Is Sensory Intergation Disorder a form of autism??

Michelle - posted on 07/16/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hi..My name is Michelle and I have a son named John. He is my only child. When John was born he was a good baby. At the age of 3months ear infections constantly..tubes in @11 months..Did not start speaking until around 3yrs..then recurrent strep infections..tonsils removed. John went to Bright Beginnings from the age of 31/2 until 5 yrs old. Lots of speech therapy. Then came kindergaten. Teacher said he had bevioral problems. 1st grade pretty much same. 2nd grade got lucky with an excellent teacher who brought to my attention about asperger's. John is a very picky eater. He doesn't try new foods and when he does, he throws up, he will not wear blue jeans...hates the feel of them,does not read cues of other people if he is making them angry or something..no bounderies of personal space, he is a very touchy person, but when it comes to you touching him, he doesn't much care for it. He talks a lot about video games and things that he wants to talk about, and will totally ignore what others have to say if it is not important to him, does not seem to realize that there is a world beyond our little small towns that he is accustomed too. I took John in Dec of 08 to an Auditory Process Eval. , then the school tested him also. They have brought to my attention about this Sensory Integration Disorder, was wondering if anyone else has been given this assessment for his/her childrens behavior. I look back and wonder why I didnt see this before but just chalked it up to Oh..that is just John..Thank you for taking the time to read this post and any info, support, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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Jennifer - posted on 07/18/2009

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Hi Michelle,



Does your son have an ASD diagnosis or are you concerned about sensory processing being autism? I know you mentioned Aspergers. Aspergers is associated with an early development of language skills, extremely verbal at a young age, above average vocabulary, etc. and is not associated with a speech delay, etc. Some of the issues you mentioned could definitely be sensory related i.e. the feeding issues, clothing choice (don't like how it feels on his skin), etc.



My son is 6 and has an Aspergers diagnosis. He also has ADHD, Developmental Coordination Disorder, a pragmatics deficit, and sensory processing/integration disorder. We have private OT and they work on the senosry issues as well as some fine motor and visual motor dealys. To answer your questions, from what I know about sensory processing disorder, it is not a form of autism but rather a disorder that co-exists for a lot of the kids on the spectrum. My son has issues with all of his senses either hyper or hypo sensative. He actually has no sense of smell at all, which sadly we just realized in the last few months. There are a lot of great resources out there to learn more about sensory processing disorder. http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.c... There are also good books out there like the Out of Sync Child, etc. A good OT will be able to come up with a Sensory Diet for your child i.e. if he craves vestibular input (running, jumping, crashing into things, spinning, etc) they may suggest proprioceptic input (heavy work, push ups, brushing, weighted vest/blankets to put pressure on them, etc). OT could also work on a feeding plan and therapy to expand his diet and help to decrease his sensory reactions. I'd definitely suggest looking into it further if you feel there is possibly a need. That website I referenced has a checklist that you can go through and it may give you a clearer picture of what your seeing or what you might not even realize is related...I know I did.



Hope this helps!



Jenn

Jennie - posted on 07/24/2009

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Michelle,
Regardless of the diagnosis, I would also seek out a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) Doctor. I don't know how many on this forum use the biomedical treatment, but we started it with 3 of our children and it has made a world of difference.
Even if he does not have Autism of some form, the DAN doctor can help with the other symptoms. My daughter had really bad noise sensory problems and now they only pop up every once and a great while. Running the vacuum used to be a problem.
Biomedical does not work for everyone, but it is worth a try.
Jennie

Nicola - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi my name is Nikki and i have a 16 year old son Tom, after reading all the symtoms of your son they seem similar if not identical to our sons, all his senses are heightened touch,sound,taste etc, he hates certain fabrics, only likes certain food but as he gets older not as fussy but loves chicken and mash. he has to have routine and if anything disrupts that its difficult for him loves quiet places but does like his music and computers, he is now in his final year at school and taking a few GCSE he will be going to collage studying IT.
when tom was younger he had the speech therapy went to see numerous amounts of specialist for hearing etc and we now have him diagnosed as having Dyspraxia this is in the Autistic spectrum, i hope this has helped you and if i can help anymore please let me know

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Michelle,

Sensory Integration Disorder is NOT a form of Autism but many children who are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (there are 5: Autism, Aspergers, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Rett syndrome, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), also known as Heller's syndrome and disintegrative psychosis) may eventually be diagnosed with SID. Many children on the Autism spectrum have sensory problems, such as not wanting to wear certain types of clothing (no shorts or short sleeves or the other way around: no long pants and no long sleeves), certain fabrics, loud or high pitched noises, aversion to certain food textures etc. I would highly recommend that you make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician, neurologist, psychologist, or psychiatrist to get a formal diagnosis for your son. A regular peditrician is often times not familiar enough with ASD to give you a diagnosis. Those professionals can usually help you get a co-diagnosis, too. Many kids with ASD also suffer from ADD/ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, sensory integration disorder, and auditory integration disorder to name just a few. I have twin boys, one with Autism, one with PDD-NOS but they also suffer from sensory problems as well as ADHD. One of them has also started to become alot more obsessive so it looks like we'll toss obsessive compulsive disorder in the mix, too...

Good luck and all the best!

Michelle - posted on 07/19/2009

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Hi Jenn, thank you for the input. I have recently puchased the Out of Sync Child. Very good so far! John will be going to his pediatrition in a few weeks again. The school did do a broad spectrum autism test on John and there was a few concerns. This school year he will be recieving OT at school and lots of extra help. He has an IEP....so that really helps. Two reasons for going back to doctor is I would like to get him more OT help and to look further into John's attention. I can talk to him and he doesn't even hear me unless I bend down or kneel to his level and take his face into my hands and have him look at me. I don't know if this is the SID or if it could be ADD/ADHD. If it were not for video games Im not sure what his releases would be. Thank you so much for you input and reply to my question. It helps so much to know that I am not alone with this. It is weird though cuz I always thought that John was unique. Even though I saw how different he was with/around other children I knew he had strenghts that they didn't. Im still pretty confused with all of this but the more knowledge I get hopefully that will help also. thanks again Michelle

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Melissa - posted on 04/30/2010

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My oldest son carries that diagnosis, and my youngest probably does. I feel embarrassed to admit that being a physician, I did not pick up on my oldest symptoms earlier, but like the saying the cobblers child goes without shoes. Though one of my colleagues pointed out physicians don't want to see these problems in their children. Additionally at the time of diagnosis I did not really understand this disorder. Your story is somewhat similar to mine, except he is about a year younger. This is not a form of autism, at least not yet. The DSM-IV is about to be revised and a DSM-V is about to come out which may group it with autism and spectrum disorders.
My child had ear infections that were only noticed at check ups since he was not fussy, and at 3 had tubes put in and tonsils removed. At that point he started communicating more, and even though he did not want to potty train we put him in the preK program in the local school district, and keep was for the most part potty trained by scheduling bathroom times for him. Pre K went well and then kindergarten started and that was a whole different story. My lovely little boy turned into a little terror, and we started wondering if he was going through a psychological break down, so much so my husband and I found a child psychologist to have him evaluated. The school for their part told me how awful my child was and how bizarre his behaviors were and sent a counseler to evaluate the home situation. She however reported back that we were doing everything we could and based on our comments it seemed like there was a problem at the school. After the evaluation, it was determined that there was a motor sensory disintegration, which resulted in his behavior. He felt that my son understood that he should be able to do many of the motor activities but was unable to do so. He might also have some ADHD symptoms, but at his age it was still early for that diagnosis. We actually change him to a private school, due to my son's severe anxiety with that school, and started him in OT. This has helped significantly.
If you are in a school district that is sympathetic you might be able to keep him there, I however, was not, so had to find an alternative school. So long story short, does not necessarily mean he has autism, but he does need some help. Other replies have good advice, which I have also used. But you really need to find a good OT. That has made all the difference in the world with my son

Michelle - posted on 07/20/2009

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Thank you so much Birgit and Alicia for taking the time to read my post and give me some recommendations. You are all very helpful!! So nice to know Im not alone!! Gonna ask for referral from doc. at his next appt.

Alicia - posted on 07/20/2009

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Hi Michelle,

I would say you can rule out aspergers syndrome. One of the defining charectorizations of aspergers is normal to advanced speech development. If your son is on the spectrum it would more likely be a diagnosis of high functioning autism or PDD. I second Birgit's advice to seek the help of a specialist. My sons pediatrician had no idea he was autistic because he was mild. The screening tools pediatricians use are insufficient. There are too many classicly autistic behaviours not covered by those questionaires. Start by contacting the child mental health department at your clinic. If they don't have one ask for a referal. It may take some time to get in so get ready to practice some patience but it is well worth it. Diagnosing ASD should be a team effort between a speech therapist, a psychologist and a developmental pediatrician or neurologist. And get ready to answer hundreds of questions-literaly. There are a ton of questionaires to fill out. It took my husband and I hours but we were also having him evaluated by two different teams with a third in the mix that would actually provide him with therapy after the diagnosis was given.

Good luck and keep your chin up. Just remember you're not alone.



Alicia

Michelle - posted on 07/19/2009

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Hi Jenn, no my son does not have an ASD diagnosis, still trying to figure out how to go about that. The school did an Evaluation in Feb. 2009. Said that there were some red flags and then mentioned the SID. So confused!!! Hearing alot about PDD on this site, not real sure what it was until I read some posts. Defienatley sounds like my son among other things. We have an appt w/ pediatrition coming up hopefully he can steer me in the right directions. thank you for the website for sensory-processing-disorder and your reply!!!

Yolanda - posted on 07/19/2009

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I am glad I read your post. I am a parent of a 20 year son who has Autism and Neurofibromatosis. My son Brandon went to Ocupational Therapy for Sensory Intergation as well as fine and gross motor delays for a few years when he was young. The therapy was very helpful and as an adult I still think that he could benefit from some additional OT. I still can't take Brandon in large crowds of people, he is still sensitive to touch and certain textures. He is very sensitive to loud sounds (4th of July fireworks and Amusement Parks have been out of the question ).

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