Hi! My 4yo is sensory-seeking -- but she does occasionally seem sensory-defensive. I.e, she usually hasn't liked for me to sing for her, though she enjoys singing herself and enjoys music.
She now likes to be read to some -- but when she was younger she used to get upset if I tried to read to her (or tell her stories) -- she would take the books out of my hand and "read" them to herself. She loves me telling her stories now.
She also enjoyed throwing and dumping food and drinks well beyond the age when this was considered normal toddler behavior.
As far as OT -- I initially found it helpful because I learned lots of good exercises to help dd to feel where her body was in space, and get the contact and resistance activities she needed to get her sensory needs met. I initially found the OT helpful in increasing my understanding of my child.
But then our particular OT seemed to get increasingly wrapped up in asserting her dominance over my dd. The sessions became more about "kinderdarten readiness" than about the activities that were so helpful to my child.
Even though the OT knew we homeschooled, she just thought it was so important for all children to learn that they had to sit down when adults wanted them to sit down, and not get up 'til the adults said they were done and excused them.
And I finally said that I understood her focus, and didn't want to ask her to go against her conscience when she felt the school-readiness was so important. But that just wasn't what I felt we were needing.
So I said I'd greatly appreciate any materials she could recommend to help me better understand my sensory-seeking child, and I'd go ahead and keep working with her at home and discontinue the therapy.
And this is what works for us. I don't want to be pessimistic, but I get so tired of dealing with folks who think I'm too gentle with my child. I sure don't need it from people who I'm trying to get help from. That's no help to me at all.
And I'm finding that lots of behaviors are improving with maturity. I.e. the "dumping"-behavior hardly happens at all now (well, maybe with toys but not with her food and drinks, LOL). And this was without me needing to punish her -- I think she finally filled her need, it just took a lot longer than it does for most children.
So, I am all in favor of continuing to persevere in being patient and gentle with our special needs children (not that I'm always perfect in that department). Maturity happens with all children when they are ready.
As another example, for the longest time dd wasn't wanting to use the toilet, even though she would sometimes announce what she was about to do in her diaper, and definitely seemed to have control of her bodily functions -- she just usually preferred going in a diaper and the wetness didn't bother her.
Some people warned me she'd be in diapers forever if I didn't "make" her use the potty. But then, suddenly, one day (shortly before she turned 4 1/2) she announced that she was wearing her panties and didn't need diapers any more. And she was trained just like that.
Although ... she has since decided that she doesn't want the panties either. At first she liked the panties but always wanted to pull them up into her butt-crack. Then she decided she preferred just wearing pants, tights, or shorts without any panties.
ETA: Also, in the past my dd was really into smearing and playing in her poop, so I'd have to hurry to get her cleaned up. But she's outgrown this, too, with out any need for me to punish her or give negative consequences. Like I've said, gentleness and believing in your child really does work, even in areas where they seem to be slower in growing out of certain stages!