I posted this originally in Childhood Years, before I found this forum....
We've recently moved to a new state and because my son has an ISP for his articulation disorder, we're going through the gamut of evaluations for services, both with the school district and privately (no results yet). One therapist on his team (school district) mentioned a lot of sensory issues, which I shrugged away because what I knew of SPD is HYPER-sensitive, sensitive to tactile things, clothing, foods, sounds, etc., but she said... No, the Opposite. The hypo- side of it (which I knew nothing about). And so I started researching a bit.
My son doesn't fit 100% the idea of Hypo-sensitive - so much online makes the dangerous kiddos jumping off of high heights - but he fits a lot. A whole heck of a lot. They haven't done their full evaluations on him yet, but I'm intrigued to hear more and would like to hear other momma's out there who know about this.
His main issue is his speech, currently diagnosed as Articulation Disorder, but he doesn't fit the mold. He only has back sounds. He Can make front sounds, he is capable of them, but doesn't, for whatever reason. He will in one-on-one therapy say "Monkey", but most of the time in real world is just "Gunkey", for example. You have to really really force him to make an M sound - and anything in the front.
So that's his ISP and world at school - he's difficult to understand, like 40% to the stranger, 80% to mom.
But there's more. And the more I start reading about SPD, he fits So Much.
Doesn't complain about getting hurt (ever), has never. Will be bleeding or with a 105 fever and doesn't tell you. We were out snow tubing the other day and I commented that it was time to go because he must be cold... "I not cold", but he left (he's totally OK with change, he is not ASD), and once we finally got to a place where we could take his clothes off... he was Freezing! -- of course I was the same as a child, who wants to come inside when you're having fun. But he literally was like Red Frozen fingers, and didn't complain. And "weird" things... likes shots at the MD, loves going to the dentist...
Hugs like no one else. Which is awesome. Love his endless hugs. We are a huggy family, we love hugs. But he hugs everyone; all the time. Hugs strangers (scarily, and all the time), and kids at class, and kids running away from him and kids scared of him. He has no understanding of personal space.
He has gross motor issues; very uncoordinated. Can climb a ladder and the rock wall at the park and is very strong, but falls twice on the walk from the car to the park; and falls all day every day just at home; and has no understanding of his own strength (is a big kiddo, 50lbs at 4yrs old) and is constantly Almost knocking me over, knocks over kids all the time.
He has empathy so he apologizes (to kids), but he still bonks them around. He doesn't break his toys, but he is extremely uncoordinated, grabs a drink and smashes it in to his hands. When he writes, he breaks the pencil head; if he erases, he goes through the paper; if he has a marker, the coloring is Never between the lines, and always breaks the paper because he's coloring so hard.
But other gross motor, he cannot do. Cannot throw a ball with any accuracy; cannot hit a bat or racket at the ball; tries to dance (so funny!) but has never been a dancer. This is new only in the past 6 months, the interest to dance At All.
He can hold a pencil, use a fork, so his fine-motor is pretty good. But his FORCE. It's seriously his force.... my life at home is always saying "too much", "too rough", "be nicer", "remember to use Nice Hands".... he is just strong and big and forceful and Always Moving. Never stops moving and bonking and landing and flipping upside down and rough-housing and just... Too Much.
I was thinking we were on the path of ADHD, but a lot of the SPD checklist I saw today incorporates a lot of "constant movement", and defined constant movement. Because he can sit still and focus on a puzzle, and do it fast, but if he's just eating food, he's in and out of his chair and kicking, and would like to be upside down.
And then there were other things... inability to potty train. He absolute does not care about being Wet; has no understanding that he's about to release. He understands that he's about to solid poop - that he can do on the potty. And if he misses, will walk weird and let you know he pooped in his pants. But pee or loose stool, that's still in his pants; pull-up, underpants, or naked. 4+yrs old and he pooped on the carpet while naked yesterday. It still happens. Potty learning has never been successful, although there have been times I felt we were close... but currently he's regressed.
He drools; he eats hair and every toy in site and always has something in his mouth. I filled out this checklist: http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html
Which brought up all the drooling and things I'd never considered before.
Enyhoo.. I'm babbling away like a mad woman :) Evaluations are set through the school district and private - but private doesn't list SPD on their list of treatments, so I'm expecting SPD won't be the outcome of their eval. Probably something more scary like ADHD and goodness knows what. School district has already offered OT in a SI environment, so they were thinking OT before I even started researching.
I'm not finding a lot of resources for HYPO-SPD, so wanted to see if anyone was familiar and any BTDT experience,especially if we decide that it's my son; anything I can do at home to help the therapies, and what I should look for privately outside of the school district.
Best advice I have is get an OT evaluation--SPD is a highly individual thing, but in the meantime, here's a few resources I've found helpful:
Autism Discussion Page covered this topic last month:
https://www.facebook.com/difflearn (general, but lots of tools for learning differences--so once you have some specific ideas of what might help, here's where you can go to look for them)
I recommend "The Out of Sync Child" by Kranowitz and the "The Out of Sync Child has Fun."
My DD has intense sensory issues as part of being on the autism spectrum, and she really doesn't experience cold, wet, etc the same way most people do (as in will walk around in the rain when it is 35 F in a T shirt and sandals and just enjoy the lovely weather). She doesn't mind getting cut or getting shots, and finds her own blood quite interesting.
It sounds like there are some things going on with him that aren't sensory, such as the motor issue stuff. Hopefully, you'll get some good info from the evaluations.
I found "The Out of Sync Child" very helpful when my DD was little. It helped me figure out a "sensory diet" for her -- activities that we regularly included that helped me become more regulated. Different sensory activities fit the bill for different kids, so part of the trick is figuring what really works for your child. An OT can help with that.
but everything has pros and cons
Huge second for The Out of Sync Child and its companions. Explains the whys and gives practical suggestions!
Blogging about living with xeroderma pigmentosum at www.pacificnights.org/ and about life in general at http://livingavibrantlife.blogspot.com/
Kids with SPD can be either seekers or avoiders in all areas of the eight senses. A lot of kids seek some sensations and avoid others. There's no one single SPD type, so I'd say just rest assured that you know he has SPD.
The books recommended so far are awesome resources!
Even if you receive OT through the school district, you can still do private OT. And we have found Chiropractic therapy to be incredibly helpful, as well.
You are on the right path!