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New Here - Gifted? & SI issues child

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
It's my first time on this forum. Our son has always been really advanced and never had any real issues. he started to studder pretty badly a few months ago so we referred ourselved to the early intervention program to see if we could get some speech therapy for him. The specialists who all came at first kepts saying he would never qualify becuase he was so advanced. He is almost 30 months and scored at 43 months for language and above 36 months (as far as she tested) for his cognitive skills, etc. The speech therapist said she was going to recommend him because he still has some studdering (some has gone away with time) and because he is so advanced, he is very aware of the studdering and it upsets him (he'll get upset and say "I can't say the word"). So, the final therapist came today, and OT and she was sent because some of the opther folks who saw August thought there might be some mild sensory intergration issues. When I read through some of the stuff on SI, he does have many of the characteristics they describe related to the SI (increbily high energy level, loves to spin, swing, doesn' really notice pain, can be very aggressive with other children, has a really hard time sleeping, likes really intense flavors like vinegar, lemons, and spicy food, etc.).

So, they are recommending he get OT - particularly Wilbargers Brushing Program (any one have any experience wih this? Wha is it?).

Anyone else out there with really advanced children who have mild SI issues? Anyone have any experiences with OT for SI - good or bad - to share.

Thanks for letting me join the forum while I process my feelings about this.

(Funny, I was really okay with the speech therapy but I'm having a lot of feelings about this OT/SI stuff).


post #2 of 8
Have you read "The Out-of-Synch Child" by Kranowitz (?) or "The Quirky Child"? I just returned this one to the library, and I don't remember the author. Either would be a good starting point for research. My 8 YO has a cluster of symptoms that does not fit any diagnosis too well, especially since he changes so from day to day! Those books have helped me be less concerned about a label, and more focused on his strengths and needs. He has incredible insight and depth of thought, yet can hardly write his name. I am blessed that I can homeschool the Dumplings, radical unschooling really, so he doesn't have to spend 6 hours a day being reminded about what he cannot do. The speech stuff seems to be resolving itself, especially in our low stress environment. He was in speech therapy for almost 4 years, age 3 - 6, with no noticable improvement. Now, most of the time, most people can understand most of what he says. OT seemed to focus on maintaining him in a classroom, a very specific kind of behavior that he just cannot do. He and I are both relieved to be free from that situation, and he is finding an interest in science and history at a near-adult level. I guess the point of all this rambling is that one approach to a kid not fitting well in the structure, is to tailor the life to the kid, rather than try to squeeze the kid into the life.

I hope I didn't sound anti-therapy or judgemental about different people's needs. Just wanted to throw out the thought that different is not always a bad thing. Sounds like your kid has some great strengths too - don't forget that in the mass of diagnoses!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I read "The Out of Sync Child" last night fter I put ds to bed. It was interesting. He has some of those things (although very mildly and certianly not in a way that is currently "disfunctional"). I'll be interested to see what the therapists do with him and what, if any, changes come from it.

I totally agree that difference is good, and fear the idea that everyone needs therapy so we can all be "normal". Have no fear, that is not happening here! But, it will be interesting to see how he reacts to it, if he likes it, if it is noticable, etc. We'll see.

The funny thing is, and the OT who did the evaluation also mentioned this, is that we never even notice most of the things that are getting him labeled "disordered" because out parenting style is so much about listening to what August wants/needs and following his lead (in much the same way you seem to be talking about with your son). So, when she would ask us about things we would have to really think about it because they were things we never even really notice (except, of course, the fact that he still wakes 3-5 times and night and that he will randomly hit other children is very odd ways - we notice these).

Thanks for your imput, it is nice to hear from other parents with this.


post #4 of 8
My son is 2.5 and has been in OT once a week for a couple of months now, and also gets brushed a couple of times a day at school... he is also in a special needs preschool 5 mornings a week, and has an extra speech session one afternoon and an extra special ed session at home another afternoon... and in all this barrage of education and therapy for such a little guy, the OT session is THE HIGHLIGHT of his week. He LOVES it. She seems to basically do things that make him feel good, like deep pressure, jumping, swinging etc, while introducing tiny bits of things that he is averse to, and getting his brain to accept that he's not about to die if it detects these sensations. So for example, he loves to swing but is terrified of getting in shopping carts or unfamiliar strollers, and god forbid a ride at the mall. So she puts him in a swing sort of like a tire swing, hanging from one point in the ceiling, and starts off back and forth, but then builds up to swinging in odd patterns round and round, meanwhile pushing in a jolting way every now and then to jolt him off the predictable line. And because he's very comfortable there, he LOVES it. Laughs and giggles the whole time. The idea, as I understand it, is to help his brain build new pathways and connections, so that various sensations are not perceived as threats or out of proportion.

I would recommend OT for every kid, special needs or not! It's so much fun, he has no idea he's getting therapy. I see a lot of kids while we're there (there's an observation window into the big gym with a few pairs of therapists/kids) and I talk to the other mothers, and they all love it. It just seems to be so great for the kids.

As for the brushing, I've never heard the Wilbarger's name but it's probably the same as what we're doing - it's for tactile sensitivity... either giving them sensations they are craving, or getting them used to sensations they are averse to. My ds is very tactile defensive, he used to scream like he was dying every time I put his shirt on (he spent the entire summer shirtless, as you can imagine!). Now, after having been in OT and having the brushing, he only screams when he is having a bad day. On good days he will actually help me put it on! which I would have paid you good money would never happen. You just take a baby hair brush like they give you in the hospital, and brush his body, down the body, down the arms, fairly firmly, while he's doing something else - at school they do it while he's listening to a book. He seems to like it! I've heard that some kids like a rougher sensation, such as with a dry bath mitt on bare skin - they find it very soothing and organizing.

Anyway I would welcome the OT if I were you - your kid will find it fun, and you will see results I'm sure. Good luck!
post #5 of 8
Hi! I don't have much time but wanted to say hello. My oldest dd Abi has tested as gifted and also diagnosed with SID. I'm currently homeschooling her at Kindergarten but she's reading at early first grade level.

My youngest dd Nitara also has SID and is getting home therapy. The therapist has been helping me with Abi as well, "off the record" since Abi doesn't qualify for early intervention anymore because of her age. It's been such a wonderful thing.

Before I end and go put Abi to bed, I just wanted to share that we got Abi a dog for her birthday and it was a great decision! We found a nice family dog and those two stick together like glue. Abi pets the dog and that satisfies a need in her and she hardly ever rubs her privates anymore. Her behavior is better, her self esteem is boosted that the dog is her friend. She also likes to lead the dog around the house on a leash (sometimes teh dog walks her!) and the pulling also is a great way to satisfy her sensory needs.

Both Abi and Nitara like deep pressure from being rolled in a blanket and then I lay pillows over them and put my body gently over that. Nitara likes me to work up and down her arms and legs, squeezing firmly. They both like to swing on the swingset and that has helped a lot with behavior. I swing them for about a hour total a day over several short sessions.

Abi likes to wear a backpack with books in it. She discovered this all on her own, long before I heard about weighted vests. We have a vest on loan but she prefers her backpack.

post #6 of 8
i came here to post a thread similar to yours, but skimmed the 1st page, and saw this, so i'll join in...

back in aug/sept, i started noticing "weird" things about my now 3yo ds. he can't handle loud noises, cant stand to go backward, like in a shopping cart or playground swing, and just recently cant handle water on his head/face in the tub or the a/c in the back of our van to blow anywhere near him. even when the vent closest to him is closed, the whining noise drives him batty. 2 days ago i had early intervention in my home to do a screening. on their quiz, 0-5 is ok, he was a 19. so next tues is his formal eval. problem is, his intelligence is extremely high (9yo ds is in gifted at school, i see the same for 3yo) and his development is highly advanced. he is exhibiting 4-4.5 yo behaviors. the cw does not think he'll qualify for OT, as he does not have a minimun 25% defecit (really no deficit). but he still has "issues" even if its not out and out SID. what i do if they wont give him OT? he still does not have a PCP, so until i pick one, i cant ask him/her for anOT rx. is there anything i can do myself at home? TIA
post #7 of 8
Hi and welcome!

My dd is also gifted and has SID. There are support threads for each - I don't post in the gifted thread because her giftedness (is that a word???) is not challenging to me - her SID is.

My DD is an OT success story - we did it and we have "graduated". I can't tell you how remarkable the difference is, really incredible! My DD, who could never go to a birthday party, went to a dance party on Saturday night with strobe lights, loud music and a darkened room (she used to freak out in the dark). Not only did she tolerate it, she loved every minute!

My DH was very opposed to having her "labeled" but in fact - so was I. I didn't want her to be the weird kid who can't go to a birthday party or sit in a movie theater (not that an adult would call her weird, I didn't want her peers to label her). Thanks to the magic of OT, the only people who know about her SID struggles are me and her dad - not even her teacher needs to know.

Come on over to the SID thread and ask questions - the women there are the real experts and will help ease your way.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Gret to see so many responses. We haven't started OT yet but I am trying to get it soon. I'll check out the SID thread!

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