Can you have sensory processing disorder and no ASD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-17-2009, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted about my 3 year old son's feeding problems. This is the only area that he has trouble in, but I got many replies where children had SPD and ASD. Do they go hand in hand? Could I be missing that he may be on the spectrum and not have noticed it?
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#2 of 9 Old 11-17-2009, 04:24 PM
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So I am also questioning if my son is on the spectrum. Last night I had a long conversation with an OT. She told me that pretty much EVERY kid who is on the spectrum has some sensory issues, but NOT every kid who has sensory issues is on the spectrum. Hope that helps. Have you had him evaluated?
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#3 of 9 Old 11-17-2009, 05:17 PM
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I definitely agree with AP ToddlerMama. I've had about 10 years of teaching kids with autism and sensory issues. Every child on the spectrum I've ever met has sensory issues but I've also met many children with sensory issues who are don't have anything else in common with kids on the spectrum.

There are many physical and psychological reasons that children can be born with or develop specific sensory issues. Medical treatments as infants/children, physical anomolies causing pain or trouble with a particular sensory system, bad experiences with a particular issue (abuse, neglect, or parental enforcement of something unpleasant and uncomfortable leads to trouble with that sensory system in general), or just a hardwiring in the brain of a hypo or hyper reaction to certain stimuli.

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#4 of 9 Old 11-17-2009, 05:40 PM
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I think there was a study done where 80% of kids with ASD also have sensory processing problems, but most kids with SPD do NOT have ASD (in the study, none of the kids did). So yes, it is absolutely possible to have SPD and not ASD.

Having said that, in my experience with my son, the lines can definitely be blurred a bit.
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#5 of 9 Old 11-18-2009, 02:18 AM
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I've got a kid with definite sensory issues and some dyspraxia. He does not have autism.

Now, I will admit that some days, he looks close. But we had him evaluated this summer for anxiety, and one of the diagnoses that was considered was autism, and he clearly fell outside the range of autism/Asperger's for his social communication. So, his major issues ARE sensory. And probably anxiety too (though I think at the core, they may be related, because it's an issue of overexcitabilty/overstimulation and difficulty regulating 'input', whether that's sensory or emotional).

So, I've got a lovable, quirky kid with definite sensory issues.

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#6 of 9 Old 11-18-2009, 07:09 PM
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I've got a kid with AS and SPD and a daughter with anxiety and SPD.

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#7 of 9 Old 11-18-2009, 09:34 PM
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My kid has crazy severe SPD, but definitely doesn't have autism. Her OT and everyone else who is reasonably knowledgeable about SPD have been pretty adamant about this point; occasionally I run into a doctor who thinks that SPD means your kid is on the spectrum, but that doctor is just plain wrong. And if you have a SN child, it's best if you learn quickly that doctors are often wrong.
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#8 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 12:09 AM
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Both my sister and I have SPD and we don't have ASD. We both have dyslexia, as do all three of our sisters. My son has ADHD, SPD, and an expressive speech delay. Yup, sounds like he could have PDD-NOS, but the older he gets, the less it seems he does. Three specialists said he didn't have ASD, one said he did.
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#9 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 09:35 PM
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My son has some sensory issues (not as bad as some, but bad enough to get OT in school for a year). No autism. Definitely not.

I have joked that he's at the ultraviolet or infrared end of the spectrum. He is "quirky" -- he's geeky and socially awkward, he had meltdowns and funny habits as a preschooler, but he does not have nearly enough diagnostic critera to rate an autism diagnosis.

My whole family has sensory issues -- when I described what SID was to my parents, they both said "Oh! I remember when I was a kid..." and proceeded to rattle off a list of sensory issues that would make your eyes whirl. But we're definitely not autistic.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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