SPD, Giftedness, or on the Spectrum - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone, I was just wondering how can you tell if a child has only SPD and not Autism, Aspergers or his giftedness?  Once when we went to a Psychologist, we were told SPD doesn't exist, but I do know it does.  He has issues.  It seems as the lines of differentiation become blurred. Does anyone know how to for sure tell?


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#2 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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Honestly, your best bet is to find a really good psychologist or developmental pediatrician who sees lots of kids who are quirky and can tell the difference between each diagnosis. Technically the psychologist you spoke with is correct -- at least as far as the DSM is concerned, there is no SPD diagnostic category. It would surprise me, though, if someone who is familiar with kids who are on the spectrum would disagree with the idea that many of them have sensory issues. I suspect that the person you saw may not be quite what you really need.

 

I found the person who diagnosed my child through a local yahoo group for the parents of special needs kids. I would look for something like that and ask for recommendations or call a local autism provider and explain that you need someone who understands sensory stuff, ASD, and giftedness, to do an evaluation that considers all those possibilities (and honestly probably also anxiety and ADHD, because those overlap, too). Where do you live? Maybe someone here has a recommendation.

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#3 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I live in Pittsburgh right now, but moving to Dallas in the summer.   You're right about all of those things.  

 

Can I ask some off questions..

 

When my OBGYN broke my water with him, she hit his head so he developed some swelling and calcification.  And also when he was 2 he's fallen down the stairs all the way to the bottom many times and came out with giant goose-egg knots, hit his head on the corner of stone fireplaces, etc. He's hit the corners of walls and busted his head etc.  Could all of these head traumas be what's made him quirky, smart, and with his issues?  He's never lost consciousness even for a second, always cried right away, but he's taken a lot of falls.  I was thinking probably the falls were due to the issues he has (hence his need for OT) but I was just wondering if the falls might be the cause of all of these issues?  I'm sorry if these are horrible questions.


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#4 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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It's unlikely the falls caused his quirkiness, but it would definitely help to have him thoroughly assessed, just to make sure that he doesn't have some sort of evidence of brain damage that you wouldn't notice.

 

I highly second the thorough evaluation with a developmental pediatrician. Sensory issues are usually (always?) part of autism spectrum issues, but it's possible to have sensory issues without autism. Similarly, many highly gifted kids have "overexcitabilities" (you might want to look up Dobrovsky's overexcitabilities) that I personally think are also sensory issues under a different name. (I'm highly skeptical of Dobrovsky's overall theory.) And then sometimes kids just have sensory issues without either of the other 2 factors (like our son -- he's a kid with above average intelligence (but not really gifted) with sensory issues and motor planning issues).

 

But without a thorough developmental evaluation, you won't know where to begin. For our son, for example, once his sensory issues were under control, he was better able to focus on social/emotional learning. He looked a lot less like he was on the spectrum after 2 years of OT than he did at the beginning.


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#5 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 10:48 PM
 
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The best bet for finding out is a complete neuro psychological evaluation.

 

But, it can be really hard to tell what is going on with kids, and kids with significant issues often end up with more than one evaluation at different points in their life because they present differently. It's not like there is a blood test or anything straight forward for any of those dx's.

 

And a child can be on the autism spectrum and be gifted.

 

I highly recommend the books "Quirky Kids" by Klass.


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#6 of 7 Old 03-19-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aishamama View Post

Hi, I live in Pittsburgh right now, but moving to Dallas in the summer.   You're right about all of those things.  

 

Can I ask some off questions..

 

When my OBGYN broke my water with him, she hit his head so he developed some swelling and calcification.  And also when he was 2 he's fallen down the stairs all the way to the bottom many times and came out with giant goose-egg knots, hit his head on the corner of stone fireplaces, etc. He's hit the corners of walls and busted his head etc.  Could all of these head traumas be what's made him quirky, smart, and with his issues?  He's never lost consciousness even for a second, always cried right away, but he's taken a lot of falls.  I was thinking probably the falls were due to the issues he has (hence his need for OT) but I was just wondering if the falls might be the cause of all of these issues?  I'm sorry if these are horrible questions.



Based on a brief google, I suspect both autism center of pittsburgh and UPMC could do what you need, When you call ask them if the person you would see is experienced with high functioning kids and can tease out giftedness and sensory issues. I might also ask them where they would go locally for an eval if not their place. Could give you other ideas.

 

I am with the others that head trauma is unlikely that the falls cause his quirks, but I would definitely mention them in the eval. It might merit a closer look at his brain.

 

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#7 of 7 Old 03-19-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it me or is it really hard to deal with people. We use UPMC as our pediatric physician office. I called to try to get a referral for an occupational therapist. I really dislike their offices.  When the nurse calls back I'll ask her for a complete workup instead of just ruling out a need for OT. 

 

What the teacher specifically says about him is that he's definitely a very smart boy, but he's slow in doing everything. Slow in writing, slow in packing, slow in getting out of the class, slow in transitioning to his other classes down the hall etc. It's his pace that is the issue.  This is also what his pre k teachers said about him.

 

Let's see what I can arrange.  

 

thank you all for your help.

 

 


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