Does Your Child with SPD Behave Different with Others?

Leigh - posted on 07/09/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have many questions, as we are in the "waiting for a diagnosis" stage. My mommy instincts told me early on that our son was special, to make it brief, sensory issues, not listening, aggressive, but also very smart, bright and social. He is amazing with his hand eye coodination, good at sports, riding a bike. Very hard to transistion, likes routine, very much wants me to do everything with and for him. Very sensory seeking, always wanting to rough house and be tickled, to the extreme, but also defensive like with gagging, choking, food around his mouth...it's been 3 years of trying to teach him to use a cloth, not his clothes, to constantly wipe his mouth and hands when eating...the list really could go on and on...

These are the things I've heard from others: autism (I don't think so), adhd (I doubt it because he CAN focus on things when he is in the right environment, or really is interested in it), ODD (i really don't think so) but I think it's SPD and possible something else like allergies (just got a full panel test done, waiting for results).

BUT back to my question. Why does he act much worse with us (mom, dad, 2 younger sisters) than when he is with grandparents or at the doctors office (which I've been to a few and they look at me like I am crazy because he's just sitting there, happy and quiet and not at all like at home) Our son has always been better one on one, or in new situations he's USUALLY more calm. Most of the day, he has a hard time calming down and controlling himself, is this SPD or something else? Anyone else with kids with SPD behave better one on one or with other caretakers? (and I should mention, not all the time, when it's just him and Grandma, he's an angel, but when it's him & sister and Grandma it's different...some people say jealously issues, but I know it's more than that, because there's so many other things we deal with daily).

Any help or feedback, or questions are welcome!

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Jane - posted on 09/07/2011

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SPD and ADHD symptoms overlap so much that it is very hard to tell which someone has. In addition, many times kids have both at the same time. Both ADHD and SPD kids can focus on things they like, even hyperfocus (that's why ADHD kids are good with computers). A good article to read is http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/...

As to ODD, part of the very definition of ODD is that the child is aggressive towards the primary caretaker but not towards others. And this is not an indication of either SPD or ADHD. Again, people can have ODD as well as ADHD and/or SPD, all at the same time.

When you say "My mommy instincts told me early on that our son was special, to make it brief, sensory issues, not listening, aggressive, but also very smart, bright and social. He is amazing with his hand eye coodination, good at sports, riding a bike. Very hard to transistion, likes routine, very much wants me to do everything with and for him. Very sensory seeking, always wanting to rough house and be tickled, to the extreme, but also defensive like with gagging, choking, food around his mouth...it's been 3 years of trying to teach him to use a cloth, not his clothes, to constantly wipe his mouth and hands when eating...the list really could go on and on..." you are describing my son precisely. My son is ADHD, ODD and Bipolar, but also has a hypersensitivity to sound as well as a delayed P300 wave.

Near as I can tell, things seen in SPD kids but not ADHD kids are handedness issues, "colic" that never seems to end, and good school grades, meaning no learning disability. Otherwise almost all of the cues for SPD are exactly the same as for ADHD. The good news, though, is that the therapies designed by occupational therapists for SPD will help kids who are ADHD.

Schyla - posted on 07/27/2011

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My daughter is the same it's taken years to get things rolling but as frustrating as it is take it as a compliment to your parenting your little one feels safe with you and so he can unload because he knows you'll love him no matter what and he's good with others because *gasp big surprise YOU taught him how to be. It doesn't make things any easier but maybe a little pick up for your frustrated mommy senses! Nothing is worse then knowing something isn't quite right but not being able to figure it out or get the help you need keep a journal of EVERYTHING and take it with you to appointments. finally helped us get what our little one needed

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Hinna Khalid - posted on 02/29/2016

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I'm not an expert but think of ur relationship with your daughter and ur husband is there anything he picks up on between u guys wen u guys are alone at home I. E does he notice when u guys get close as a family? Does he feel left out? Is he always wanting attention? Hope this is helping sorry o can't be of anymore help

Carmen - posted on 04/23/2013

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Hi Leigh,

Since this is from 2011, I'd like to know how your son is doing? Has he been diagnosed? Has he improved?

My 6 year old son was recently diagnosed with SPD and I feel like I'm reading something I might write (excluding the gagging problems). He was initially diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and PDD but he didn't seem to fit any of the diagnoses exactly (even though some symptoms did and do apply). I always felt like it HAD to be something else. I'm a little overwhelmed right now since I don't have a lot of options as I live in PR and his behavior in school is often attributed to being either aggressive, disrespectful or just ill-behaved. His 1st grade teacher has absolutely no patience and refuses to work with him. He doesn't identify her as an authority figure and therefore feels he is doing nothing wrong. At home, he can go weeks without a temper tantrum but lately it seems it's almost every day.
I am at my wits end and would love to know if you have found some magic trick that has helped you with your son.

Thanks.
Carmen

Allison - posted on 09/07/2011

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My son has never had a behavior problem at school or camp but is very behavioral with us. I think it's the fact that he gets more structure at school.

Kayla - posted on 08/23/2011

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My son was diagnosed S.P.D when he was about 14 months. He is ALWAYS very hyper. He cant sit still. It is very hard for him to concentrate on things. It doesnt help that he has seizures. He is also on Keppra that makes him angry. He has some speach delay. He is 2 and cant say 2 word sentences. He loves rough textures. We have some lava rock in our front yard and that is the first thing that he goes too. He is a pill when he is with us: mom, dad, and older brother who is ten. My son sounds just like your son. We have him go to our neighbors house when we go to therapy and i worry when he goes over there because he is a very big handful. He gets into everything! But when i pick him up and ask how he was they always say that he is the perfect little angel. I thought it was just me. Now i feel better that i am not the only one.

Leigh - posted on 08/02/2011

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Thanks for the replies, it's encouraging knowing it's not just me. It's nice to hear it from others, I think it's true, my son does a lot better with less distraction. Noises especially seem to set him off. He does all these weird little things whenever there's loud and sudden souds. Or just a group of people. We are going to our long awaited pediatrician appointment today. I hope that she will hear me out and not look at me like I'm crazy when he sits there like a little angel :)

Michelle - posted on 07/20/2011

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My son has been diagnosed and he is different with my family then at home. My son has many delays though and he is my eldest. My son copes better one on one and it's not a jealosy thing. My son just copes better when there are less distractions around him and he isn;t in his high sensitve mode. he feels calmer and i suppose safe in a one on one because he is unable to consentrate and isnt able to predict other peoples reactions and behaviours when there are lots of people around

Ashley - posted on 07/09/2011

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It has been like that for us with family, but he was much much worse when he started school - I think all the extra stimulation did him in. With my parents they give him the attention he needs (attention only on him) and do sensory diet things with him even though they don't realize it - like washing dishes, jumping, sand box, etc.

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