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Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD
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formerbandgeek Offline
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#1
Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

Hello, my name is Kristen. My son is William. He is 5. He has been in a program through the high school for high school students considering a career working with children. For most kids this might be great, but it isn't working out for my son. The high school students design and teach their lesson plans to the preschool children, and the preschoolers have 3 high school helpers each day, which I thought would be great for the one-on-one interaction. Last semester, the adult teacher of the class approached me and told me she thought my son might have a behavior disorder and advised me to contact the school districts special education school. My husband and I didn't agree with that at the time. We thought (especially after I went and observed him at school the next day) that it was due to his poor eyesight. He's worn glasses since before he turned 4. We've been seeing a specialist at the local childrens hospital for Amblyopia (one eye is weaker than the other, causing the weak eye to turn in and cross. His brain was essentially shutting down his weak eye. We have used eye patches on the strong eye to force the weak eye to work, but when we decreased the hours/day, his eyesight worsened. We've resorted to eye drops in the strong eye to blur the vision in that eye, forcing the weak eye to work. We recently discovered that when one eye is covered, the other jiggles back in forth and makes it hard for him to focus on anything, which is why we have resorted to the drops instead of the patch.)
We have had him evaluated with the SPED school and are currently awaiting their decision of whether or not he qualifies for services there. He scored in the 88th percentile of 4-6 year olds, right after turning 5 in his communicative status category. He seems to be incredibly smart, understanding things and concepts most older kids don't understand, like sonar, elasticity, and other scientific ideas, as well as having a fairly advanced vocabulary.
What he's currently having problems with at the preschool is that he seems to get overstimulated easily, especially in large open rooms with more than 10 people in the room. During the lesson time, he will run laps around the classroom. If everyone else is sitting at the table doing science, he will log roll across the floor. He seems to gravitate towards a sit 'n' spin toy and pushing a shopping cart around. They will sometimes take the children into the hallway to work on gross motor skills, and 9 times out of 10, he will take off running down the hallway and ignore requests/commands to come back or stop. He has had to be physically carried inside from outside recess because he wouldn't/couldn't keep his hands to himself and was bumping into people on purpose. He loves to play in water and dry dirt/sand, but for the longest time, wouldn't get his hands messy with wet and gooey things. Fingerpainting is only fun for him in the last couple of months. We had a "smash cake" for his first birthday and he cried when we put icing on his hands and face for the fun "smash cake" pics. He had absolutely no interest in smashing it like most kids. He is a terribly picky eater and if forced to try new foods, will often gag, if not throw up, what little food he has eaten. Casseroles and soups are out of the question because everything is mixed and touching. He won't dip food (like chicken nuggets, which he loves) in sauces or dressings. He loves fruit and some vegetables. If I serve spaghetti, I have to serve the sauce separate from the noodles. Its the only way he will eat it.
He has recently resolved to hitting when he gets frustrated (like when a helper has told him its time to clean up toys, he recently hit the helper with a train track, and supposedly "hurt" them, although not seriously.) He also seems to have trouble recognizing people's "bubbles" or personal space. He will run right through a crowd of people instead of going around or waiting for them to move. In a store, he touches everything (which admittedly, drives me nuts!). Its only in the last few months that I feel confident enough in him to let him walk while in a store. Before that, I would always, always, always put him in a shopping cart to avoid having him run off or break displays or run into people.
We have him enrolled in karate twice a week to help with his motor skills, self control and other discipline things that karate can help with, and he really does well with it and seems to thrive there. He really loves and respects his teacher and tries hard to please him. I am one proud mommy when its my turn to take him to karate! (My husband and I take turns taking him)
Some of his strengths are that he can recognize all letters pretty reliably, and is pretty reliable with numbers to 20. His vocabulary is above average and he seems gifted in some areas.
Anyway, I know I'm leaving a lot of stuff out, but I am just hoping for some other parents who are experience in this disorder to tell me if they think I'm on track thinking SPD might be the issue or if I'm off base. A family member was the one who initially brought the idea up and suggested I look into it.
So what do you all think? SPD? ADHD? Something else? I'd love to hear what you have to say!
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Heather Offline
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#2
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

Welcome to the site Smile So glad that you have found us.

My opinion, I feel that it is both SPD and ADHD. My 7 year old has both. We found out about her ADHD when she was 3, and we found out about her SPD a few months ago. My younger two daughters also have SPD, my now 4 1/2 was the first in our family to be diagnosed.

It's very, very common for children with ADHD, Autism, PDD and other disorders to have SPD.
http://spdsupport.org/articles/7-spd-comorbidity-other-disabilities.shtml

That is a great article to check out Smile
Heart Heather
Momma with SPD & 3 SPD Kiddo's <3
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Tuttleturtle Offline
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#3
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

Definitely sounds like SPD to me. I don't see enough to say anything about ADHD in there, but I don't know enough about it to be sure about that - there'd be the possibility of a comorbid, but the SPD is much more definitive to me and definitely more of where I'd focus.

http://turtleisaverb.blogspot.com
One autistic/SPD adult making her way through life.
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heather40 Offline
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#4
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

I agree with them, I felt like I was reading about my son when he was that age. My son too, science freak, vocabulary is well beyond his age level, overstim in large groups, I would definitely start with getting him an OT eval and start incorporating a sensory diet for him at home and have them do it at school. Come back with your questions at any time we all have been down this road!!!!!Welcome!
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formerbandgeek Offline
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#5
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

Oh my gosh, you guys! Thanks for replying! It makes me feel better to know that its not just me and my parenting. I was relieved to start reading about SPD and feel like they could have been specifically describing my son. I haven't really told extended family (grandparents etc) my suspicions. Some of them don't agree with having him evaluated at the SPED school. Some of them think "there's nothing wrong with that boy" and think he's just being a 5 year old boy. It's frustrating to me because I should be able to share these things with family without fear of an argument or feeling like my family doesn't trust that I know best for my son. Thankfully, my husband listened to my thoughts on why I feel he has this and is completely on board with it. I am anxiously awaiting a phone call from the school saying whether or not he qualifies for services. I'm hoping that they call and say that they suspect the same thing about the SPD and refer us to the right physician to try for a diagnosis. My husband and I are brainstorming ways to help him cope when he gets overwhelmed. Monday night, I read the book "Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder" by Christopher Auer and I nearly fell out of my chair when I read that some suggested activities for these kids are sit 'n' spins and pushing a stroller/shopping cart, as those are his 2 favorite toys at school that he fights with other kids to play with. Last night at dinner, I used a lap desk thats got a bean bag like bottom and a hard surface on top that was intended for a writing desk on the lap, but we turned it upside down in his chair at dinner for him to sit on. He ate all of his food in record time and I don't think he got up but one time, which is an absolutely awesome change! Usually he's up and down from the table for one reason or another. Either for a hug and kiss from me, or to use the bathroom, or he'll try and go upstairs with food and then graze all night. He hardly ever eats a whole meal in a single sitting. Does anyone have any fairly inexpensive suggestions for things we can use with him? We want to get him a better "wiggle seat" but don't want to pay what I've seen them being sold for. Stuff that maybe we could buy at a Walmart or similar store?
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heather40 Offline
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#6
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

I have seen the discs that are just the same as the sit fit cushion at target in the exercise isle. I have bought the sit fit cushion at Therapy Shoppe online for $23 for my son. He has had it since pre-k, he is in 3rd now, still uses it! Weighted blankets, ( not to sound like I am looking for money cause I am not but I do make those for very cheap!) ummmm about extended family they just need to do what you direct them to do, you are busy enough and don't need to argue the " Oh he is just being a boy" remark!. The one that really matters that is on board is your husband. Mine did not and now we are divorced! lol ( that is not why lol) I took my son to a developmental pediatrician at Children's Memorial in Chicago. That is when my x finally realized, uh yes I guess there is some reason why he hops across the concrete on his knees and receives 6 hours of therapy a week! duh!!!! Try and catch the meltdown before it happens, once it happens as I am sure you know it is very hard to get back on track.Sounds lke he might be a sensory seeker, so heavy work, put heavy things in the stroller or cart, get a mini trampoline for inside the house, there are several books that have "games" to do with your child and pertain to each sensory issue! They are really cool. ummmmm I repeat myself all the time on here, but if you have to picture cards, structure and routine are very important. That can help a lot with being overwhelmed. Knowing in advance what to expect if you know for sure what is going to happen, but I constantly tell my son things do not always work out how we planned, he get VERY upset when plans change. hta tis life nad it is important to know. Social groups, library story time, cub scouts, play groups like Gymboree, social groups. Responsibilities at home; mini jobs, help carry the gallon of milk in! Heavy work!!! Find his passion and let him go all out on it! My son's is oceanography and bugs! Guess what we have in containers all over the house! BUGS! Our praying Mantis just laid an egg sac! Yup! I know , gross, but cool. Sounds like tactile issues, with the smash cake. maybe try shaving cream on the table or something like frosting, whip cream, slowly, let him put it on there nad play in it. Cornstarch and water makes really cool " moon mud" add some food coloring and pretend you got it from outter space, there is no smell either! The bumping into people is the sensory seeking part. It is still hard to comprehend, look that one up! hahahahah Tha tis great about the karate, my son it is swimming. No group sports he can't handle them. We tried soccer one year and he cried or would sit in the field! No patience for baseball, he loves science, swimming, and of course computers! Which is fine with me. He did do Muay Thai one summer I thought the hitting and kicking would be good it was for the heavy workout but otherwise he got very wound up! If I think of anything else or come across any more info I'll let you know!!!! Sounds like you are doing an awesome job!!!!! Good for you and your husband!!!

Oh yeah, visual!!!!! Picture cards, charts, behavior charts, pushups , those were a hit! lol
(This post was last modified: 12-07-2012, 12:09 AM by heather40.)
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formerbandgeek Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
#7
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

Thank you Heather, for the extra info! My husband and I are wanting to do a visual day planner of sorts for him on a white board where we post pics of the daily activities so he knows what to expect and can see it on the board. I'm going to see if I can persuade my husband to take me to Target later today to look for a couple of those cushions you were talking about. He works at Target so he doesn't always want to go back off the clock, lol. We actually have a sit 'n' spin here at the house that we took out of his room several years ago as he was using it to climb and get into things he shouldn't be into, lol.
I got a phone call from the SPED school this morning. They set up an appointment on the 17th to go over the evaluation results and discuss whether or not he qualifies for services there, and if so, to create an IEP. She didn't really say whether or not he does qualify, which is what I was hoping to find out. She said she had his file in front of her, so she probably knew, she just didn't say.
Thanks again for your help!
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LAC1961 Offline
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#8
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

My daughter has SPD and we had the same experience last summer when we just realized something's different about her. She was diagnosed in July. The activities that work best for her are: Heavy lifting (carrying a backpack with about 5 pounds in it, carrying the laundry basket or a box of toys, pushing or pulling a box on the floor with something heavy in it); Hopping or jumping (Hippity hop, mini trampoline, dancing, gymnastics); Playing with measuring cups, spoon, etc. in a large container of rice or dried beans; Very firm hugs or being squished with pillows; Keeping classical music (mostly Mozart) playing in the backround. Hope this helps! Welcome to the group.
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heather40 Offline
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#9
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

IF you can't find them at Target order it from Therapy shoppe online, they are about $23 or so. I know here they are not allowed to talk about anything until the "team' is all together. So, that could be why nothing was said to you over the phone. It is all to be kept in that room within the team and the parents. Read up on your parental rights, what qualifies him, etc. I know here they try to rob you of what your child is entitled to! Do not sign anything then, you have the right to take the papers home and read them, if you can take someone with you. It can be overwhelming and intimidating. I know my Director of Special ed tried everything in her power to not have to give my son services, telling me he did not meet all the qualifications , there had to be a certain number of qualifications and she was trying to tell me he was not born premature! Well, he was, and spent a week in an incubator, spent 6 hours a week in Easter Seals getting three different kinds of therapy, but you are going to tell me that my child does not qualify?!?!?!!?!? I have to bring his therapists with! It got ugly! Hopefully this will not happen to you! Anyway... keep us posted!!!!!!! Good Luck!
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formerbandgeek Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
#10
RE: Hello-I suspect my 5 year old has SPD

My husband will be going with me, and hopefully we can leave the kids with a family member while we're in the meeting so we're not distracted. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what would I google to find out what the qualifications are? A family member has warned us that they may try to deny him services even if he qualifies due to special ed being expensive and them not wanting to pay for it. So far, this process has been pretty simple. I'm hoping that its not all too good to be true.

Never mind, I think I found what I was looking for!
(This post was last modified: 12-10-2012, 09:36 PM by formerbandgeek.)
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