Mothering Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, first some background. My dd is almost 7yo. She was born at 35wks. She was small and didn't nurse well, but otherwise healthy. Since we brought her home she has always had issues. Like I said, she had a very hard time nursing (I attributed it to her being so tiny and early). We had to supplement from the beginning and at 4mo she quit nursing all together. She had to be held constantly, would freak out if we put her down. She always had to be swaddled to keep her calm. Again, we thought it was a preemie issue. As she got older other things started to happen. When she was 2 I asked a friend of mine with ocd if she thought dd might have it because dd was so picky about things. As she has gotten older she has gotten worse.<br><br>
Here's a sample of things that are issues for her...<br><br>
Won't eat anything "squishy". When she was younger she would poke food to see how squishy it was before she would even attempt to eat it.<br><br>
Prefers foods that are crunchy. She will eat veggies straight out of the freezer, but not if they are cooked.<br><br>
Refuses to eat almost everything. Keeps a mental food list of things she will/won't eat. Crackers, pasta (plain, she used to eat sauce, now she won't), pizza, frozen veggies, apples, grapes, sometimes bananas, pretzels, chips (but only certian kinds), hot dogs (gag), veggie chicken patties. The one exception to the squishy foods is ice cream. That's about it. Usually will drink water, never juice, soy milk about once a month.<br><br>
She often gags on her food/drink.<br><br>
She won't touch many things. Especially not anything messy or dirty or wet.<br><br>
She's scared of animals (even if we are in the house and the animal is outside). We're talking pets not scary wild animals. When we got a kitten she was 3 and didn't touch the floor for 2wks because she was afraid of it (even though we'd had a cat since before she was born). She's also afraid of the taxidermed animals at our local museum that are in natural looking habitats but behind glass. Although she loves to go to the zoo and the petting farm (you don't go in the pens though so she can stand 6ft away). (last year for the 1st time ever she actually touched her fav pony!)<br><br>
She hand flaps when she's agitated or nervous, flips her hair a lot when she's nervous.<br><br>
She hides when scared. Like if if a cat walks through our backyard and she is in the house, she will hide in a far corner or behind a chair (even though all the doors and windows are shut).<br><br>
She only wears 2 or 3 different outfits. She has tons of clothes, but never touches 95% of them. She likes the clothes and doesn't want to get rid of them, but she won't wear them.<br><br>
She's very sensitive to loud noises.<br><br>
She got so upset when we got rid of our old couch that she threw up.<br><br>
She over-reacts to lots of seemingly simple things. Like mil joked that with her hair done up in pretties she barely recognized her. She hasn't worn hair pretties since. She also doesn't want to get her hair cut because she's afraid people won't know who she is.<br><br>
She is very smart, very verbal, super creative (she started her own online art business), relates to familiar adults just as well as kids (she doesn't like strangers, but I know that is a common thing). We homeschool so that I don't have to worry about her in school. I know it would crush her. She is a perfectionist and gets very frustrated with workbooks that have def right/wrong answers, but she understands the concepts and will use them in other ways when she doesn't think I'm paying attention (I don't force her to do workbooks, she chooses to do them and then gets upset with them.)<br><br>
She does have several good friends who like her. They just accept that she gets upset about things and they do their best to make her feel better. (they are also 8 and 8.5) When we go to the playground, she easily plays with kids that are there that she's never met before. She does get upset if other kids growl while they play chase games.<br><br>
I'm trying to decide if I should push for a diagnosis. I'm thinking some sort of help so that she can regulate her responses a little more. I'm just afraid that the therapy to get to that point would be worse for her than life is now. But I'm also aware that the older she gets the more she stands out as different and while I don't want to change the person she is (which is why I kept her out of school), I don't want to make life harder for her if I could help her learn not to be so scared of things and react so strongly.<br><br>
I know this is a book. I'm sorry, I just don't know what, if anything, I should do to help her. I tears me up when I see her so scared of things. I don't want her to be scared of the world as she grows up.<br><br>
WWYD with her given this snapshot of her life?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
I totally understand what you are asking. When we first noticed Jayce having characteristics of autism, a lot of what we were seeing were sensory issues. I read books, went online, and saw that a lot of children with autism have sensory issues. And a lot of children with sensory issues do not have autism. And basically everyone has sensory issues to a degree.<br><br>
It sounds like her sensory issues are definitely severe enough that they impact her life in a negative way. Sensory integration therapy with a good occupational therapist might really help!<br><br>
Whether or not she'll meet criteria for autism is another matter. If there is no speech delay, then asperger's is a possibility. But if there is also no social issues, then I doubt you would get an ASD diagnosis.<br><br>
The psychologist we talked to really believes that sensory issues should be a part of the DSM-IV criteria for autism diagnosis, along with characteristics of self-stimming. But yet, they aren't right now.<br><br>
An evaluation never hurts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> As well as second opinions! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Good luck and I hope things get easier!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,138 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
What I would do is get an OT evaluation from an OT who has a lot of experience with sensory integration issues. Particularly if you can find one who can work with sound sensitivity. And if she can also do oral motor that's great. If she/he can't I think you would also want to find a speech therapist or another OT who can. In fact given what you wrote the oral motor sensitivities might be the biggest/first issue to tackle. And to do that and the sound I think you need an expert. I'd also read a lot of books about sensory integration. And take it from that angle.<br><br>
I really don't think sensory integration equals autism. And that is the perspective a mom who has sensory issues herself but no autism, has a child with mild autism and sensory issues, and has a child with just sensory issues but no autism. My kid who has sensory issues but no autism "gets" all those social things his twin doesn't. He reads cues and body language. He naturally uses all the typical non-verbals in communicating himself and has all his life. I could go on but he simply doesn't struggle at all in autism areas. But he definitely has some sensory issues that impair his life. I just can't see that equaling his twin who has autism. It just isn't the same. And he doesn't benefit from autism specific stuff that help his twin (though I do things with both boys just so he doesn't feel left out of the fun with mommy!)<br><br>
And I don't necessarily see autism in what you wrote about your daughter (though maybe it is there and you just don't see them now because the sensory is so prominant sort of like the previous person described). <a href="http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html" target="_blank">http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html</a> This link might help you see if there might be spectrum stuff with her sensory issues. It is possible. If she tests on this as spectrum (even mildly) I'd probably get her on a waiting list for an autism assessment and start self taught floortime if you think it would help her. That's my opinion of course and some people don't want autism assessments for their kids and wouldn't do floortime. But floortime and similar interventions really helped my son, are fun, and are harmless if a child isn't on the spectrum so not a huge deal to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick responses. It's nice to have people understand what I'm talking about. Back when I went to college, there was autism and aspergers and that was all I learned so I don't understand the spectrum as well as I should. I wasn't sure if sensory integration was part of the spectrum or separate but related. Thanks for that clarification.<br><br>
I have read a few different books about sensory problems and they always seem to fit her. I did the self test that Rachelle posted and she scored a 48 (no pdd--with 50 being the bottom of the mild category) but everything she really fit was sensory, which I kind of expected.<br><br>
What is floortime? The first thought I had was tummy time when she was a baby, which she hated and we just gave up on. Oh wait, I googled it...off to read about it.<br><br>
Thanks to you both again!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,138 Posts
Given that score and that she did score only in the sensory areas and your description too I would not focus on autism. Floortime is specific to autism so forget that too!<br><br>
I'd put my time/energy/money into sensory integration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
It sounds a lot like sensory stuff to me. I have a lot of sensory stuff going on and have a few autism shadow traits but am not on the spectrum. I cope a lot better when the sensory stuff in under control. I still like order and sameness for the most part. I would definately pursue an evaluation with an OT who specializes in sensory issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I looked at the floor time site and you're right, she can do most all of that. All of her problems come from not being able to deal with sensory input. She is super sensitive to noises, sights, emotions, and in some cases touch. Her yearly check up is coming up (so is ds'). I think I will talk to the ped about her at ds' appt so she doesn't hear me saying everything that I need to say and maybe he can refer us to an OT.<br><br>
A funny story, I got the book "How to Get Your Child to Eat: But Not Too Much" from the library a couple weeks ago. I picked it up and was reading it one night and she looked at me and said "If you think reading that book is going to make me eat new foods, you can just take it back to the library. I only eat foods on my list." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,214 Posts
It sounds as though she could benefit from occupational therapy and Feeding Therapy.<br>
My son has a very small list of things he'll eat. I just managed to get my insurance to pay for Feeding Therapy. (he has SPD and is on the autism spectrum)<br><br>
Ds gets therapy at school but what really mattered (sadly) is the official diagnosis. Without the diagnosis, many people are getting the shaft (when it comes to schools providing therapies.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,445 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbgrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11575050"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
What I would do is get an OT evaluation from an OT who has a lot of experience with sensory integration issues. Particularly if you can find one who can work with sound sensitivity. And if she can also do oral motor that's great. If she/he can't I think you would also want to find a speech therapist or another OT who can. In fact given what you wrote the oral motor sensitivities might be the biggest/first issue to tackle. And to do that and the sound I think you need an expert. I'd also read a lot of books about sensory integration. And take it from that angle.<br><br>
I really don't think sensory integration equals autism.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: I'd DEFINITELY find a therapist who specializes in sensory stuff. <a href="http://www.spdfoundation.net/" target="_blank">http://www.spdfoundation.net/</a> I have a friend whose daughter sounds like yours. They took her in when she was down to 2 foods she'd eat plus one outfit she'd wear!!<br><br>
I wonder if reading up on anxiety would help. It sounds like she has a bit of that too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dare I ask what feeding therapy entails? I know she would probably hate it, but she needs it so badly.<br><br>
Lynn, thanks for your support here and on the other thread. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
My son has sensory issues and has started therapy with an OT.<br><br>
His food list is very short, too. I have heard a lot about kids who have dairy and gluten intolerances expanding their food chices when put on a dairy free gluten free diet. It may get worse for a while and then better.<br><br>
I haven't tried it yet. I am waiting to see what happens with the OT therapy and if things don't get better I will explore the diet.<br><br>
Your daughter sounds a lot like my son. Therapy isn't a cure-all, but it helps you recognize what you can do at home to make life better for you r child (and the rest of the family). I read a lot of books and scan boards about Sensory Interation Disorder but get overwhelmed with the amount of information out there. An evauation and OT can help you find a starting point.Good luck!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top