Sensory Processing Spectrum?

Kristle - posted on 09/21/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Does anyone have a child that is on BOTH ends of the sensory spectrum? My daughter Gabriella has points in her day where she's an extreme sensory seeker...getting into toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, lotion, powder, paint, pens, slamming her body against the couch or the floor, sucking on her skin til she gives herself hickeys, scratching til she bleeds, fidgeting constantly, touching everything, playing in her food with her hands and getting it all over her no matter what it is, constantly in motion. But she also has periods in her day where you can tell she's on sensory overload...tags in her clothes bother her, she can only wear certain materials & shoes, her socks can't have a seam at the tips of her toes but the seam can be over her toes, she hikes her pants up almost to her belly button and freaks if her zipper comes down, she has to have her socks folded over a certain way, loud noises and bright lights send her into an anxiety attack, she gets over emotional and spirals into extreme temper tantrums when disciplined or spoken to about her behavior...things of that nature. She "bonks" (bangs her head roughly against any surface) in order to fall asleep at nite and it takes her hours to fall asleep. Once asleep, she never sleeps fully through the nite...she'll wake up several times and do the "bonking" or rocking or jiggling her legs almost like restless leg syndrome, but with her whole body. She's been doing this since she was 6 weeks old. She also seems to not be able to sense her body's signals that she has to pee, but only during "play/fun" time when she's absorbed and fully focused on something she enjoys. She does go all night with no accidents though. Her evaluation team definitely agrees that she is on the extreme end of both sides of the sensory spectrum so an OT plan will be extremely difficult to manage because she can change in an instant from being under stimulated to over stimulated. Is anyone else experiencing this?

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Andrea - posted on 09/23/2010

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for the sleepless nights try Melatonin. It is a natural sleep aid. With the potty problems, when we switched to a Gluten Free, Sugar Free diet my almost 4yr old is now potty trained during the day. The sleep aid prevents him from staying dry at night so he still wears a diaper for that. Are they sure she is JUST SPD and not Autistic of some sort?

Dori - posted on 09/21/2010

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My son (7) gets both. Coming in from recess it's difficult to bring his engine down (www.alertprogram.com). He now puts ankle weights on to ground and sooth him. It takes care of the sensory seeking and brings him down from overstimulation. It's a form of "heavy work" or a work out, which his OT would do before attempting table work. Instead of an obstacle course, which you can't do in class, the weight work great. He even stood calmly through last year's holiday program, without incident. He used to say he didn't like them, but now that he see what they do for him, he asks for them.

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