Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
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Our son was diagnosed with mild-moderate SPD last year -- I had him assessed because he was entering kindergarten and I suspected that his 'quirks' were going to become an issue as things got more academic. Some days I swear he's a clone of my brother, who had difficulty in school, and never really had a diagnosis. But, having read about SPD, I can see many of those traits in my brother (and my dh), and how they could interfere with an ability to learn. He was able to function in every day, but I could tell it was taking all of his energy to do so.
Ds' issues are: hypersensitivity to touch and sound, hypersensitivity to vestibular movement, bilateral coordination and weak core stability. He's made huge progress in the year he's been in OT. While I've worried at times about ds being on the autism spectrum, I don't think he is. He "gets" social interaction in a way that kids that I know are on the spectrum just don't. I went to a talk sponsored by our son's OT about social development, and the list of skills that they talked about working on with children on the spectrum were things ds has been doing for years. He's not great about labeling or identifying emotions, which is the only area that concerns me a bit.
I guess I see the autism spectrum as a huge continuum -- on one end there are people who are clearly on the spectrum and have considerable developmental issues. On the other end, there are people (like my SIL) who so clearly do not have any traits of autism that using the term with them seems absurd. But, then there are many, many people in between. The dividing line been 'typical' and 'autism' is an arbitrary one, and might be fuzzy. Our son's sensory issues put him closer to that line that our dd is, but he's still not on the spectrum (no issues with language, play or social skills).
I don't think it's a bad idea to read about ASD as well, just to see. OTs aren't qualified to make an autism spectrum diagnosis anyway, but you could talk to the OT and see what she thinks about having him assessed for that.
But, it's definitely possible to have SPD and not anything else. My dh is that way, his aunt is that way (if ever anyone needed OT she does - I have no idea how she spent 25 years as a school music teacher!)
Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM to T (4/01) and M (5/04)