Sensory Processing Disorder, Things i should be doing at home??

Jamie - posted on 03/29/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My four year old son is being evaulated for Sensory Processing Disorder aswell as Autism. He has all the signs from the checklist of SPD although i know he could be diagnosed differently. For now i would just like to know things i could be doing with him at home to help improve his fine motor skills? We play several games i got from a website & they are great, we also do tons of puzzles & flash cards, color, paint, playdoh, arts & crafts,learning dvds....lots of things. But i want to make sure im not missing important things i could be doing to help. So any suggestions would be great!! Thank you...Aswell as potty training advice, if you are a mother with an SPD child how did you get them to not wear pull ups anymore? I cannot get him to sit on the toilet at all. He screams if i try, but will pee in it. Any ideas?

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Donna - posted on 06/23/2011

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I have a five year old daughter with SPD. We have been involved with Speech and Occupational Therapy for nearly 2 years. She is a strong sensory seeker as well as being a strong oral sensory seeker. Anything that makes her "bash and crash" is what she needs. Any exercise that can be done under resistance. I know how exhausting it is to parent these kinds of children and wish you luck on your journey!!!

Erin - posted on 06/21/2011

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Shelia, that sound alot like me when I was a child. Im not a mother of two, so there is hope. I sstill deal with issues like hugs ( i hate them, I only hug my parents, kids, and hubby) and I do find myself rubbing my skin then someone touches me, but thats only if im really upset. I hated stores as a small child, I can still hear sounds that no one else can hear.....Im free to talk if you like.

Lisa - posted on 04/04/2011

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i feel for you my daughter is 5 and had SPD sounds like you are doing everything possible...scissors is still a struggle for her i have bought so many of them that the one she likes has the tension that opens automatically...finger paint..shaving cream in the sink or cookie tray...big bowl of rice and beans...she still loves to putt feet in that.
Potty training was hell also....she didnt want to wear underware either for such a long time...i had her pick out her own designs and had her wear them ..and if she peed i let her sit in it for a while...and have her get used to NOT having the pull up on..i think i even told her they didnt make her size anymore in the pull ups and layed the undies on her bed for her to pick out a pretty design...it will take alot of time and patience...yes easier said than done...good luck...try sitting him on the toliet where he is looking at the tank...straddle it...

User - posted on 04/01/2011

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Hi Jamie,



First, Potty Training: try an old fashioned, self-contained wooden potty that sits on the floor. Lots of kids find sitting on the potty, with their feet dangling, difficult. The wooden potty chairs allow the child to sit, feet resting on the floor....feet resting on the floor help to ground a child and add to their feeling of security.



My son was/is both seeking sensory and avoiding. So, light touches were horrible. To cut his hair, and have the hairs touch his skin....it was horrible. When he finally was able to express how he felt, he said it's like a billion spiders crawling over me. I always thought I was being kind when trying to wash him lightly...after getting his sensory needs assessed...well, no more gentle baths...a jug of water, scrub scrub scrub..DONE. He was very sensitive to sound and we had to use headphones....it was too much. We also had a blanket that he would go under when first going into grocery stores because of the lights (which also buzzzzzzzzz, something that was intolerable). So, he sought physical pressure (sensory seeking) he also sought to avoid sensory. You can be both.



As well, no one can tell you point blank that a child on the spectrum is this or that. They are all individuals, with their own personalities....my son has always been loving, sweet....never aggressive. He did engage in self-injurious behaviours...as a means to escape negative sensory experiences. I think how awful some of it must have been for him if banging his head to the wall somehow provided relief from it....but he was never aggressive towards others.



The biggest lesson from our OT was if sensory seeking, don't reward negative behaviour with a positive sensory experience. If can be unintentional (child is having a meltdown, immediate response deep pressure...child connects meltdown to getting deep pressure and begins that pattern of behaviour).



Good luck,



Sheila

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Traci - posted on 09/01/2012

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Have you tried the rewards system either with a toy or a sticker. That is what we did with our son who has SPD. If you make it game they respond differently. My son was all about the games until his did it on his own. Just a suggestion.

Zerry11 - posted on 04/07/2011

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My son is 4 and has SPD. I found going to see a occupational therapist helped heaps, they gave us alot of exercises that helped specific to his needs. With the toileting issue, I had a similar problem. It sounds gross but I started off letting him run around outside without anything on - so he got the feeling of not having anything on and going to the toilet then later I got him to wee and aim for the shower drain, then moved on to the potty before the toilet. I hope that is some help

Linda - posted on 04/07/2011

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I learned from my son's OT, that he has problems with fine motor control because he has weak muscle tone. Andrew does not get PT, but they are trying to build up his larger muscles.

Jamie - posted on 04/03/2011

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Katie- Thank you I am hoping to get him seen tomorrow so i can get his referral to start OT this week! Im very excited for him to go and experience the things he needs! Sheila-we used a wooden potty seat aswell as a plastic one from walmart...both on the floor and comfortable for him. He would sit but never pee or poo sitting. He only pees standing. I understand all kids are diagnosed differently even when they have similar behaviors. So im anxious to get to see the changes that occur this year! Melissa-He has a huge trampoline and we jump atleast once a week. He swings those days to, and slides to. He loves to play ball so we do that alot to. Hes already came along way just by the things ive started doing at home & learned to do at his speech sessions. Im so ready for him to be able to explain how he feels and cant wait to hear him talk my ears off!! :)

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If he seems really happy when he's moving, consider getting a swing, trampoline, or rocking chair for the house. For his fine motor skills, look for some beginner chopsticks that are attached at the top. Once my son discovered those, he wouldn't eat with anything else! :)

Katie - posted on 04/01/2011

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Jamie it sound like our boys are a lot alike. My son is also very sweet and loving. The things I mentioned above have done wonders for our little boy and even help with his speech. Once my son is old enough I will put him in gymnastics because that is basicly what they do at OT and he loves it!

Jamie - posted on 04/01/2011

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Katie- We are unsure of what type of sensory as of yet. But his speech therapist said he seeks sensory?. Like if he gets upset a tight hug makes it better and he stops crying immediatly. or when hes not paying attention or being loud if you just touch him like rubbing his back or hand he gos quiet. & pays attention, or almost is in a trance! Hes a very sweet boy thats why i get confused because everyone i speak to says aggression & anger usually occur in SPD children & he has never hit, bit or been violent in anyway! Im happy with him the way he is, i just want him to be able to go to school & talk to me when he needs me.

Katie - posted on 04/01/2011

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what kind of SPD? do you know? My son is a sensory seeker. (as opposed to a child who is sensitive to it) the
things that help with him are lots of large motor skill activities. His OT does lots of jumping into ball pits, swings, tunnels, and things with lots of contact like putting heavy pillows on him or heavy blankets. I think they do the same with all the SPD kids but this is what works with my son. Also crunchy foods, sour foods (to get his mouth stimulated) because he drools constantly. paly with different textures (like your already doing!) You sound like you are doing a lot of great activites with him already!

Jamie - posted on 03/30/2011

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Whats ABA and RDI? sorry im just starting out with his evaluation so im not sure of alot of terms yet! Thanks

Katherine - posted on 03/29/2011

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I wonder if he won't sit on the toilet because it's cold? You need to start early intervention such as ABA, or RDI.

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