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#1 of 24 Old 10-29-2007, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am new here, so let me introduce myself. I am a busy SAHM to 3 beautiful girls. My oldest is 4 and 1/2 and has been diagnosed with SPD. We began to notice agressive behaivor twords other kids at 15 months and by 2 she was having alot of difficultites and tantrums in most situations. We went thru alot trying to get answers and couldn't find much help. We finnally got help thru the school system where they told us about the SPD. She has been in a special preschool program since last winter and we have had outside OT. She is very smart and ahead of her age in most developmental areas.

I am hoping to get some feedback from other parents with similar issues. The problem is that I don't feel like her SPD explains all of her behaivoral problems. We had parent teacher conferences last week and it doesn't sound like her teacher or the social worker think that it does either. They are very concerned about her defiance, aggression and anger. We have been having a very hard time at home lately also. My husband looked at her the other day and said, "she is just so sad, she's always sad." She is very combative and impulsive. I spend alot of time getting down on myself, thinking that she must be out of control because I don't discipline enough, because I am not doing my job as a mom. To the outsider that is what it must look like. I hear it all the time, even from my own mom. But I know there is something more going on.

She just can't cope with things. Like today her regular bus driver was gone. She was very upset and wouldn't let the sub buckle her in and didn't want to go to school and cried and hung onto me.

The school will be continuing to evaluate and in the spring she will see a psychiatrist, which I am both looking forward to and very nervous about. I just want to understand what is going on with her. Does anyone have any thoughts about how I should go about getting her help or what she might be dealing with?
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#2 of 24 Old 10-29-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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My dd (also 4.5) sounds sooooo much like yours. She was recently diagnosed with "sensory issues," and we are currently searching for an independent OT and pursuing testing through her school.

She has had some aggressive phases (mostly when I was trying really hard to regularly go to a very large and boisterous playgroup, which I now realize was wayyyyy too much stimulation for her), and is just, in general, a very stubborn, opinionated, inflexible, spirited (difficult?!) child.

She also appears unhappy a lot, or seems to have a harder time finding activities that she enjoys, because so many activities (and even time at home) are overstimulating for her.

She is in a pre-K class with 15 other students, a big group for her, but since there seems to be a fair amount of structure and/or organized activities, she is doing okay. (We haven't had teacher conferences yet, but the teacher is very open with the parents, and I'm sure she would have mentioned something if there was an issue.) She really flounders in situations where there is a lot of free-play, because she gets overwhelmed and/or doesn't know how to interact with the other kids effectively.

Like your dd, she is very smart and advanced in a lot of areas, especially speech (always has been). She also seems to react strongly when things happen that she doesn't expect, like the bus driver incident you mentioned.

Anyway, I don't have much advice, really, but wanted to respond because, like I said, our dd's seem to have a lot of similarities. It can be quite challenging and frustrating. And demoralizing when I start thinking that it's somehow my fault. (And I know it's not, and it's not your fault either.)


Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#3 of 24 Old 10-29-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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My sensory seeking toddler sounds a lot like your daughter. He also has motor planning issues, a language delay and self-regulatory problems. He tantrums all.the.time. He lives on routine, and cannot handle things outside that framework. Frequently, sensory processing issues are not the only issue. According to our OT, motor planning, language/speech issues and self-regulation are often hand in hand, b/c they're all so closely related. Have you read "out of sync child"? It's a fabulous intro to the world of sensory processing disorders.

My toddler, Mark, is also "sad" so much of the time. He's only comfortable inside his safety zone, and it's so hard to move them outside that zone without risking meltdowns, tantrums and outright disaster.
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#4 of 24 Old 10-29-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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I am new here, so let me introduce myself. I am a busy SAHM to 3 beautiful girls. My oldest is 4 and 1/2 and has been diagnosed with SPD. We began to notice agressive behaivor twords other kids at 15 months and by 2 she was having alot of difficultites and tantrums in most situations. We went thru alot trying to get answers and couldn't find much help. We finnally got help thru the school system where they told us about the SPD. She has been in a special preschool program since last winter and we have had outside OT. She is very smart and ahead of her age in most developmental areas.

I am hoping to get some feedback from other parents with similar issues. The problem is that I don't feel like her SPD explains all of her behaivoral problems. We had parent teacher conferences last week and it doesn't sound like her teacher or the social worker think that it does either. They are very concerned about her defiance, aggression and anger. We have been having a very hard time at home lately also. My husband looked at her the other day and said, "she is just so sad, she's always sad." She is very combative and impulsive. I spend alot of time getting down on myself, thinking that she must be out of control because I don't discipline enough, because I am not doing my job as a mom. To the outsider that is what it must look like. I hear it all the time, even from my own mom. But I know there is something more going on.

She just can't cope with things. Like today her regular bus driver was gone. She was very upset and wouldn't let the sub buckle her in and didn't want to go to school and cried and hung onto me.

The school will be continuing to evaluate and in the spring she will see a psychiatrist, which I am both looking forward to and very nervous about. I just want to understand what is going on with her. Does anyone have any thoughts about how I should go about getting her help or what she might be dealing with?
Hi... I am also new here and just wanted to offer some support. I have gone through a long phase with my 4 1/2 yo of feeling overwhelmed by her behavior and like there is something "wrong". Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one. The bus driver thing sounds so familiar.

I also thought I'd tell you about something we tried when she was about 3.75. I was feeling so tired of her "terrible twos" behavior and aggression toward her sister and me. I was searching on these boards for how to deal with it in the gentle discipline forum and someone mentioned diet to me. I don't even remember who the mom was, but I could seriously hug her. Anyway, she told me how her nephew had been aggressive and they did an elimination diet, starting with dairy. She said it was like he turned into a different kid. Well, seriously, I was ready to try anything and my DD was a serious dairy fanatic, but I was determined. After only about 3 days we noticed a momentous change in her behavior. There is some mention of this in other places. I saw something about eliminating casein (milk protein) mentioned in regards to SPD just yesterday when I started searching on SPD info. There are some theories that that and gluten can have an impact on behavior.

Side effects we noticed of eliminating dairy:
stopped snoring and heavy breathing (which was noticeable to her preschool teachers enough to ask if she was sick)
stopped being constipated
much less aggressive behavior
instantly stopped having accidents every time she had to pee
much less lethargic
she often looked a little windburned in the cheeks and that disappeared

Anyway, after all that, we are fairly convinced she has a milk protein allergy. I went over it with a pedi behavioral doc and he said it sounds like all the symptoms and that the allergy test may or may not show it, but we've already proven it to him. I really was floored at what a difference the change made, so I'm a big believer that it can help.

I'm also curious about your OT and preschool program? I'm just curious because I didn't realize all these options were available through the school system. If you don't mind my asking, how did you figure all of that out?

About to have 3 little chicks due with #3 Dec 15th
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#5 of 24 Old 10-29-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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I just want to encourage you wonderful ladies. My DD came along ten full years before I heard the term SPD. She is 20 now, still struggles with her "issues", but everything is sooo much easier. Yes, check the diet. Check other allergies, too. My sweetie was very sensitive to mold and petrochemicals.
About the psychiatrist: I'd interview him/her before I let him interview my kid. If their world view is far from yours, you might want to go to someone else. The Psyc. we saw for advice on meds told my daughter (I think she was about 15) "There's no such thing as sensory integration disorder." (Not that he's closed minded or anything!!!!) Also...and VERY important in our home, her "anger" was most often at herself because she couldn't do anything "right". These poor darlings are SO frustrated.
Hang in there moms. It feels like you are the only one, but you're not!
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#6 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your replies. I was feeling very overwhelmed and you have all helped me feel a little better. Thank you for the encouragment.

I have heard many times that diet changes may be helpful and I have wanted to try it, but it feels like such an impossible task. My DD is also a cheese addict. One of her main sensory problems has always been food. She cryed frantically when I gave her a bananna at 6 months old. To this day she'll have a tantrum if she has to be close to one. Getting her to eat anything is one of our big challenges, if I took out dairy and gluten, I really don't know what she would eat, we are vegatarians. So I know I should try it, but I could use some suggestions for food substitutions.

MamaLuvsYa it's encouranging to her that your 20 yo is doing well. I seriously worry that my daughter will not be able to cope in the world. I want to beleive she will grow out of this. I hope it will get easier when she has control over her own environment.

NoCalMomof2 Are you still following the dairy free diet? Are things better with it still? As for preschool, we called the school and asked for an IEP, they did evaluations and diagnosed the SPD, but she didnt't qualify for services because she was at or ahead in a developmental areas. We started her in a Montessori preschool (bad fit!) and she did awful. The school social worker came in to observe and based on what he saw, hitting, screaming, not cooperating, they changed their evaluation to say that she was 1/2 her social emotional age. So now she goes to the special ed preschool and they have to provide the OT. We also went to a outpaitent OT sensory program on our own.
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#7 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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Wow, your post sounds familiar. My ds, age 5.5 has SPD, and anger, aggression and impulsive behavior. The various professionals I've spoken with all say that some of the anger issues are sensory related, but no one can say if all the anger issues are sensory related. I've put off the psych eval because frankly I think there is a good chance it will be useless at best. The 2 times my kids have had neuro psych reviews have been very disappointing. Anyway, school is really pushing for the psych review so I have one scheduled.

One of the strange things about ds is that to date, he hasn't had any developmental delays other than the behavioural/social one. Everyone who knows anything about sensory issues however agree that he has serious problems with sensory modulation. OT is very, very helpful for him, but it's also very, very expensive so he's probably had less than the ideal amount over the past year or so. We are starting another course of more extensive OT (2 sessions a week) and I am seeing changes in him.

I know I need to tackle the diet issue, but he has such a limited diet that my mind boggles when I think of eliminating any of the few foods he eats. I have food allergy testing scheduled with his pediatrician in a couple of weeks.

No answers here for you, but I hope it helps to hear that we are dealing with similar questions.
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#8 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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Thank you so much for your replies. I was feeling very overwhelmed and you have all helped me feel a little better. Thank you for the encouragment.

I have heard many times that diet changes may be helpful and I have wanted to try it, but it feels like such an impossible task. My DD is also a cheese addict. One of her main sensory problems has always been food. She cryed frantically when I gave her a bananna at 6 months old. To this day she'll have a tantrum if she has to be close to one. Getting her to eat anything is one of our big challenges, if I took out dairy and gluten, I really don't know what she would eat, we are vegatarians. So I know I should try it, but I could use some suggestions for food substitutions.

We only did dairy to start and got such an amazing response that I never went forward with gluten. One of my DDs biggest things is also eating and it's how I got to this point. I've been searching and searching for the answer and this seems to be it.

Anyway, my DD eats no vegetables (except for tomato soup), no fruit (except for bananas), no meat (except for bacon - has to be cracker crispy), so obviously, eliminating dairy was challenging for us too. I am so glad I tried it though. I committed to trying it for a long weekend with the hopes I might make it a month and then was so amazed with the results that I kept going. I can now give her a little dairy and it seems to be okay. She has a little bit on pizza and she has small amounts of yogurt once every one or two days. She has soymilk and I've tried ricemilk. I use those to make anything that requires milk and it's fine. She won't drink it straight up, but will if I add a little chocolate syrup. Doesn't have to be much - as long as she sees that it's a tannish color than suddenly it's "chocolate milk" and it's okay. I don't do this all the time though.

One of the other positive side effects I noticed about eliminating dairy is that her eating improved noticeably. She became more willing to try a few things and we managed to add in pasta to her acceptable food list, which was huge! I read this allergy book and it actually said that it's very likely with allergies in children that they will actually crave the thing that they're allergic too, almost like a drug, because their body doesn't process it properly. That was my "aha" moment. My DD was drinking milk like it was going out of style. Even now she will try to weasel people into giving it to her and a little boy we're friends with had a sippy cup at our house with milk in it recently and she found it laying around and snuck it and drank the whole thing down in no time flat. It's all very interesting. This was the allergy book I read (they had it at my library) and it was very helpful to me.

http://www.amazon.com/This-Your-Chil...3718712&sr=8-1

About to have 3 little chicks due with #3 Dec 15th
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#9 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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NoCalMomof2 Are you still following the dairy free diet? Are things better with it still? As for preschool, we called the school and asked for an IEP, they did evaluations and diagnosed the SPD, but she didnt't qualify for services because she was at or ahead in a developmental areas. We started her in a Montessori preschool (bad fit!) and she did awful. The school social worker came in to observe and based on what he saw, hitting, screaming, not cooperating, they changed their evaluation to say that she was 1/2 her social emotional age. So now she goes to the special ed preschool and they have to provide the OT. We also went to a outpaitent OT sensory program on our own.
A little addendum to the dairy free is that I ran through all of DDs symptoms with a behavioral feeding therapist and he said that he wouldn't even bother with allergy testing because it's not always accurate and that can confuse things. I'm still thinking of having her allergy tested, but all I know is that it's working and I don't want to go back to where we were before we went dairy free. I feel like I found my child and she is so wonderful and sweet now when previously she always seemed so angry and unhappy.

We also tried a Montessori preschool and while she did well there I found that she was bottling up all her emotion and taking her aggression out even more when she got home. It was like it took it all out of her to be good for school and then she just fell apart when she got home. We are homeschooling this year using Enki, which has more of a Waldorf flavor (with still some Montessori ideas added in), and while we still struggle some, I feel like our homelife is 100% better since we made this adjustment. It is just a much gentler flowing pace and it seems to work so well for her.

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#10 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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Laurie, I've thought of homeschooling too, but if I did, dd would have zero interaction with other kids. She is soooooo resistant to having kids over, and if I force the issue, she'll just refuse to talk to them the whole time. Our biggest reason not to homeschool is the social issue. (For other kids, this isn't an issue. But for our dd in particular, it is.) So far (knock on wood) she seems to be doing okay in the pre-K class she's in. I am actually really looking forward to parent-teacher conferences (in February!!) to get a better sense of how she's doing. She seems okay at home since starting, so I'm sort of holding my breath and hoping that it continues to go all right.

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#11 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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I wanted to add that I'm another one who's wanted to try dietary changes, but like the rest of you, dd has a realllly limited diet already. She loves milk (hates soy) and cheese. We actually tried eliminating dairy when she was younger (maybe around 2) and didn't notice a ton of changes, but I think I'm going to try it again.

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#12 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to add that I'm another one who's wanted to try dietary changes, but like the rest of you, dd has a realllly limited diet already. She loves milk (hates soy) and cheese. We actually tried eliminating dairy when she was younger (maybe around 2) and didn't notice a ton of changes, but I think I'm going to try it again.
I would love it if we could all help each other thru this. We could share ideas for replacment foods and encourage each other thru it. I know I have been putting it off because it is very overwhelming to me.

I can't beleive how much all of your children sound like my daughter. I have never met another child like her and other parents never understand what we are going thru, so it is so helpful to know I am not the only one. I find it interesting that all of our children are close to the same age. It has got em thinking that maybe this anger and frustration is a normal stage for kids with SPD? any thoughts? I have been very down thinking that she has some other mental illness or problem.

As for the Allergy testing NoCal, I wouldn't waste your time. We took DD to an allergist and got nowhere. The bloodwork showed no food or environmental allergies. I know my daughter is sensitive to many things, but maybe they are just sensitivities and not actual allergies. I think it set us back because then I didn't think I had to make any changes to her diet. I am realizing now that that would be helpful.
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#13 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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I would love it if we could all help each other thru this. We could share ideas for replacment foods and encourage each other thru it. I know I have been putting it off because it is very overwhelming to me.
When ds was first introduced to dairy at about age 3.5-4, he would have very aggressive sensory seeking behavior for 1-6 hours after consumption, depending on amount consumed. He'd head butt us for the sensory input if we were standing still, run with arms wide open through the house bumping things, inability to hear other's needs, auditory blocking, loud vocalization, short term memory impairment, impulse control deficit, etc. He'd have huge jumping and bouncing needs for an hour or longer. After continuing more of the of "Healing the Gut" dietary stuff (CO, CLO, probiotics, Mg, etc), he is able to tolerate most any food, except additives, without huge increases in sensory seeking behavior. But, the "dairy dance" is common with dairy, ime.

Oh, we use raw milk now, without issue though. We also have found it doesn't cause the aggression that we'd experienced with processed dairy. Something about how the proteins are denatured in the pasteurizing, I believe.

Here is the link to the "Healing the Gut" Tribe-Cheat Sheet: https://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=434071

Have you tried nutrition rich smoothies? We add frozen fruit, rice milk, protein powders (there are many and they don't add much flavor) and coconut oil for calories. I'll add vitamins, flax seed oil, olive oil, probiotics, and it is filling, quick, easy, convenient and portable. Sometimes, I add a few nuts or vegetables (peas, corn, shredded zucchini, carrots) or peanut butter. I even tried adding a 1/2 slice of deli turkey, not terrible, but just a bit off. Or add yogurt, frozen or fresh. There is also an egg protein powder available in the baking section. We also make rice milk milkshakes with added protein powders, strawberry or chocolate are favorites. I also add protein powders to pancake mix, muffins, banana bread, etc.

We use rice milk cheese also. It is available at EarthFare as cheddar and mozzarella. And rice milk ice cream. Chocolate tastes the same as dairy. We've made raw milk ice cream also.

I just try to add several easy nutritious foods that optimize his intake. Our son will go on binges of not wanting much "nutritional", but I supplement his diet with simple nutritional alternatives. We give our son a Whole Food supplement. It is literally made from certified organic vegetables and fruit concentrates of apples, blackberry, blueberry, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, papaya, parsley, plum, purple grapes, raspberry, spinach and tomatoes. You can see the flecks of green vegetable even. It has no artificial colors, flavors, free of yeast, wheat, milk, egg, soy, gluten, salt, salicylates and preservatives. The brand is Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears 'Whole food plus antioxidants', and separately 'Multi-vitamins', which are a vitamin and mineral supplement. They look like gummy bears and taste great.

We also give Natural Factors Vit. C natural flavors (chewable); Nature's Plus Children's chewable Calcium; Nordic Natural's Berry Keen 100% Cod liver oil (natural strawberry flavored and ds LOVES it!).

Essential fatty acids, magnesium, and calcium all are related to mood balance. Check out The Feingold Diet www.feingold.orgfor information about salicylate loading concerns. Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals present in some foods which cause some people difficulty. We avoid them in large doses.

I add extra calories by adding coconut oil to my baking also. Ds likes peanut butter (before age two I'd use almond butter, less allergenic). It has a lot of calories. Avocados do too. Getting enough calories is an on-going awareness of mine because our son is so physical and active. But, sometimes he'll eat little for several days and then eat adult portions of an amazing quantity of food. We are more grazers than big meal eaters though usually.

Oh, and high fructose corn syrup never comes in our house!! : It causes aggression and sensory seeking behavior in ds, also.

HTH, Pat

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#14 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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Just to add another perspective (and not to dismiss the dietary suggestions, I think diet is well worth looking into): I have a child who has sensory issues but who is not diagnosed with SPD. In our experience, our dd's sensory issues contribute to tension and anxiety (and she has a temperamental tendency to be anxious). When she's tense and anxious, she has a much harder time coping with life's challenges (more easily frustrated and upset, more tantrums, more irritability) and a harder time controlling her aggressive impulses. There's a book called The Sensory-Sensitive Child (I think that's the name, I don't have it right in front of me) that describes this same thing: for some kids the sensory processing disorder can cause the child to be frequently on the verge of that fight-or-flight response, they're just so tense and highly aroused (and anxious) so frequently. This really can lead to behavioral difficulties like aggression, tantrums, etc.
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#15 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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Sledg, I hadn't heard of that book! Thanks.

I definitely agree that environmental sensory input is a variable which can increase ds's sensory overload. And that seems to lead to an attempt to "control" the sensory input by intentionally seeking physical sensory input. The repetitive physical input has a overriding/calming effect for him, it seems.

I'm curious to read more about the "fight or flight" response. I have pondered if my anxiety during pregnancy (and working in critical care environments with frequent adrenalin rush) contributed to altered cortisol levels in utero. Thus ds having a heighten reaction to stimuli, perhaps.

Certainly, as the environment is able to be moderated or negotiated to meet his needs, (sound, demands, expectations, voices, touch, lights, emotions, etc.) he is much less over-stimulated. Are others of you aware of The Highly Sensitive Child book? http://www.hsperson.com/pages/child.htm There is online questionnaire 'Is Your Child Highly Sensitive?', which also provides a good sense of what is meant by a "highly sensitive child."


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#16 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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Good food ideas Wu Wei! We do a lot of healthy smoothies too. You can hide anything in them even fresh veggies. Try not to make them too sweet. You could substitute avocados for bananas in smoothies.

We also eat a lot of boiled eggs (they're such a quick, easy, yummy, healthy) snack. Also a lot of scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. We also do a lot of nuts and nut butters. I make my own trail mix out of all raw nuts and shredded coconut, sometimes I add dark chocolate chips. We do nut butter sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches. We eat low salicylate fruits like pears, cantaloupe, mango, and kiwi. Frozen mango, and dried fig and mango are our convenience treats (great for lunch boxes).

I also made a chocolate-coconut-omega bar the other day which is a great healthy snack. The ingredients include: coconut oil, flax seed meal, diced walnut, Arrowhead Mills puffed millet and rice cereals, cashew butter, maple syrup, egg, water, and ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. I baked a thin layer at 350 for about 20 minutes and then sliced it into bars. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I wrapped them all in tinfoil, and put half in fridge and half in freezer. They have been such a convenient high-protein, high omega, high calorie, additive free on-the-go food.

We were/are mostly vegetarian too, but I realized we really were not getting a healthy enough diet (too much dairy, not enough healthy fat, not enough protein, too much fruit and carbohydrates,etc.) Now we are trying to incorporate some more animal protein (eggs and healthy fish mostly, but experimenting with a little beef and turkey). We are seeing a doctor who specializes in nutrition and behavior and she is very down on vegetarian diets. She believes almost all vegetarian children have a B-12 deficiency that seriously impacts behavior. A few years ago, I would have thought she was full of it, but the more I study nutrition and behavior I'm not so sure. She wants DS to do B-12 shots. I'm still researching that. Also iron intake is something I'm trying to look at.
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#17 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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Just to add another perspective (and not to dismiss the dietary suggestions, I think diet is well worth looking into): I have a child who has sensory issues but who is not diagnosed with SPD. In our experience, our dd's sensory issues contribute to tension and anxiety (and she has a temperamental tendency to be anxious). When she's tense and anxious, she has a much harder time coping with life's challenges (more easily frustrated and upset, more tantrums, more irritability) and a harder time controlling her aggressive impulses. There's a book called The Sensory-Sensitive Child (I think that's the name, I don't have it right in front of me) that describes this same thing: for some kids the sensory processing disorder can cause the child to be frequently on the verge of that fight-or-flight response, they're just so tense and highly aroused (and anxious) so frequently. This really can lead to behavioral difficulties like aggression, tantrums, etc.
Sledg, that's actually almost exactly what the developmental pediatrician said about dd. She said dd has anxiety (which can in turn cause aggression, unhappiness, tantrums, etc.) caused by sensory issues. And that OT should/could help.

I haven't read any of the sensory books yet (except The Highly Sensitive Child, which was good but not quite enough), but will add that to my list (and hit the library and/or amazon this week).

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#18 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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Sledg, that's actually almost exactly what the developmental pediatrician said about dd. She said dd has anxiety (which can in turn cause aggression, unhappiness, tantrums, etc.) caused by sensory issues. And that OT should/could help.
It's good to keep in mind that anxiety in kids doesn't always exactly look like we imagine anxiety looks. For my child anxiety looks like irritability, anger, tantrums, aggression, constant questions, bossiness/defiance/controlling behavior, clinginess--and of those I tended to only associate clinginess with anxiety. It was not until she was about 7 that my child verbalized worries and fears-and I know she still experiences anxiety due to sensory issues but still can't articulate it well much of the time. Because dd's anxiety didn't look like we imagined anxiety would look like, her anxiety was unrecognized by us for a long time. Unfortunately.
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#19 of 24 Old 10-30-2007, 03:47 PM
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It's good to keep in mind that anxiety in kids doesn't always exactly look like we imagine anxiety looks. For my child anxiety looks like irritability, anger, tantrums, aggression, constant questions, bossiness/defiance/controlling behavior, clinginess--and of those I tended to only associate clinginess with anxiety. It was not until she was about 7 that my child verbalized worries and fears-and I know she still experiences anxiety due to sensory issues but still can't articulate it well much of the time. Because dd's anxiety didn't look like we imagined anxiety would look like, her anxiety was unrecognized by us for a long time. Unfortunately.
That is so interesting, because MY anxiety looks like that - the grown up version of that. I am very irritable and easily annoyed, or at least I SEEM that way to others, when really I am just very very anxious. And when I am feeling really anxious, my fuse gets really short and my patience is nonexistent.

My son Danny is a sensory seeker and we originally thought his issues were due to food allergies. We have eliminated both dairy and gluten for over a year with no real change. We would go through periods when we thought he was doing better but then it would get really really bad again with no change in diet. He is currently eating all foods except HFCS and now we are trying to keep ALL artificial dyes,colors, flavors, etc out of our house. Food eliminations are really hard when your child basically only eats white/tan foods. A few weeks ago, Danny ate an entire avocado and I called DH at work to tell him! It was THAT big of a deal!

Danny often acts aggressive, but I can always see a direct connection between his aggression and something that may have just happened. Like, he gets aggressive if he is interrupted. Like ridiculously aggressive. But he has a hard time getting out a sentence, so its is probably EXTREMELY frustrating to be interrupted after that much work. Or even if he is interrupted while lining up his trains or if he is interrupted while running in circles. Not that its OK to be aggressive and hit someone, but it rarely comes out of the blue with him. I can almost always see a situation and *know* it will probably not end well. Where we are struggling now is how to intervene before those situations get out of control.

mama. SPD/SID and aggressive kids is hard hard work.
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#20 of 24 Old 10-31-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Related to the anxiety and fight-flight response connected with sensory processing-- DS has a vision processing issue (his primary issue, also diagnosed with SID and motor planning problem)-- DS is in vision therapy and contrary to what one might think they focus relatively little on his eyes at this point. They are working primary at integrating retained reflexes. For example, the moro reflex is that startle reflex newborns have in response to sudden sounds. This and many other newborn reflexes are normally outgrown by about a year old; this process of maturing allows a child to progress into normal gross and fine motor development. However, some children retain them for a variety of reasons. My son has a retained moro reflex (among others). When he feels threatened/startled, I can actually see him throw his hands in the air, stiffen his back, hold his breath and put his head to the side (kind of like a newborn), although I never recognized it until I started learning about this stuff in vision therapy. This reflex essentially activates the parasympathetic nervous system and gives him that fight or flight stress response in response to everyday sensory stimuli. This moro reflex and other retained reflexes have inhibited his full gross motor development, and doesn't allow him to run fluidly or as fast as other six-year-olds for example. And yes my son definitely has some anxiety issues that often manifest as irritability, defiance, aggression, etc. I'm convinced that these issues relate to these retained reflexes and sensory overload. (I'm also really noticing how when I am vigilant to keep my discipline firm, gentle, quiet, and neutral, not angry, and facilitate a lot of soothing physical activities and transitions, my son seems to have less of this fight or flight type response in his daily life.) BTW, the reason VT is focusing on all this large body stuff is that according to VT eye motor coordination can only be as developed as the rest of the body, fascinating stuff. Eventually as he successfully integrates/drops his retained reflexes, they will focus in more and more on fine eye movements.
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#21 of 24 Old 10-31-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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That is so interesting, because MY anxiety looks like that - the grown up version of that. I am very irritable and easily annoyed, or at least I SEEM that way to others, when really I am just very very anxious. And when I am feeling really anxious, my fuse gets really short and my patience is nonexistent.
: Me too, that's exactly what happens when I am feeling anxious, but I never quite put two and two together. I think I used to cope with anxiety through withdrawal, but now with little boys who won't leave me alone for 5 minutes most of the time, I can't withdraw. So like a scared doggy who's trying to hide, but someone won't leave them alone I get irritable, annoyed, even vicious. Somedays I just wake up this way and can't seem to control it. That's when I pop a movies in to protect my darling children from my mood. For me, I know it also connects with hormones and sleep, but wow! Usually my behavior is usually a reflection of anxiety, and I get really sensitive to noises and other sensory stimuli as well. Perhaps we need to start a thread for SID/anxiety mommies!
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#22 of 24 Old 11-04-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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Laurie, I've thought of homeschooling too, but if I did, dd would have zero interaction with other kids. She is soooooo resistant to having kids over, and if I force the issue, she'll just refuse to talk to them the whole time. Our biggest reason not to homeschool is the social issue. (For other kids, this isn't an issue. But for our dd in particular, it is.) So far (knock on wood) she seems to be doing okay in the pre-K class she's in. I am actually really looking forward to parent-teacher conferences (in February!!) to get a better sense of how she's doing. She seems okay at home since starting, so I'm sort of holding my breath and hoping that it continues to go all right.
If it seems to be working, I say stick with it. We really felt like homeschooling felt right because the drama over getting to school in the morning and that transition was unbearable and then the behavior after it was horrible too. I finally realized when DD had a week off for holidays how much nicer she was and just more stable seeming, so we thought we'd experiment for a year and see how it went. We're only a few months in, but I'm pretty happy with the choice. I think DD just needs alot of down time.

About to have 3 little chicks due with #3 Dec 15th
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#23 of 24 Old 11-04-2007, 03:33 AM
 
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It's very late here (even with Daylight Savings Time, ha!) but I just had to chime in and say that this thread is great! My DS is 5 yrs old and has SPD as well as Anxiety/OCD (diagnosed). So much of what is posted here is us exactly!! We are doing the Feingold diet and this is helping, we also go to OT and are starting play therapy this Tuesday. Like one of the other posters (the OP?) I never met/saw another child quite like DS, so it's a comfort that mamas can come here and share. The post about vision therapy has intrigued me as our OT suggested that DS go to a developmental opthomologist as he has some unique vision "issues" (ie: textures bother his eyes, too much visual stimuli in a picture overwhelms him, etc.)

Oh, and the mention about anxiety in adulthood (my own) and subsequent reactions (irritable, etc) was an eye-opener for me and rang quite true I'm a bit embarrassed to admit . . .

Super thread!
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#24 of 24 Old 11-04-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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http://www.amazon.com/Engine-Leaders.../dp/0964304104
I've heard good things about this book. My library doesn't have it so I may get it for xmas.

There are also a lot of other good books on that page.
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