Question about Sensory Integration - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm new to Sensory Integration so I have a random question that I don't really have anyone to ask.
I know that all people with Aspergers and Autism have sensory integration issues but not all people with SID are austistic or have aspergers. So, my question is....how can they know that my son ONLY has SID? Isn't aspergers just a lot of the SIS issues all put together or is there something else there? I know it's a random question I had always thought my son had aspergers even though he is an affectionate, happy kid who laughs a lot. So when they said SID, it almost made me wonder if it's mild aspergers. Am I making sense?
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#2 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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Totally making sense.

I think it would help to look up the actual "criteria"...but here's my take, since my ds has a "tentative" dx of Asperger's. And this is just off the top of my head--thinking about my son, who is also a pretty happy child who laughs a lot.

If you add up the SID, a tendency towards "OCD" type behavior like lining up toys and having trouble w/things being changed, struggling w/transitions (which really can be from SID or from other things), a very "literal" take on the world, trouble relating to people...it adds up to more than "just" SID...but the flip side of all that is that those things can also be SID-related.

How do they know the difference? I think it takes time, well-trained and experienced evaluators, and some actual work on the issues to figure it out.

hths

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#3 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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I agree with the PP. Social awkwardness. Kids with A.S. can be very social, even overly social..but there is a social awkwardness that goes along with it. We're just a little different. Narrow interests can be another sign that it is more that SID. Meltdowns or anxiety over change of any kind is also something to look for when it comes to Aspergers. One thing I do want to mention though, is when it comes to the whole "empathy" crap on the diagnosic criteria, that is false. Some Aspies are OVERLY empathetic, which creates a bunch of anxiety.

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#4 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 06:06 PM
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I can so relate to your question!! My son has diagnosed SPD and ADHD, however, he is questionable Asperger's. We have not been able to figure out for sure if he is actually on the spectrum (ie, has Asperger's or not).

My son is socially awkward. He is a sensory seeker and does a lot of jumping, crashing, falling, etc. He has some motor planning problems. These all fit with both SPD and Asperger's. He also has some expressive/receptive language problems. Where he doesn't "fit" with Asperger's is he doesn't have the OCD symptoms AT ALL. Everything around him is a mess. He doesn't care one bit about routines or schedules. He doesn't care about change. He rarely has meltdowns. He is just "odd" for lack of a better word. But very happy and loving.

Sorry I can't help you but wanted to let you know there are others of us in the same situation!!
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#5 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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I've often thought the same thing.
I have an child with SPD/Aspergers depending on who you ask.
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#6 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kailey's mom View Post
One thing I do want to mention though, is when it comes to the whole "empathy" crap on the diagnosic criteria, that is false. Some Aspies are OVERLY empathetic, which creates a bunch of anxiety.
This is awesome. This is very, very true in our experience. I think that this is something that is not well understood yet personally.

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#7 of 14 Old 02-18-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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This is awesome. This is very, very true in our experience. I think that this is something that is not well understood yet personally.
Not to hijack your thread, OP, but Kailey's mom--I would love to hear more about this. (from this and your other thread, I think we have the same kiddo!). Do you happend to have any articles or anecdotes about this? I've always known my DD (4 yo, SPD) was overly-aware and sensitive to emotion. And the anxiety piece of it surely fits. I'd be curious to hear more.
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#8 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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I'd have to chime in and say that ds1 is quite empathetic (and empathic), too. It certainly can create anxiety. I think those that don't know him well probably do not see it, b/c he cannot communicate that empathy as well as other kids at times and occasionally, he might not even notice the others feelings....Having/demonstrating empathy requires actually noticing that someone else has something going on worth empathizing with! LOL B/c of his other issues, he may not always notice, but that doesn't mean that he lacks empathy.

clear as mud, huh?

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#9 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 05:00 AM
 
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Well, I've got one of the kids who has definite SPD and we've ruled out Aspergers. I have a nephew who has Asperger Syndrome (who's only 18 months older), and so as the boys get older, I do see the subtle differences between the 2 kids. But to be honest, it's only after about age 8 that our ds is looking less like a child with AS. There have been a number of times when I've been nearly convinced he's got AS, and then he'd go through a developmental spurt, and he wouldn't.

The major differences, for me, have to do with flexibility, and ease of taking another person's perspective. My nephew with AS has huge trouble with transitions still at 9 1/2, for example. My nephew can take someone else's perspective, but he has to think about it.

Ds, on the other hand, is beginning to do the perspective taking without overt instruction. For example, last summer, he loved to walk down and watch the buses at the transit center (he has obsessions, which is actually a characteristic of AS). Sometimes when we started on our walk, we met other kids in the neighborhood who asked where we were going. Ds had enough social savvy to say "we're going for a walk". He understood that saying "we're going to the transit center to watch the buses" was not something that the other kids were (a) interested in or (b) would understand (and (c) it was something that would probably lead to ridicule).

Another major thing that I'm noticing change is language - ds is 8 and is at an age where he's beginning to delight in puns, ambiguity and more sophisticated language. Just the other day I said something sarcastically. Dd (age 5) interpreted me literally. Ds got that I wasn't serious and he made that determination based on my intonation and the context, something that's hard for kids on the spectrum. He interprets non-verbal cues appropriately.

All of this, I think, is a sign of his being able to process information better. The older he gets, the more his brain catches up to his age. He's never going to be advanced, socially, but he'll be OK. Or so I think in my more optimistic moments.

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#10 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mrsfru View Post
I'd have to chime in and say that ds1 is quite empathetic (and empathic), too. It certainly can create anxiety. I think those that don't know him well probably do not see it, b/c he cannot communicate that empathy as well as other kids at times and occasionally, he might not even notice the others feelings
my DD is highly intuitive and it creates anxiety for her, but she really doesn't do social interaction and I don't think she even understands "friendship" the way most of us do. So she totally gets what other people are feeling, but doesn't see the point in talking to him. She feels sad and stressed when people around her are sad and stressed, and doesn't know what to do with those feelings. But talking to the other people isn't really an option to her.

To me, the line between *just* SPD and something else is in social interaction. It can be very hard to tell when a child is young, and I don't think that the social problems caused by a child acting quirky because of their sensory issues are the same as the kind of issues for a child on the spectrum.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 14 Old 02-20-2010, 03:41 AM
 
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KME my DS sounds JUST LIKE yours. SID issues, sensory seeking, clumsy, etc. He has actually been diagnosed with ADHD and SID but after over 6 hours with 3 different specialists, Aspergers has been ruled out.

This diagnosis was achieved based on the symptoms and issues that DS is dealing with. An aspergers diagnosis didn't fit because he didn't have any obsessions, rituals, routines, rigidity, stimming behaviors, etc. His only autistic symptoms were some social dysfunction (mild eye contact problems, some ignoring of peers, spatial awareness issues) but these easily fell under the heading of ADHD for which diagnosis he was a perfect fit.

All other symptoms, the sensitivity to sound, the vestibular and proprioceptive dysfunctions, motor planning etc. can be best addressed with the interventions used for SID.

In short, we ruled out Aspergers in three ways. First, we met with 3 professionals and did an extensive analysis--one that "felt right" to me also. Second, the proposed interventions ALSO felt right. (They were explaining that for DS' social difficulties they would teach him facial expressions with a computer program--this wouldn't help DS at all as he understand facial expressions but doesn't pay attention to them!) A diagnosis of Aspergers wouldn't really help him to relate or function any better. Finally, other diagnoses fit him better. The distractibility was the root cause of his social dysfunction added with his sensory seeking behavior.

HTH,
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#12 of 14 Old 02-20-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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Sorry to barge in, but can I ask a question in this thread? Can anyone care to be more specific about "social awkardness?" LOL I am socially awkward myself but I can't really judge my children's behavior. I can compare one to the other and see that one is more socially at ease, but I don't know if the older one is awkard enough to need an evaluation for SPD/AS. I am going to get some referrals. He is 6 and has always been "quirky".

So here are some examples. If he has a new "interest" (his interests are almost always obessions) he will talk about it alot. To anyone. How normal is that for a 6yo? If another person talks to him, anyone outside the immediate family, he will hesitate for a few seconds... the other person assumes he's not going to answer and then moves on... then he does answer. Then he keeps talking. At the grocery store, the clerk will see his Bakugan ball and ask about it. He doesn't say anything. Then she smiles, and in a few seconds he says, very quietly, "It's a bakugan ball..." then in a few seconds he says, "We used to have three of them but this morning one of them broke and now I only have two... " etc. When she obviously was making small talk and doesn't care. Should he know this? Sometimes I think I don't know the difference.

Empathy. He seems to be very empathetic but at other times not. For example, yesterday I said something about the baby sitting next to my sister for a car trip. DS said the baby probably would not like sitting next to my sister. She may not... but I also know that he would really not like it. Also the other day I took the baby to the dr. DS was worried that the baby would not like it. Because the doctor is a stranger to her. But was that more putting his own perspective (he doesn't like the dr. touching him) onto her rather than being empathetic to her? Although it was very sweet.
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#13 of 14 Old 02-20-2010, 11:16 PM
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Jolie-fleur, thanks for the info, I see what you are saying about the difference btn SPD and AS...my son does sound like yours but he does stim. His stimming is less obvious b/c he "says" he is doing something appropriate - like he will run back and forth across the basement dribbling a basketball for longer than is normal and say he is "practicing basketball" or jump on the trampoline, or run back and forth with a nerf gun - so it doesn't look as odd, but it is really still stimming. He has a hard time "settling down" and doing things that are productive. We have been told this is part of dyspraxia. He has a hard time organizing himself to do productive work/play.

However, like your son he does not have obsessions, rituals, routines or rigidity either. We were also told that his social problems are caused by his extreme inattention and the fact that he has dyspraxia which makes it hard for him to process and respond to info as quickly and effectively as a NT child. This slow processing was confirmed with testing that was done. His IQ is normal but his processing speed is quite slow so he does have trouble "keeping up" with other kids.

Our boys would probably get along great!

webjefita - when I say my son is socially awkward, I mean he takes longer to answer or repond to other kids when they try to talk to him. Like your son, he hesitates and the other kid may just walk away. He has trouble getting his words out (expressive language) and often stumbles over his words and ends up sounding "odd". He also has a hard time in big groups of kids sometimes - he just gets overwhelmed and wants no part of it. He has a hard time "joining in". Usually I or one of his brothers will kind of have to get him started and then he is often OK playing with other kids. He is very inattentive to other people and sometimes doesn't even realize someone is talking to him. Sometimes he misunderstands what others are saying and repsonds inappropriately. He is dyspraxic and so he has trouble with sports and is more awkward than other kids his age. This is does not help socially!! What you are describing with your son going on and on about things sounds like it could be AS. This was one of the reasons AS was at one time ruled out for my son - he does not do this but I know many kids with AS do. Most 6 year olds don't go on and on about things. They may say things no one cares about (this is common I think) but they don't usually go on and on. Hope that helps describe what I meant by socially awkward - I am sure it is different for each child.
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#14 of 14 Old 02-21-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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Sorry to barge in, but can I ask a question in this thread? Can anyone care to be more specific about "social awkardness?"
Does your child attend school or a homeschool group? How does he do with his peers? Does he have friends?

It's normal for 6 years olds to have less than pefect social skills. It a problem when it causes them problems.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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