Bright (Possibly Gifted) toddler with weird sensory issues.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is nearly 2.5 and very bright. He may be gifted, but its not clear yet (he's in no type of DC or Pre-school, and I don't push him academically at home). You guys over here seem to be the experts on SPD and I'm thinking my son may be dealing with some sensory issues and I'm not sure how to help him. 

 

The biggest issue is that he scratches his head and back roughly till they bleed. His hair hides the scabs on his head (I thought he had lice, nope. But he does have dry skin, though with the spring coming early here in the PNW its getting much better) and he has open wounds on his back that I need to physically stop him from scratching. He mostly scratches when hes falling asleep, or upset and it seems to be a comforting thing. He reaches back to the "tag" area of his back and scratches very hard. He used to tell me that his shirts were hurting him, or straight out told me to take the tags off, and I always did or helped him find a shirt that felt better. For a while he hated socks, and still sometimes says they hurt, if I'm not sure to keep the seam off his toes (I was the same way as a kid, with the socks). 

 

He can't handle cold, I mean he HATES it when its 40, or if its at all windy. He will beg to go outside then cry because its below 50 (even with a good coat, long pants, etc... Its not like I'm sending him out in shorts in the winter). Though at other times it will be cold and he will refuse a coat and freak out if I even suggest it. Generally he will do that if he's already engaged in something and can' take his attention off it for more than 2 seconds....  

 

He seems to seek lots of touch and stimulation, he begs us to pat his back (sometimes saying to do it hard) and wants to be held a lot (though hes only 2 so some of that is very normal). 

 

He knows several letter sounds, and is starting to read a few words. He will engage in something and stick with it much longer than most kids his age. For example he will do a puzzle, or build train tracks, for a good half hour or more with no involvement from me unless he gets really stuck, then he only wants super minimal help and if I help "too much" he quits the whole project. :/ He gets really into activities and begs to do them constantly, currently its riding his balance bike, thats pretty much all he wants to do, all the time, before that it was trains, and making train tracks. Its this drive/attention span and his ability to learn what he wants so quick that makes me think he may be gifted and I think if he were in a pre-school environment he would have a lot more "knowledge" (like counting higher, reading more, etc...).  

 

Trying to figure out what is normal and what is not, and how to help my son deal with life when he can't. I mostly want him to stop hurting himself by scratching so hard. So maybe this group knows an organic truly tag-less (no print) shirt I could try. 

 

Some addtional info, he has very sensitive skin, can have eczema (but its under control right now), he is allergic to dairy, and sensitive to wheat. He was a very high needs baby who barely slept, and he no longer is nursing, but was BFed till 15 months when he weaned easily. 


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#2 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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I'd talk to your doctor and look into a referral for occupational therapy. The scratching seems extreme and I would certainly address it sooner than later. You don't want him to have a lot of scarring. 

 

My youngest has sensitivities that peaked at about age 5. At that point, we got him some occupational therapy and it really turned things around for him. It included this regiment of body brushing which I thought was weird but 6 weeks later, we certainly saw a marked difference. At 12, his issues are hardly noticeable because they both don't bother him as much and he is really good at compensating/avoiding problem areas. Hanes has a line of tagless shirts but they aren't organic. We just bought the softest clothing we could find and cut-out the tags when he was little. Sometimes DS would wear the shirts inside out if the seams were "too rough." There are seamless socks which helped too. A google search will help you find those. 


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#3 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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I agree, he needs an OT eval asap because he is harming himself. The sensitivity to cold reminds me of someone with Raynauds. Get him in to a good OT and they will help you sort all of this out. As far as clothing I would recommend Hanna Andersson. It is expensive, I know. You can find it resale, ebay, sometimes. I also recommend ordering from the outlet. Everyone I've worked w at HA has been very kind and answered all my questions about materials, tags, etc. My son would only wear HA underwear for a few years and I started w ordering 4 pairs from the outlet and doing laundry frequently. After I saw he was going to be in the same size for awhile I ordered 4 more. Others we have had luck with are kicky pants and lands end...don't think LE is organic. You can always do clothing inside out until you figure what will work for your son.

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#4 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 09:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post

I agree, he needs an OT eval asap because he is harming himself. The sensitivity to cold reminds me of someone with Raynauds. Get him in to a good OT and they will help you sort all of this out. As far as clothing I would recommend Hanna Andersson. It is expensive, I know. You can find it resale, ebay, sometimes. I also recommend ordering from the outlet. Everyone I've worked w at HA has been very kind and answered all my questions about materials, tags, etc. My son would only wear HA underwear for a few years and I started w ordering 4 pairs from the outlet and doing laundry frequently. After I saw he was going to be in the same size for awhile I ordered 4 more. Others we have had luck with are kicky pants and lands end...don't think LE is organic. You can always do clothing inside out until you figure what will work for your son.

 

Ooh, I'd forgotten about Hanna Anderson. Both my kids lived in the underwear at a time when HA was the only brand encasing the elastic. My eldest didn't have the tag issues but had very dry and sensitive skin that elastic would bother. They are expensive but we found they lasted through several growth spurts.


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#5 of 5 Old 02-06-2013, 10:54 AM
 
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My son was a gifted toddler. I am also an education student and took a class on giftedness from an expert in the field. In that class we learned ( and I saw this with my toddler at the time) that gifted children are frequently very sensitive children. They have lots of stimuli going in, pyhsical, mental, emotional, sensorial. Parents of gifted children also have good instincts about their child being different from other kids.  My son started talking at 6-9 months. He was a very difficult as a baby despite wearing him, nursing him, some co-sleeping, etc. He had eczema, too- again I think a part of being sensitive.  He also had the very long attention spans that you speak of and would be almost obsessed with doing one project until he mastered it and then he would move on to something else. Besides my own personal experience with my child I dont have any experience with sensory stuff so I wont speak to that issue. However,I hoped that my comment might give you some understanding of what might be going on with your son. It doesnt solve the problem but it might help you inderstand some of his behavior. Also I think it is awesome that he is able to tell you what he needs from you- as far as patting and such. Listen to your instincts and listen to your child. Best Wishes.

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