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#1 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've encountered so many mothers on this board who are very knowledgable about SPD and I'm just curious - what are your theories about what causes SPD, or what caused it in your child?

Have you heard any theories from your pediatrician, or speech therapist, or OT, or others?
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#2 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Genetics. I don't think there is a cause, its just how the brain is wired.

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#3 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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I think it's genes too. I see a lot of my own sensory issues in both my boys (they got a mix actually-one like me in some ways and the other in ton of other ways). When it comes to propriceptive issues--something one son has in spades--it seems a lot of those kiddos are low muscle tone. I think the muscle tone issues has a variety of causes--brain, metabolic, etc.

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#4 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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Please excuse my generalizations, I understand that not all SPD is Autism, but they are often coupled, and this is the only experience I have, so I will just address Autism Related SP issues.

In Autism and Autism Related neurological function (like SPD) this issue was explained largely in 2004 and then revisited in 2006 with brain imaging.

Autistic people have different pathways from neurotypical people (physical structure is different). Some areas are OVERconnected, some areas are Underconnected (when compared to "typical" people). Basically there are certain things that autistic people experience more intensly than other people some things they experience less intensly. This is not an abstract psychological analysis of emotional response, I am talking about electrochemically, as in this is not just a perception that some things are more intense and some less than typical.

Furthermore Autistic people have often been shown to have abnormally abundant glial cells, which are the non-neuro cells that make nourish and sustain the brain. This abundance of "capacity" coupled with extremes of sensation/thought are what I believe to be the cause of "savant" abilities, and their associated deficits, it is not a hard stretch to assume that if some types of thoughts/sensations are electro-chemically more severe in autistics they would be harder for a developing mind to decode and use in a productive way.... Hence the "disorder" portion of SPD.

Disclaimer, this is me (a novice) connecting very thin dots to come to my own conclusions.
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#5 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Please excuse my generalizations, I understand that not all SPD is Autism, but they are often coupled, and this is the only experience I have, so I will just address Autism Related SP issues.

In Autism and Autism Related neurological function (like SPD) this issue was explained largely in 2004 and then revisited in 2006 with brain imaging.

Autistic people have different pathways from neurotypical people (physical structure is different). Some areas are OVERconnected, some areas are Underconnected (when compared to "typical" people). Basically there are certain things that autistic people experience more intensly than other people some things they experience less intensly. This is not an abstract psychological analysis of emotional response, I am talking about electrochemically, as in this is not just a perception that some things are more intense and some less than typical.

Furthermore Autistic people have often been shown to have abnormally abundant glial cells, which are the non-neuro cells that make nourish and sustain the brain. This abundance of "capacity" coupled with extremes of sensation/thought are what I believe to be the cause of "savant" abilities, and their associated deficits, it is not a hard stretch to assume that if some types of thoughts/sensations are electro-chemically more severe in autistics they would be harder for a developing mind to decode and use in a productive way.... Hence the "disorder" portion of SPD.

Disclaimer, this is me (a novice) connecting very thin dots to come to my own conclusions.
In other words... brain wiring... not an outside "cause". lol. I love your description ShaggyDaddy.

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#6 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When it comes to propriceptive issues...it seems a lot of those kiddos are low muscle tone. I think the muscle tone issues has a variety of causes--brain, metabolic, etc.
I've seen this correlation, as well. It's something I definitely want to find more information about. Thanks.

Thanks to all other responses. This is very interesting to read.
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#7 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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I don't know, but I do see a lot of issues in DS that are similar to mine or my mom's, only his issues seem to be magnified. With his personality, he tends to direct his needs outwards (screaming for something), whereas when I was young I tended to focus inwards and not ask/scream for anything.

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#8 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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Theories on root causes of sensory processing disorder?
I don’t know, I am no expert, just a mama with a ds (10) who has SPD, not autism..
I think there can be different reasons for SPD.
One possibility is early reoccurring ear infections. One of our occupational therapists pointed this out and I believe this is at least in part what happened to my son.
DS’s main problem is coordination, motor skills although he was also sensitive to touch or was tactile defensive. He was not as bad as some descriptions I’ve read about.
Anyway I noticed with ds from one day to the next when he was around 2 he suddenly did not want to swing, go on the slide or climbing structure on the playground. He used to like them but one day it stopped. He would just play on the ground with his trucks and talk to the other parents.
I did not know about SPD. Fast forward almost 5 years and ds was diagnosed with delayed motor skills caused by a disorder in sensory processing. Ds started occupational therapy. When I told the therapist about what happend she said his vestibular system might gone off because of ear infections. Because of this he did not do enough physical activities that children usually do to develop their motor skills so therefore he had a delay.
This is hard for me to explain. I don’t know if I have made any sense.
I think this could be very true for my son who by the way has gotten a lot better thanks to a lot of occupational therapy, martial arts, brain gym and other physical activities.
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#9 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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My working theory is birth trauma. My LO's first sensation of touch was being yanked out of the womb (the cord had gotten pinched and her heartrate had gone way, way down, so the midwife manually dialated me and pulled her out) before she was ready, and she didn't get to do all the work of squeezing herself through the birth canal. She had significant oral hypersensitivity, which I think is from the vagus nerve getting pinched during that process.
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#10 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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My working theory is birth trauma. My LO's first sensation of touch was being yanked out of the womb (the cord had gotten pinched and her heartrate had gone way, way down, so the midwife manually dialated me and pulled her out) before she was ready, and she didn't get to do all the work of squeezing herself through the birth canal. She had significant oral hypersensitivity, which I think is from the vagus nerve getting pinched during that process.
But then, what about the large majority of babies born with birth trauma or through cesarian, forceps, etc, who have typical neurology and nervous systems?
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#11 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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She had significant oral hypersensitivity, which I think is from the vagus nerve getting pinched during that process.
Interesting thought on oral hypersensitivity. My DS had oral defensiveness from day 1. I suspect he also had vagus nerve issues, as he had lots and lots of hiccups, both in utero and for months after birth. He had torticollis, likely from how he was positioned for many weeks in utero. I wonder if the torticollis caused his vagus nerve issues.

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#12 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She had significant oral hypersensitivity, which I think is from the vagus nerve getting pinched during that process.
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Interesting thought on oral hypersensitivity. My DS had oral defensiveness from day 1. I suspect he also had vagus nerve issues, as he had lots and lots of hiccups, both in utero and for months after birth. He had torticollis, likely from how he was positioned for many weeks in utero. I wonder if the torticollis caused his vagus nerve issues.
Wow. Thank you very much for posting this, both of you.
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#13 of 77 Old 04-28-2008, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My working theory is birth trauma. My LO's first sensation of touch was being yanked out of the womb (the cord had gotten pinched and her heartrate had gone way, way down, so the midwife manually dialated me and pulled her out) before she was ready, and she didn't get to do all the work of squeezing herself through the birth canal. She had significant oral hypersensitivity, which I think is from the vagus nerve getting pinched during that process.
I'm still working on my theories, but we also had birth trauma, as well as some in utero trauma.
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#14 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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I don't know how to explain it in other births...it's just my working theory on my LO. She also had torticollis, actually. We did (and do) a ton of cranial sacral work and chiropractic work, and she wouldn't let either practitioner anywhere near that area.

She also has Turner's Syndrome, which is associated with an increased risk of SPD, although no one has been able to explain to me why.
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#15 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 10:50 AM
 
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I was wondering about a lack of Omegas during brain developement. My first dd has pretty severe SPD. When she was 4 months old, my naturopath told me that she was low on Omegas and had been since way back in utero. I don't eat much that had omegas. So I started to supplement. My dd2 has signicantly milder SPD and I did better during pregnancy taking omegas, but not awesome because of morning sickness. I've heard that giving children with SPD omegas can help them out, so I wondered about this.

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#16 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 11:20 AM
 
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Genetics. I don't think there is a cause, its just how the brain is wired.
That's not always true...

Both of my children have SPD, for two different reasons. My son has SPD and Autism--his SPD is probably genetic (I have some odd sensory issues too, but not to the extent of his--his probably are a bit worse because of the autism co-diagnosis). Or, his could have been the result of his birth (53 hour pitocin induction, the last 10 with an epidural, 2 failed vacuum attempts and one successful one).

My daughter has SPD (along with auditory processing issues, RAD, and PTSD) and spent the first four months of her life in an orphanage, deprived of any stimulation (besides the sound of screaming babies)--no toys, no real interaction, just laying on a hard platform staring at the ceiling for 4 months. Her SPD was most likely environmental due to a lack of stimulation as an infant.

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#17 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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But then, what about the large majority of babies born with birth trauma or through cesarian, forceps, etc, who have typical neurology and nervous systems?
Every baby is different, and every baby responds differently. It's the same as how some mothers will be able to have a natural birth and some mothers feel the pain so intensly that they can not. Or some individuals can survive a trauma without manifesting as PTSD where others can experience the exact same thing and develop PTSD.

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#18 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Every baby is different, and every baby responds differently. It's the same as how some mothers will be able to have a natural birth and some mothers feel the pain so intensly that they can not. Or some individuals can survive a trauma without manifesting as PTSD where others can experience the exact same thing and develop PTSD.


What I've learned, particularly from my labor and delivery experience, is that you just can not compare things such as pain or trauma. How can we know what we went through was exactly the same as what someone else went through, even if it was the same type of event.

One woman's labor is not the same as another woman's labor. You can't compare the two, so it makes sense to me that you can't compare births.
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#19 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I've had this conversation IRL and ended feeling really hurt and upset. But I'll try again cause I think I've toughened up enough. What upset me was a friend who suggested that I boiled my child's brain. Yes, that's possible. I spent two weeks on vacation when I was (unknowingly) about 8-10 weeks pregnant, practically living in the hot tub. Ok, so that's possible, I suppose. Is it not (at least) just as likely that he is just simply geneticly this way, seeing that a good portion of his relatives are neurologically diverse, some very clearly having struggled in the same was as him? maybe? Or maybe I'm at fault for boiling his brains. The unfortunate things is that after hearing this theory I searched the Internet and found plenty of people with "facts" to back it up. I walked around believe this garbage for a long time.

I mean, I'm not saying hot tub exposure left my child completely unharmed, but he is who he is, I didn't make him that way, yk?
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#20 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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Just like spd and autism don't always present the same, I feel that there can be different causes. There is definately a genetic link, but i think this can be stronger in some children than others. I think some children may be more prone to certain things and then environmental explosures can push over into symptoms showing up.

 
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#21 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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Just like spd and autism don't always present the same, I feel that there can be different causes. There is definately a genetic link, but i think this can be stronger in some children than others. I think some children may be more prone to certain things and then environmental explosures can push over into symptoms showing up.
yeah, I think that too, btw.
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#22 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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Hmm. I guess that was my my point. I don't think most of us could narrow down the etiology of our children's challenges. Pregnancy, birth, the brain, life - none of these things are linear, quantifiable things we can nail down. I believe in genetics, but I also believe in randomness. Meaning, I don't believe there is much of a reason. I think, in general, humans don't like to think about things not making sense. But - at least in my case - I've come to believe solidly that I can't know where my son's issues came from. And I'm more than OK with that because - at least in our situation - it just doesn't matter.
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#23 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had this conversation IRL and ended feeling really hurt and upset. But I'll try again cause I think I've toughened up enough.

I mean, I'm not saying hot tub exposure left my child completely unharmed, but he is who he is, I didn't make him that way, yk?


I know exactly what you mean.
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#24 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just like spd and autism don't always present the same, I feel that there can be different causes. There is definately a genetic link, but i think this can be stronger in some children than others. I think some children may be more prone to certain things and then environmental explosures can push over into symptoms showing up.
This is exactly how I feel. My theory (still in working progress as I gather more and more information) is that certain genes make certain people more or less susceptible to environmental exposures, and the symptoms that show up can vary significantly from person to person.

It's so complex...but there are underlying reasons for these issues, I truly believe.
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#25 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm. I guess that was my my point. I don't think most of us could narrow down the etiology of our children's challenges. Pregnancy, birth, the brain, life - none of these things are linear, quantifiable things we can nail down. I believe in genetics, but I also believe in randomness. Meaning, I don't believe there is much of a reason. I think, in general, humans don't like to think about things not making sense. But - at least in my case - I've come to believe solidly that I can't know where my son's issues came from. And I'm more than OK with that because - at least in our situation - it just doesn't matter.
I know what you mean to some extent...and I do think there is peace to be found in either pinpointing a cause or causes or knowing that it was random and being ok with that.

I do think that if I could figure out the cause or causes I would be better equipped to help meet any present or future need, and to have a better understanding of what we're dealing with.
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#26 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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Genetics. I don't think there is a cause, its just how the brain is wired.
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I don't know, but I do see a lot of issues in DS that are similar to mine or my mom's, only his issues seem to be magnified. With his personality, he tends to direct his needs outwards (screaming for something), whereas when I was young I tended to focus inwards and not ask/scream for anything.
I think it might be a bit of both of the above.
I can see so much of myself in my son. We have a lot of the same sensitivities...but his seems to be largly magnified and outwardly expressed as someone else has posted. Perhaps these sensitivities are genetic? ....like (off topic) how family members will have the same 'tastes' in food with similar likes and dislikes.
Which also makes me wonder...is it a learned behaviour or is it genetic? Does my son genetically love peanut butter...or has he learned that from me? Does he genetically have these sensitivities or has he learned that from me?
Which makes me think its both of that too. I mean, I know I have OCD and I am always cleaning and organising...but I dont 'freak out' and 'lose control' over something not being placed exactly in a certain spot like my DS does...he did not learn that from me!
Also - going on the off topic example - I have a friend who never met her father until last year...yet they still somehow share the same 'tastes' in food. (so she couldnt have 'learned' this in the womb as she shares the 'tastes' with her father - and she only just met her father for the first time)...which tells me thats genetic.

However- the brain isnt completly wired yet when a baby is born is it? So I can totally see how birth trauma can affect a baby/child! (and other traumas) I think my son had a traumatic birth himself. We call him a 'moth' because he has this strange facination with lights! Anything...he carrys a torch around with him...he just loves lights. They must do something for him. But thats all I can remember from his birth as well. He was born via section into these HUGE round (on the celing like UFOs) surgical white lights!

I once a article about births and how they affect our children. You get children who MUST be swaddles in order to feel safe and comfortable enough to sleep - and then children who cant stand, even to the point of 'freaking out' things around their neck to find out they were born with the cord wrapped tightly around their necks...there just might be a connection there!

When all the senses a baby is supposed to go through being born naturally...happen too fast and un-naturally...maybe it sparks something in them to make them have SPD. But maybe its both, because maybe only those with the gentic traight of it can have it 'woken' up within them. Like - contrversal I guess - but autism and vaccines. There are those that swear something 'awoken' - changed in their child after thier vaccine. So this brith trauma or whatever else 'woke' up this SPD???

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#27 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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I was wondering about a lack of Omegas during brain developement. My first dd has pretty severe SPD. When she was 4 months old, my naturopath told me that she was low on Omegas and had been since way back in utero. I don't eat much that had omegas. So I started to supplement. My dd2 has signicantly milder SPD and I did better during pregnancy taking omegas, but not awesome because of morning sickness. I've heard that giving children with SPD omegas can help them out, so I wondered about this.
I took suppliments in pregnancy high in omegas - my son also eats fish a few days a week! - So I dont think it has much to do with that in our case?

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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#28 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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That's not always true...

Both of my children have SPD, for two different reasons. My son has SPD and Autism--his SPD is probably genetic (I have some odd sensory issues too, but not to the extent of his--his probably are a bit worse because of the autism co-diagnosis). Or, his could have been the result of his birth (53 hour pitocin induction, the last 10 with an epidural, 2 failed vacuum attempts and one successful one).

My daughter has SPD (along with auditory processing issues, RAD, and PTSD) and spent the first four months of her life in an orphanage, deprived of any stimulation (besides the sound of screaming babies)--no toys, no real interaction, just laying on a hard platform staring at the ceiling for 4 months. Her SPD was most likely environmental due to a lack of stimulation as an infant.
I totally get that and agree. I'm just talking about under normal circumstances.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#29 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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I guess I can't get onboard with the birth thing either.

My oldest was my tramtic birth. Placenta abruption, she nearly died and she broke her colar bone on the way out. (mama is a hard pusher and was NOT getting a c-sec - lol) I couldn't hold her for the first day and then spent the next 6 in level II nursery with a one-on-one nurse. If any of my kids was gonna have issues, it would have been her. But she is my "normal" child.

My next 2 were un-tramatic and very normal. Dh even delivered my youngest. (in the hospital but our OB was very cool and allowed me to do whatever I wanted) My Ds is my SPD/Autistic child and both of my youngest had speech issues. My youngest DD has severe speech issues and I suspect mild SPD as well.

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#30 of 77 Old 04-29-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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It seems to me that Grace's is a genetic proclivity that was/is heightened by her physical circumstances. She's orally averse because she was born with a craniofacial disorder AND she was severely neglected - left to vomit on herself constantly.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
AndVeeGeeMakes3 is offline  
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