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any experience with sensory process concerns?

the preschool recommended my son see an occupational therapist. i thought he had ADHD. They think it might be sensory issues -- he takes huge physical risks, feels little pain, very high activity, no impulse control, always touching things and moving -- i'm a little overwhelmed. does anyone else have a kid like this? any advice?

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:11 PM on Jul. 9, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • An occupational therapist will evaluate him to see if he has some sort of tactile disorder. It's a good place to start.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:15 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • My son doesn't have this problem, but it can't hurt to have an evaluation done. Sensory processing disorders can range from very mild to very severe and can affect children in many different ways. Often times this leads to frustration in both the children and adults, because if a child doesn't understand what's going on/what's wrong then they become overwhelmed, which then falls on the parents to deal with an overwhelmed confused child. Getting an evaluation and any testing necessary will help alleviate the unknown fears, the "what if" worst thoughts every mother has, and will also help your son get on the road to recovery and possibly a safer lifestyle. Its not that children "recover" from sensory issues, but if there's a lack of pain teaching him how to be more careful, and the understanding of why to be more careful will be helpful to everyone involved. I wish you and your son the best!

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 9:17 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • Yes. My son was diagnosed with Regulatory Function, Impulsive Type at 21 months and on the autism spectrum at 3. My oldest had severe sensory issues and in OT for years before she was tested by the school at 4. She is also on the autism spectrum. OT helped them both but my daughter also required special ed due to the sensory issues and ADHD symptoms. My son is 4 now and doing well in his preschool. He gets ST only now. He has grown out of a lot of his original issues.

    Answer by jthor at 11:03 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • Yes. My son has SPD, on the milder end of the spectrum, but no less disruptive to him and his life. Go see an OT, and talk to the school to see what they will offer him in regards to help. Not all states recognize SPD as something needing help, so if your school has an OT, you need to work with them should the private OT dx your son. As well, you will need to liason between both OTs, and the teacher.

    It has been a frustrating year for me dealing with this, but our OT is really helping him become more physically confident and comfortable, which has led to more overall confidence and comfort within himself. We also do tae kwan do which is right along with the movement exercises and has really been a positive influence.

    An interesting thing I recently read about SPD kids is that they can be control freaks, because they cannot control their bodies, so they try to do so with everything else. It makes sense for my son.

    Answer by LiliM at 1:38 AM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • Also, if he cannot get an IEP, look into using a 504 to get him what he needs from a therapeutic standpoint. My state will not allow and IEP for SPD, and had I not gotten an awesome school OT, I was prepared to go the 504 route to get him what he needed to make school better.

    I have had nothing but positives with our OT - we keep a notebook in which I record our movement diet, and what is going on with him on a daily basis. The Head OT and our OT work closely with us (we have a private OT doing the therapy) as do our TKD instructors. All my friends and playgroup mommies are aware of his challenges, and are all good about helping me to address things with him.

    Do a lot of reading, and enlist those around you to help out, and let them know what to expect, even if it is not major. My support system has been great, and it reinforces all he learns from me and therapy to get it from other adults.

    Good luck.

    Answer by LiliM at 1:42 AM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • My son has sensory processing issues. He is 11. If you want to chat about it pm me. :)

    Answer by SusieD250 at 1:58 AM on Jul. 10, 2009

  • Some things that have worked for us:
    Mini trampoline (We homeschool, and we used that to help with learning. Bounce and memorize math facts at the same time.)
    Sit and spin
    Exercise ball. (My son sits on it to do desk work. Helps to focus.)
    LIMIT computer and tv time!!
    Make sure he gets A TON of exercise. His body craves it.
    Your OT will give you exercises, DO THEM WITH HIM.
    Above all, be patient.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 2:03 AM on Jul. 10, 2009

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