SPD--vestibular and other sensory seeking behavior - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

 

I'm totally new to all this, so bear with me.

 

My DS is 4 years old. He had not been diagnosed with anything to this point except for a range of language issues. In February, a speech pathologist confirmed he has a moderate stutter (both in intensity and frequency) as well as a lisp, a range of sound substitutions, etc. We started a program with her, but after two months, she gave us some home materials to use and said she didn't need to see us again until June, but in the meantime, his stutter has not improved, so we're looking for another speech pathologist, hopefully one not an hour's drive away, and one more affordable for us.

 

In the last 6-8 weeks, he also started doing some odd things. We noticed he was climbing on the furniture more, jumping off, throwing himself off. Boys will be boys, right? He started leaving the table at mealtimes and needing to climb on the furniture. Then the upside down thing started. He began watching TV while lying on the sofa upside down...so head where one would sit, feet up the backrest part. He watches TV like this all the time now. In an average day, he spends about 90 minutes upside down.

 

I found the SPD info online and the vestibular hyposensitivity sounds like him. He has about five on the checklist. My husband is harder to convince and thinks he's just a boy and that's what they do.

 

I don't know. It just seems odd. He's also started sucking on his hands and he was never a thumb sucker or anything similar as a toddler.

 

Is it worth getting him evaluated for SPD? What can be done for the vestibular variety? I'm going to talk to his preschool teachers about him tomorrow to see if they've also noticed anything unusual. Right now, they're most concerned with his speech, but they had mentioned that they would be willing to write a referral for him to get evaluated. Right now, the wait list in the public system to see a speech pathologist is dire...about 12 months for the priority cases I was told. But if he also needs to see an OT, then he might be able to see both earlier, if it's warranted. If we need to, we can see someone private for the short term and stay on the waiting list for public professionals.

 

I don't know...is this something or just my imagination. Do other kids like to spend all their time upside down? 

 

Thanks for any input.


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#2 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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My daughter does the exact.same.thing.  And honestly, I didn't think too much about it until a few weeks ago when my husband and I realized that DS has serious sensory issues and has dozens of symptoms for SPD.  So in my research, I've come to realize that DD might have SPD too.  (DS's wasn't apparent when he was 3 except for a few things.)

 

DS has an evaluation for SPD next week.  Once we get that out of the way, I'll probably try to get an evaluation for DD, although her sensory-seeking behavior hasn't been a problem thus far, but I'd rather know now than not figure it out until she has trouble handling it like DS seems to now.

 

I don't know how things work where you are, but I had to get my son's pediatrician to refer us to our children's hospital developmental clinic for the eval.  He didn't even need to see him, he just facilitated the referral for insurance purposes.  I'm also trying to get him an eval. through his school district, but I'm hitting a wall as his teacher hasn't done it yet, and school is almost out.

 

Another option for me is to get an independent evaluation through an occupational therapist, but as we want insurance to cover as much as possible, that's not the route we are taking.

 

I have heard (but don't have a source for this) that speech issues, especially articulation, can also be related to sensory processing disorder (and/or auditory processing disorder), so it would definitely be helpful to get a thorough developmental evaluation.  Keep calling to get an appointment - you never know when there might be cancellations.  I was told by parents who have gone through the process that Children's Hospital has a months-long wait, but when I called, I was offered a same-day appointment because of a cancellation.  I couldn't take that one because my son was sick that day, but got one for 2 weeks later.  Huge relief.

 

Best wishes to you on this journey.  Please keep us posted!


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#3 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the quick reply. I read it and thought, "Oh thank goodness...I'm not just imagining this." Like I said, my hubby is not totally convinced. The stutter and speech problems, sure, that's a concrete definite issue. A kid who likes being upside down and sucking on his hand...that's just a phase or a quirk. eyesroll.gif

 

The medical system here is a mix of public and private. We used private for his first speech pathologist and evaluation. But I think he needs more than the plan she was offering and now if he needs OT, I'm wondering how we're going to afford it all. We have private insurance that covers speech therapy and OT, but it has a yearly cap...I'm not totally positive, but I think it's up to $400.

 

So, we can ask his teachers for a referral to go into the public system. If he needs both OT and ST, then he will be higher up the list. Our GP can also refer us through the public system, but he doesn't know him as well as the teachers do and the teachers said they do this all the time and could write a better report of what they think he requires. We're lucky in that we're not even mid-way through the school year here, so no worries about having to get a report from them just as school is letting out. 

 

Third option is to just call up a private OT and new private speechie (as they call them here in Australia) and take it from there. 

 

I think my first inclination is to talk to his teachers and ask them to write that recommendation. I just volunteered at his class on Wed and one of them was asking me about this because she is so concerned with his speech these days. He's hit and miss with just being understood. So, I'll tell them about his antics at home and see if they can request a full developmental evaluation. I wonder how long that would take in the public system. Sigh.

 

That's interesting about the speech issues and SPD. I have to admit I wondered if they were related somehow. And the stutter just seemed to come on last December (there were a couple of mild quirks before this, but not really noticeable) and then by the end of January, wow, what a change. Same thing with these new behaviors. It actually makes me nervous...like what is around the corner after this?

 

Thanks again so much. I really appreciate your advice and insight. thumb.gif


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#4 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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I had a long talk last week with a friend whose daughter was diagnosed with SPD at 4 (and she had a severe speech delay before that).  She said the same thing about the "quirks".  I think when they are preschool age, they all have quirks, and a lot of the symptoms are normal for kids across the board - it's when there is a big cluster of symptoms and they get in the way of daily life that it becomes a problem.  So my son's attachment to a lovey STILL at almost 7, and how he uses it as a calming tool, isn't a red flag on its own, but with everything else he does, it's a symptom.  Food pickiness?  Totally normal for most kids.  But again, with everything else, it's another symptom.

 

And I spent so long just thinking it was him, and he walked late despite being in physical therapy and potty trained late because he was stubborn.  And he's defiant and hates brushing his teeth because I did something wrong as a parent.  But now that I know the symptoms, and realize that these things are signs of a bigger problem, I'm somewhat comforted and somewhat unsettled at the same time.


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#5 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for that. I see what you mean and will look at it as holistically as possible. Talking to the teachers will help too no doubt as they've probably noticed things at school that I don't see at home. They don't get the upside down TV watching there, so that'll be news to them.

 

He hit all the developmental milestones late as well. Didn't walk until 18 months. Didn't potty train until, ack, 3y9m (I had a thread of woe about it in the general parenting board, he made it just in time to get into preschool). Less language than my daughter by age 2 (but isn't that what they always say of boys). I didn't want to put too much into it because my daughter also walked late (17 months) and didn't crawl whatsoever, but she taught herself to read by age three and aside from some slight anxiety issues that seem to have settled down in the past year, she hasn't had any of the same challenges he has. So, I didn't want to assume that his later development and milestones meant something amiss...I guess until these other issues have shown up.


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#6 of 7 Old 05-21-2012, 09:00 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by japonica View Post

 

A kid who likes being upside down and sucking on his hand...that's just a phase or a quirk. eyesroll.gif

 

My DD1 has been diagnosed with SPD.  I've been doing a ton of reading.  According to "Out of Synch Child has Fun" sucking is a way to sort sensory information into it's proper order.  (I wasn't sure if you'd heard that.  My DD sucks her fingers when she's overwhelmed.....)

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#7 of 7 Old 05-21-2012, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post

 

My DD1 has been diagnosed with SPD.  I've been doing a ton of reading.  According to "Out of Synch Child has Fun" sucking is a way to sort sensory information into it's proper order.  (I wasn't sure if you'd heard that.  My DD sucks her fingers when she's overwhelmed.....)

 

Thanks, I'd never heard that. This whole thing is new to me. I just know he began sucking on his fingers recently. It was another reason why I was questioning what is going on.

 

Can you recommend any other books that might be helpful? We haven't got a diagnosis yet, but I'd like to become more familiar with what might be going on.

 

I'm meeting with his teacher tomorrow to see if she has noticed any behavior that concerns her in the classroom setting and to see if an assessment is warranted. 


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