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Discussion Starter #1
In another thread Rynna made reference to her opinion that SPD is not a separate exceptionality but rather is part of giftedness. A gifted expert we consulted indicated that this is also her belief.<br><br>
DS has the diagnoses of gifted, SPD, dysgraphia, ADHD, convergence insufficiency. In the past couple of months he has really seemed to grow into himself quite a bit, which is reinforcing what I was coming to believe - that the SPD and ADHD are just names often applied to behaviours/inclinations that are part of giftedness when those features come to dominate the picture (as in are disruptive to the child or others involved).<br><br>
Does anyone have any references or thoughts they'd like to share?
 

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<a href="http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/dabrowski.htm" target="_blank">http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/dabrowski.htm</a> This would be a good place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm familiar with Dabrowski and have read a fair bit, including almost finishing the Living with Intensity book which is at the top of the link (for some reason I can't seem to get through it). But that helps me clarify the part I'm confused by. DS definitely spikes on all 5 OEs, and I really do think he doesn't have ADHD but rather has psychomotor OE. I think the other sensory issues are OEs and just being a little human, as we all have sensory sensitivities. Where I'm stumped is that he has definite proprioceptive and some vestibular sensory issues, and these are areas where we've seen the slowest shift.<br><br>
So, might proprioceptive and vestibular sensory issues be part of giftedness, or just those that can be more closely tied to OEs? Could it be coincidental, that the pro. and ves. issues are artifacts from minor birth trauma, and at the same time OEs are looking like other SPD issues? Or, could pro. and ves. issues relate to some kind of quantifiable neurological difference? These are the questions that have stopped me from saying "oh, yeah, it's all giftedness." That, and SPD has traction with potential service providers/teachers/doctors etc.
 

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Subbing.<br><br>
DS1 also has major OEs, especially psychomotor and emotional, and vestibular and proprioceptive issues.<br><br>
Like the OP, we have seen substantial improvement in the OEs as he has matured, but the vestibular and proprioceptive issues don't seem to be showing any improvement.
 

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The thing about SPD is that they are not all about overstimulation. There are SPD issues where the child is UNDER sensitive to things as well. So, I think that while there is some overlap, I don't think all SPD issues are the same as OEs.<br><br>
The thing with OEs and sensory overstimulation due to SPD is that clinically, they probably look the same, and they would be treated the similarly (by using sensory calming strategies).<br><br>
I read somewhere, that vestibular issues are the ones most implicated in behavioral issues (meltdowns and such). My dd2 with all the issues she had behaviorally did indeed have vestibular SPD (the biggest indicator was her throwing up in the car a lot).<br><br>
But, yeah, my most gifted child is the one with the most SPD issues. But due to birth trauma? I don't know. She was the only one who I needed pitocin for, but my other child (not quite as gifted) had to have forceps delivery and she ended up having oral hypersensitivities. Is there a link? I don't know. My youngest who had no interventions what so doesn't have any oversensitivities.
 

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<span>I keep hearing about connections between birth trauma and later sensory issues. I suppose it makes sense, but putting it in such simple terms leaves mothers who had a small number of interventions thinking that "if only I'd had a home birth, my kid wouldn't be as ___ as they are now". In reality, the connections have been drawn between *extreme* trauma and sensory/developmental issues but as far as I know absolutely no conclusions have been drawn about healthy children born to mothers who experienced a few interventions during birth/labor. I have two children who went to NICU and who have very little in the way of sensory issues. I've also got a niece who was born so quickly that her mother wasn't actually admitted to the hospital before it happened, and she's got HUGE sensory issues (secondary to autism-- something else which I've heard has been linked to birth trauma, though I have seen no evidence of any link except, again, in the most extreme cases).<br><br>
It makes sense to me that the brain of a gifted child would process sensory information in a different way because it's wired in a different way. In some cases, there will be overstimulation-- too much information coming from too many places all at once. That makes sense, because one of the ways that the brain of a gifted child is different has to do with the ability to glean more information from their senses. In other cases, there will be an understimulation problem, which also makes sense because gifted brains often *need* more information than they seem to be getting.<br><br>
I've personally dealt with both-- I routinely remove the tags from my clothing because they irritate me, and have been known to wear my clothing inside-out to keep seams from touching my skin. On the other hand, I frequently find myself seeking more visual and auditory stimulation than I'm getting. It's not uncommon to find me reading a book, knitting, watching television, and chewing gum all at once. I find that if I don't keep a steady stream of visual and auditory information going, I'm much more sensitive to the seams of my clothing and such.</span>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>joensally</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14750715"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">These are the questions that have stopped me from saying "oh, yeah, it's all giftedness." That, and SPD has traction with potential service providers/teachers/doctors etc.</div>
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I can understand your desire to think it through and make sense of it. I wonder though at the end of the day does it really matter where we sort this or if we call it SPD or OE as a part of giftedness. The key is really figuring out if your kid needs help and how to get it, right?
 

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This is something that's been on my mind a lot lately. DS is most likely gifted. He's also got SPD. Sometimes, it does seem a lot like OE... he just needs to take in more and more information. There are other sensitives and under sensitivities that make me think it's simply SPD. Sometimes I wonder if there's much of a difference between the two. That said, he had some pretty major birth trauma and it caused damage to his thalamus, which is the sensory center of the brain. I am always trying to put blame on myself for it (I allowed the OB to use vacuum suction to speed things along when she said I wouldn't be able to push him out, she used it improperly and hurt poor K's brain) but I have to wonder how much would be there anyway, considering the giftedness.<br>
In the end it does not matter. This is who he is and I am learning to accept all of that. Gifted, quirky, OE or SPD.... whatever labels you want to throw at him, he is who he is and my job is to love him and support him in the best way possible.
 

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Well, I've got one child with SPD and one child with definite OE, and to me, there is a difference. It's subtle, but it's there.<br><br>
For example: neither of my kids likes loud noises. Before we got occupational therapy for ds, he would go into full panic mode with loud noises. The 4th of July was torture for him. Even indoors, with the shades drawn, in my arms on the bed, he was a wreck. Dd, at the same age didn't want to be outside, but was fine indoors with my SIL watching a movie. As long as she didn't directly have to hear the stimuli, she was fine. Ds treated every boom as the first.<br><br>
My kid with SPD was not only hypersensitive, he couldn't regulate this sensitivity, even with our help. My kid with "just" OE could regulate with a bit of help. I do worry about her anxiety sometimes, but the level of 'disorder' just doesn't feel the same.<br><br>
Ds also has motor planning issues and sometimes his inability to watch someone do something and then repeat those actions himself becomes painfully obvious. Heck, I had to teach this child how to hug. This again is much more related to SPD than to any sort of OE.<br><br>
So, in my mind, sensitivities are on a spectrum -- the vast majority of people are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Some people are less sensitive than average, others are more.<br><br>
At either end of the spectrum lie the SPD regions: People who are so undersensitive that it affects their ability to perceive and regulate are on one end. (My dh once walked several miles on a broken foot. That is not normal.) People who are so hypersensitive enough that it affects their ability to perceive and regulate themselves are on the other.<br><br>
<SPD> ||low sensitivity ********************** high sensitivity (OE) || <SPD><br><br><br>
I've got one child who's on the 'disorder' side of the spectrum, and another who's close to the border, but not there.<br><br>
I would place most of the OEs on the 'upper' end of the spectrum for sensitivity, but not in the disorder category.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes"><br><br>
I feel quite ill when I think about birth trauma having had an impact on ds' possible ADHD, possible SPD, possible ADHD, possible <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah">. He had a home birth, but the midwives called 911 and did suctioning because he was under-responsive and slow to start breathing. Six years later I am still upset about his birth and full of what-ifs.<br><br>
OTOH, he was not a typical baby <i>in utero</i>. He was constantly kicking, and it was not uncommon for him to hiccough for an hour at a time. He seemed uncomfortable, like he wanted to get out. Also, although I always scoffed at the "gifted" label, dh and I and many of our 7 (together) siblings were considered gifted or 2e (in retrospect). There were definitely "issues" with some sibling on both sides. So there's a lot going on there even before the birth.<br><br>
I have the <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Living With Intensity</span> book but I haven't honestly tackled it properly, and I'm still learning about all of the possible labels. I really wish I did understand the basis of all of this though. My little guy is struggling. Sometimes I feel so inadequate relative to what he must need from me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14754714"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I can understand your desire to think it through and make sense of it. I wonder though at the end of the day does it really matter where we sort this or if we call it SPD or OE as a part of giftedness. The key is really figuring out if your kid needs help and how to get it, right?</div>
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Fundamentally I agree with this, but I, I'm sure because of my experience, fall on a different side of the divide as to what do to about it, and really what it means. My kids don't have diagnoses, DS sometimes has sensory seeking symptoms, and for him that's a manifestation of a physical problem. We have a health issue, and all that discussion of toxic load, gut issues (more for DD than DS), heavy metals, that's us. For some reason that I do not understand, my health became obviously affected before them, which is how I figured out what's going on.<br><br>
I was talking with my healthcare provider a while back (so obviously no reference, I'm not even sure if this is just her theory or if there's some data available), she thinks that gifted kids may be more prone to behavioral manifestations of toxic load at a comparable exposure level because their brains work differently.<br><br>
I'm not fundamentally doubting Dabrowski was onto something with his overexciteabilities, and the more asynchronous a kid is, the more it really does make sense that they'd have a hard time sometimes dealing with that, but there's also such a wide range in how intense the overexciteabilities are from child to child, it makes me think that maybe there's something else involved, at least sometimes.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TanyaLopez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14756185"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
I'm not fundamentally doubting Dabrowski was onto something with his overexciteabilities, and the more asynchronous a kid is, the more it really does make sense that they'd have a hard time sometimes dealing with that, but there's also such a wide range in how intense the overexciteabilities are from child to child, it makes me think that maybe there's something else involved, at least sometimes.</div>
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I think, according to Dabrowski, and as I understand it, it's not just how intense the OE's are, but how many the person has. Not every gifted individual will have all five OE's: intellectual, emotional, imaginational, psychomotor and sensual. But, the more areas a person has overexcitabililities in, the more challenges a person could potentially face if not given the proper support.<br><br>
So, for my dd2, she has all 5 of them:<br><br>
Sensual - She was bothered by noises, by water on her hands, but tags never bothered her and she was sensory seeking with touch (always wanting to stroke my arm, my back). Working on her with SPD therapies at home helped.<br><br>
Psychomotor - at home, constantly moving, twirling and TALKING<br><br>
Imaginational - she can make up stories, she can make up new rules to games, she is the only one of my three girls to have nightmares.<br><br>
Emotional - She's the easily upset by things, though not as bad as she used to be because I've been emotion coaching her.<br><br>
Intellectual - She's the one who complains about being bored at least some of the time. She'll make up new rules to games to challenge herself.<br><br>
She's world's better now, but two years ago, this was not the case. At school, she was selectively mute. Her inability to deal with the noise stimuli and the chaos of being in a room of 3-4 year olds acting like typical 3-4 year olds gave her extreme anxiety and caused her speech centers to shut down.<br>
She would not talk to the teacher, but was seen whispering to one friend (and we made lots of playdates with that child to help).<br><br>
At home, ALL the stress of trying to keep herself together for the 2 hours she was at school caused her to have meltdowns. She was easily bothered by her expectations not being met PRECISELY as she wanted them (for instance, she'd throw a 20 minute meltdown over the fact her granola bar wrapper was not opened the right way).<br><br>
I used SPD therapy strategies at home, sent her to ballet, did yoga with her at home, and used emotion coaching and sent her to a special needs preschool where they had a trampoline in the room and did other sensory activities that helped. The trampoline is a key element because it did a few things for her - it helped her organize herself between activities (like after sitting listening to stories), and it helped to unlock the speech centers of her brain.<br><br>
I think the whole thing is complex too. Because one SPD therapy activity is overstimulating for one child with sensory issues, and "just right" for another child with sensory issues. It's fascinating and potentially confusing at the same time because of the unique individual differences from child to child.<br><br>
Add in other issues complicate matters - like reactive hypoglycemia I strongly suspect she has (because she becomes impossible to deal with her when she doesn't eat protein with her meals and have frequent snacks). In fact, if I don't bring a snack when I pick her up from K (it's only 2.5 hours long), she gets whiny, cries or melts down.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Miss Information</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14756358"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think, according to Dabrowski, and as I understand it, it's not just how intense the OE's are, but how many the person has. Not every gifted individual will have all five OE's: intellectual, emotional, imaginational, psychomotor and sensual. But, the more areas a person has overexcitabililities in, the more challenges a person could potentially face if not given the proper support.</div>
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This is the heart of what I'm getting at. There's a divide in how to view SPD, and whether OEs are manifestations of SPD or not can be relevant to the extent that it helps determine a plan for dealing with them, since there seems to be such a divide as to the root causes of SPD and other ASD-related conditions. My son's SPD-type behaviors are physically based, and go away completely with supplements and chelation. It's a matter of personal judgement as to whether our situations are such that dealing with it with a behavioral approach is best, or a more global health issue, or a combination of the two, but to me, it looks hard to distinguish OEs from SPD in a gifted kid. I've not read of OEs being manifestations of a health issue, but if in some cases OEs are really more SPD-like, then different root causes and approaches would show up on the radar to investigate.
 

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I'm not sure if this is taking this thread OT or making a crazy jump, but I remembered an article I read awhile back that discusses some of the implications of "atypical brain organization" such as LDs, autoimmune disorders, etc. The article doesn't specifically discuss OE's or SPD. I'm speculating, of course, but I wonder due to the different organization if it makes the brain more susceptible to heightened reactions due to OEs.<br><br>
Here's the article - I'm specifically referring to pg. 161 1st paragraph:<br><a href="http://psych.wisc.edu/henriques/papers/origins.pdf" target="_blank">http://psych.wisc.edu/henriques/papers/origins.pdf</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Miss Information</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14756358"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Add in other issues complicate matters - like reactive hypoglycemia I strongly suspect she has (because she becomes impossible to deal with her when she doesn't eat protein with her meals and have frequent snacks). In fact, if I don't bring a snack when I pick her up from K (it's only 2.5 hours long), she gets whiny, cries or melts down.</div>
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This is my son too. He has pretty epic meltdowns related to food.
 

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We deal with blood sugar crashes too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">. I have to feed ds every 1.5-2 hours or there's big trouble. IMO, it's not just a blood sugar issue, it's an indirect effect of his other issues. For example, he's super picky about foods -- he likes novelty but he has a rather limited list of foods that he'll eat. So finding something that he'll eat can be a challenge. Also, he rarely eats a proper meal because of his problems with focus and sitting, so that sets him up for needing a snack in a short amount of time. He's not terribly aware of his hunger and rarely tells us that he's hungry, but if you wait too long to feed him he gets into the meltdown zone and then it's really hard to get him to eat.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ksenia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14761853"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We deal with blood sugar crashes too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">. I have to feed ds every 1.5-2 hours or there's big trouble. IMO, it's not just a blood sugar issue, it's an indirect effect of his other issues. For example, he's super picky about foods -- he likes novelty but he has a rather limited list of foods that he'll eat. So finding something that he'll eat can be a challenge. Also, he rarely eats a proper meal because of his problems with focus and sitting, so that sets him up for needing a snack in a short amount of time. He's not terribly aware of his hunger and rarely tells us that he's hungry, but if you wait too long to feed him he gets into the meltdown zone and then it's really hard to get him to eat.</div>
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<br>
I have been known to feed my hysteric child chocolate in order to calm him down enough to actually eat a proper meal.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hergrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14751469"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Like the OP, we have seen substantial improvement in the OEs as he has matured, but the vestibular and proprioceptive issues don't seem to be showing any improvement.</div>
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I attribute a lot of the ves., pro. and motor planning gains to this gymnastics class DS is now taking which is for SN kids. The instructor focuses on individual instruction/planning and muscle memory. It's a 2:1 ratio.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14754714"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I can understand your desire to think it through and make sense of it. I wonder though at the end of the day does it really matter where we sort this or if we call it SPD or OE as a part of giftedness. The key is really figuring out if your kid needs help and how to get it, right?</div>
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Absolutely. And SPD will get you way more around here than gifted will.<br><br>
Warning: I'm probably about to butcher part of what Dabrowski said (or is interpreted to have said by other writers). Wasn't it Dabrowski's theory that "disintegration" had to occur to achieve the next level, and wouldn't sensory calming potentially inhibit an individual's ability to achieve disintegration? I'm probably reading all of that part of Dabrowski too literally, although there does seem to be an emphasis on psychic pain of the sort that I'd prefer my high-OE kids avoid.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tigerle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14763758"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have been known to feed my hysteric child chocolate in order to calm him down enough to actually eat a proper meal.</div>
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My 10 year old is on to me and will scream "WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT HAVING SOMETHING TO EAT?...RANT...RANT...RANT."
 
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