Originally Posted by SpottedFoxx
OP - One thing I just thought of - many kids who fall on the spectrum have sensory issues (that's where the OT would come in handy). While I get that it's expensive and that if it's not covered by insurance, it's a no go. However, the nice thing about sensory issues is that you can sometimes manage them yourself. Get yourself a copy of "The Out Of Sync Child". Once you are done that get "Out of Sync Child Has Fun" (if you are not a big reader - the the fun book as it gives a high level overview of sensory processing issues in the beginning). The Fun book has tons of sensory activities you can do with your son to help regulate his neurological system so that his behaviors will calm down a bit. Keep in mind, if he does have SPD, then the behaviors (called stimming) won't go completely away but your goal is to make them less extreme.
I second it and have a copy both at home and at work. A sensory diet really helped my DD, as well as therapudic brushing (which is dependent on the child- she was tactilely defensive). We also use a weighted blanket and an indoor swing (IKEA) at home-- both have been easy to implement and inexpensive. For my DD and her particular needs- these were good solutions that I would not have thought of. Did they make some of the issues we were dealing with go away- no, but they did get better and her ability to self-regulate also improved.
As for OT. Check with Easter Seals, nearby Childrens Hospitals, etc. Often they will do a sliding scale- esp. if insurance does not cover services. Most insurances dont cover under SPD, but will under the ASD spectrum. Have you contacted your local ASD parent group? Often they have a wealth of information on OTs, home programs, services, meds, school programs, social skill classes, etc that they can share with you. It can make a big difference too to just *talk* to someone that is facing issues that are similar to your own.
Even local universities often have ASD programs (if they have a teaching program) and/or afterschool groups for kiddos on the spectrum. Our area had a fabulous free play group that was run by OT doing a Masters program on ASD. It was not publicized, but when I called the local childrens rehabilitation clinic- they referred me. Call around and explain that you do not get school services for OT but are on a limited budget. See what they can dig up for you- you may be surprised! Some areas have more to offer than others, but I hope you are in an area that has more than you think. =]
Per the sensory stuff: also our area has 'Special Needs' nights at places like Jump N Play, bowling, movies , etc. This is a nice place to go and be able to do 'sensory' stuff (we have not done the movies, but the Jump N Play is fabulous for SPD!!) with other kiddos and families.
Sometimes it can be so isolating to face some of the challenges SN families do-- to be with other families can be therapudic all on its own!
I , too, agree with Melissa. If the Dr is suggesting medical testing. I would pursue what you are comfortable with. We have found that some testing has lead us to treat symptoms differently than we would have given different information. Both my DDs have had MRIs and EEGs (as well as other testing). They were informative and non-invasive while providing a wealth of information. She is also correct that any Dr you see will look at the same information and possibly give you a completely different treatment plan! You want to make sure you have all the information.
Yes, often the schools will not offer it if there is not an educational impact. Does your DS have an IEP or 504? I would look into that if you have a Dx. That will get you access to some supports in school and/or allow for some modifications that may relieve some stress that is spilling over at home. Even a social skills group through the school social worker could help.
Although diet did not make a difference in my DD. Have you looked at outside allergies? Like pollen? I know everyone in our family is suffering from seasonal allergies this time of year. Both DD take allergy meds to help control their reactions. Without the allergy meds, they dont sleep and *everything* escalates a lot faster. One DD simply can not handle the 'itchy ear/eye' that comes with allergies. Her quality of life is so much happier when she is not completely distracted by physical sensations. FWIW : we tried homeopathic remedies for seasonal allergies and again did not have positive results., though I do know they work for some people/families.