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Hi everyone, I am brand new here and I am hoping that some of you who have more experience can point me in the right direction.

I have 2 younger sons, who are 7 and 9. I also homeschool them, and I have been having a few concerns about them. My younger son is in a few different therapies, so I am very slowly learning about different sensory issues and this is where my concerns are coming from.

I have less concern for my older son. But I do see a few things that I now think might be some sensory issues. For example, he constantly wants to put things in his mouth. I bought him one of the necklaces that you can chew on, and that has helped some. It is getting better, but when he was a toddler, he would chew on his bed to the point that that there were large-ish sections chewed out over time... the same thing with our entertainment center. He chews his nails, straws, toys, blankets, clothing - a lot of things! He seems a little immature for his age compared to his friends, although his reading is far above grade level. But he does seem to make "odd" noises occasionally.

I have a lot more concern with my younger son. He is 7, like I said earlier. He has a stutter and some other speech difficulties. For example, he will say "defructive" instead of "destructive." He has been in speech therapy twice a week, and this is his second year.

He struggles A LOT with reading. He reverses letters many times, and is just now working on sounding out simple words. His handwriting is pretty terrible, and he is sooooo self conscious about his reading ability. I keep reassuring him, but it is hard to see him struggling so much.

About 2 years ago (not quite), we thought he might be dyslexic and our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric opthamologist. He was diagnosed with eye balance issues (not sure of the technical term, but his eyes don't track together), and also convergence insufficiency. He did neurovisual therapy for about a year, but had a hard time continuing because he had so much motion sickness.

I am really not sure of the terminology on this next part, so please forgive me if I don't get this right. But he also had 2 reflexes that should have been integrated in to his body but were still present. One was the moro reflex (slightly present) and the other was the ATNR, which is integrated into the body during crawling. But he did crawl for quite a while, but this was still very, very present. He also has some therapy that he has worked on at home, called Piggyback.

I also feel VERY strongly that he has some auditory processing issues, but I am stumped here. I don't know where to go on this one. One place said that they do not test kids until they are 8 and in 3rd grade, which seems crazy to me... wouldn't you want early intervention? At the therapy center where he goes for his other therapies, they had a therapy where they had him listen to special headphones to a special music program? If the therapy would work for him, it would stimulate the vagus nerve and cause an involuntary yawn. They tested the therapy on him, but it did not cause him to yawn (they tried a few different times) and they said it would not work for him, and now we are back to square one.

He also does a lot of the chewing that his brother does, although not as much. I also was reading that things like being sensitive to the air dryers in bathrooms can also be signs. Both boys were terrified of them until very recently. I would help them use it, for just a few seconds at first, and working our way up. They still don't like them, and avoid them if at all possible, but they don't freak out in the bathroom anymore.

I don't know if this is connected, and this is something I am definitely NOT complaining about, but both of them are very, very snuggly - I love snuggling with them, and I am in no hurry to finish this phase, but it seems sometimes like they NEED the snuggling to be able to continue with their tasks, if that makes sense.

My younger son will also sometimes play in a very childish way - acting like a kitten or baby and wanting to be held or wrapped up, or both. He will also get upset very, very easily. Sometimes, he will do a funny "fake cry" for attention. But the other day, it hit me - what if he is not "playing" at these things, but this is really where he is at and these are some sort of coping skills?

So, this was a very long way to say, "Hi, how are you? Can you help me?"

Thank you!
 

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Are you in a city? This isn't directly related, but I've had a lot of health problems and when I am not satisfied with a provider I get a second opinion. And a third, if necessary. Waiting until 3rd grade/age 8 may be one center or person's policy, but I don't think it's universal. My kids have had different issues than yours, but we've had to do some searching. The speech therapist my daughter saw for a longtime was the 3rd we tried, and the OT was the 2nd.

Getting motion sick with the eye therapy seems like it would be a clue to something, but I don't have the expertise to know what.

This is kind of an aside, but I hate those dryers in bathrooms. I don't have any sensory issues myself, but they feel like an assault on my ears. If they were on a construction site or part of a jet engine, maybe they wouldn't seem so harsh, but in a bathroom I think they're awful.
 

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Hi There. My son, now 10, has many of the same as what you described. We found a really good occupational therapist and she was amazing in directing us where to go for the visual challenges, helping with handwriting (he has dysgraphia) and teaching me how to advocate for him. The reading challenges you describe sound a lot like dyslexia or a language processing disorder. I would find a Barton specialist in your area to test your son. A Barton specialist can test as young as 5. Barton saved my son and he is doing so well and feels so proud of how hard he has worked!

If you find he needs more support with reading, Barton can be done at home by you and you can supplement with any Linda Mood-Bell programs like "Talkies" or "Visualizing and Verbalizing."
 
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