Getting a sensory craver ready for preschool

Cassie - posted on 07/23/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hello there, I'm Cassie and I'm new to the group :).
I have an son who will be 3 in September who is a big time sensory craver (vestibular and tactile stuff). He minds well and is very eager to please, but he is extremely active, impulsive, and very emotional with frequent outbursts. He is very intelligent (recognizes ABCs, counts to 20, knows shapes and colors), but is immature in his life skills (no interest in learning to dress, needs help in the bathroom), and has little conversational skills (rarely answers questions, has choppy, 2-3 word sentences when he does use them). I am trying to find a preschool program for him to start in the fall, and I would really like to help get him prepared for the structure of school. He is very social, and LOVES other kids, so I am not worried as much about the social aspects of SPD, more functioning appropriately in school.
We were lucky to get an early diagnosis, and he has has had "Theraplay" for the past few months, but it really hasn't changed much of his behavior - it just doesn't seem applicable to real life. I'm looking into adjusting his diet to see if it helps, but in the meantime I would SO appreciate hearing any other stories about kiddos like mine. Thanks for reading my long story!!

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Mary-Ellen - posted on 08/05/2014

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Hi Cassie,

This is my first post on the site. :) Here is my looong post! My daughter has spd and is also a sensory craver. She sounds a lot like your little guy. She just loves people and wants to hug everyone (but hugs too tightly) She is a major tactile seeker. She loves to touch peoples faces which can be difficult to manage at times. My daughter had a very difficult first year in JK. We were not prepared at all for JK. I had my suspicions of SPD but was also thinking she may have ADHD. We had her formally assessed (prompted by the school) as she was unable to follow the class room routines, at all. She had difficulty with transitions and "didn't listen". She had quick emotional outburst when classmates upset her. She often hit out and even bite a couple of times. (so upsetting for all involved). It didn't help that the teachers felt they were behaviours and they didn't realize the SPD issues were the cause. She had a significant hearing impairment (due to impacted wax) that went unnoticed for a long period of time which exaggerated her spd issues. She started JK with 60% hearing loss and we didn't even know it. I was getting phone calls from the teacher and was being pulled aside almost every day from September to January. Feb and March were a bit better and they only had to speak to us 1-2x a week. Finally, during the last 10 weeks of school the teacher only had to speak to me once or twice about her behaviour. It was an amazing improvement. It was a VERY difficult year for us all but we made it through!! She still struggles with the tactile urges but it is getting better. She sees an OT once a month. I have exercises for her to do which help calm her. The school had also put the activities into her day if she became too hyperactive.
That is our story in a nut shell. Oh and she was in a regular jk/sk split class (26 kids) and was receiving 2 hours a day of 1:1 EA assistance. I asked 3 times for additional EA 1:1 time but sadly, they just don't have the resources in the schools. I'm in Ontario. I hope you can find some comfort in my post that you are not alone! also, you are a head of the game and sound more prepared than I was. :)

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