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Ideas for helping kid with sensory quirks with clothing

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi, my youngest does not have a formal diagnosis of SPD but he definately has always had sensory quirks and did get therapy to help with his eating. (He was incapable of eating anything but breastmilk until 2 years old)  He had that therapy through his first speech therapist.  He's had his other quirks but we've managed to get through them - like wouldn't take a bath due to the water until 2 years old - but now he loves baths!  Rain is an entirely different story though! 


The issue is that his sensory quirks seem to recently be getting worse instead of better.  It used to be enough to wear soft clothing with no tags, but now it's rapidly become worse.  He can't handle shirts - period.  He shrugs his shoulders since the shirts bother him.  I've counted on a couple of occassions and he'll have 20 episodes of shrugging in 5 minutes.  (That's not actual shrugs, that's far, far more.  That's when there's shrugging followed by a few seconds of not shrugging).  I talk to his ST who talked to an OT and gave me the idea of compression shirts and brushing.  I had to order the shirts since no stores had his size so I'm awaiting them.  I also ordered the brushes.  Any other ideas?


At what point do I need to get him evaluated by an OT?  I'm sure our insurance doesn't cover this and the clothing is really the only big issue right now.  But it's turning into a pretty big one.  What worries me is that it's getting worse.  So I also need to know if it's typical to get worse - meaning I would need to look into OT.  Or, does it often improve.  My oldest has sensory issues - and I should have had him evaluated but my old ped was clueless and reassured me too much.  We got through it- but it was a very, very rough time.  His quirks are now managable for both of us. 

post #2 of 3

I would definetely get an eval done.  If you get your ped to send a refferal, most insurance companies will cover this.  But in the mean time, read "The Out of Sync Child".  It is very eye opening and is considered "The Bible"  of sensory processing disorder.  The compression shirts are a very good idea.  Also, there are compression vests, weighted blankets, or anything to add weight.  Underarmor shirts work well for this also.  You could get a few while you are waiting for the others.  The OT will also help with his mouth issues and anything else that arises as well.  And yes, it is very typical for things to get worse over time or have new things arise also. 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

There were not any UA shirts locally in his size.  I called around to several locations.  I used the UA website for suppliers since there's no UA store anywhere near me.  But the suppliers didn't start small enough.  He's been going shirtless at home and that's actually helped a lot.  I realize that doesn't teach him to deal with it but it makes him more comfortable while we're waiting. 


As for getting an evaluation, I would do that if the plan was to do therapy - which I'm uncertain about right now since it's so expensive and I'm not positive on how high the need is. I'm not sure if an evaluation even is really free.  We switched insurances recently and we haven't met the deductable - so if it's chargable in anyway, then we'll be paying for it.  But paying for one eval is different than paying for an OT week after week.  But still, I'd rather only get the eval if the plan was to likely do therapy.  


So, my plan was to try the compression shirts and brushes and keep communicating with his ST who is communicating with an OT.  I was wondering how often parents are able to fix more specific sensory issues, like his clothing issues.  His eating is not an issue at this point.  He still has some minor quirks, but I expect he'll eventually outgrow those - and they're not in the way at all of him getting proper nutrition.  I'll pay for the OT if he really needs it but I'm not sure if he does or if this is an easy fix with the shirts/brushes.  You mentioning that new things arising makes me more nervous about it.  That didn't happen with ODS so I didn't know that was common. 


I have not read that book but have heard many good things about it, so it's on my list of things to do.  I have my share of sensory quirks as well - though not to the point where I'd consider it a disorder.  So that helps since I can be more sympathetic.  (Though the brushing and compression shirts sound like terrible torture to me.  YDS enjoys being held tightly and shoulder/backrubs though and I'm the opposite - so I'm hopeful it will help him).  I did read "Raising Your Spirited Child" when ODS was younger and that was helpful.  It wasn't geared specifically towards sensory issues but still helped give me some perspective on taking my child as he was and realizing certain things were real needs.

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