she can implement in the classroom.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:31 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • Yes I believe you would notice it at home first!

    Answer by Shoremom29 at 1:55 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

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