SPD discipline problems!! HELP!!!

Jaime - posted on 11/09/2008 ( 31 moms have responded )

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Hi, I am a mom of 4 but I have 2 children ages 21 months and 3 1/2 years old with sensory intergration disorder, they are behind in speech and other issues by a year. My main problem is with my 21 month old. He gets very angry and get violent with me and his other siblings. He will bite, kick, hit, head butt, pinch, and throw things at us if he gets upset. I have tried time outs, distracting him from the issue, removing him, saying no firmly, and nothing seems to work. I don't know what else to try to get him to not hurt others. Any suggestions?

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Grateful - posted on 11/25/2013

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Dear All,

This all sounds so easy peasy, but let me tell you, it is NOT! I have been dealing with an ASD child and an SPD chil for five years. The siblings are 14 months aparts. You would think the autistic child would be more of a challenge, but this is not the case for us. Our SPD four year old, who has been in therapy for two years, is the toughest nut to crack. DOes not respond to the trampoline - sorry to burst your bubble - but after the initial 3 wk thrill wore off, back to square ZERO. Therapist says this can happen with some SPD kids. Does NOT respond to touch, deep massage/weighted/ squeezing/pressure. SPD child swears, hits, punches, bites, kicks, screams for hours on end, but is fine at pre-school- ????!!! HUH?! I feel like such a loser parent. Why does the child act so differently at school and not at home? We have a very structured, defined and stable home due to our ASD child, so that's not the source. We use time outs, safe room, cave like room (closet that is cozy, not scary). Child is still violent with no end in sight and does not accept responsibility or even recognize behavior issues. Child also hurts 22 month sibling without remorse or empathy. I am seeing a great OT, but nothing, NOTHING is working. I am crying as I write this. Spouse thinks I should just slap child's hand very hard when exhibiting unwanted behavior, but this just seems so escalate and instill fear. DO I want my child to FEAR me? NO WAY! But what shall I do? I am losing it, and I need to be there for my other two children. I am on meds; they are not. After five years, my emotional gas tank is empty, and the "support" is not helpful at all. I am all alone with the kids 24/7/365 - no friends, no family. Please help! GRATEFUL. MOM

Lori - posted on 08/23/2014

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UNINHIBITED MORO REFLEX
Unihibited Moro Reflex

Hi All,

We have gone down this path with our SPD daughter. We got help from fabulous OTs and Floortime therapists which was a life saver, but the crazy screaming, biting, hitting meltdowns (that were disproportionate to the stimulus, for example someone turning a light off unexpectedly) didn't resolve until I figured out (with the help of SPD support boards, the OT, and the pediatric neurologist) that she had an "uninhibited Moro Reflex," which is an infant flight or fight reflex that should normally go away before an infant reached 6 months old. Once we figured that out, the OT gave us exercises for her to do for that and after 2 months it went away. No more primordial screaming! MAJOR reduction in meltdowns. So, if you are reading this in desperation (been there), with your little one, please be careful to discern when it is a temper tantrum and when it may be a hardwired response. I will always regret the day (before our OT started) when I took a family members advice and let my newly adopted 20 month old "just cry it out" after she bumped into the kitchen island and had a screaming meltdown. I saw in her little face how my failure in that moment to offer comfort broke a bond of trust that we had already formed and the meltdown just escalated and escalated. My point is that it takes active discernment to recognize when a toddler is having a power struggle tantrum or is really experiencing the torment of a painful unsafe (neurologically speaking) world. I can't imagine how I would feel if 10-20 times a day something would trigger my flight or fight response and how awful it would feel if the person who was supposed to protect me and keep me safe withdrew comfort for me when it happened. Fortunately, we are making great progress...so, I hope that this helps someone out there!

Stephanie - posted on 06/06/2011

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hi everyone! so glad to see that i am not alone! we recently got my 6yr old son Dru diagnosed after a full school year spent doing "interventions" where he got extra help. It has all helped some, but he is extremely impulsive and gets angry VERY easily. He does seem to be coping better since we started him on SDHD meds too. We got him a mini trampoline and a sit-n-spin for his birthday last month and they help SO much! We are waiting for the official report from the OT at our hospital so we can continue the school evals too.
It is all overwhelming as I have sensory problems too. My mom always said i was just a "pill", but i have such sensitive hearing issues that i feel like my ears actually cringe with too much noise. Bad combo with hyper and loud child! We are coping tho! It is a long learning process and i wish we could speed it all up, but we will get there! Good luck to everyone! and thanks for even having this page!!! :)

Christian - posted on 03/21/2009

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My son (now 9) also has a safe place. He has bunk beds (he sleeps on the bottom one) he put up posters of dragons and it is his "dragon cave" he can roar and throw the pillows or punch them if he needs to. We have been doing therapy at home under the direction of his OT and I can tell u things are better, not gone away, but much better since we started at age 3. Hang in there and he will learn to better control his actions. He will also learn empathy for others and not want to hurt them as often. Good Luck!

Kori - posted on 03/09/2009

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Thanks!  He will be recieving therapy now that they know what's going on with him.  He was actually kicked out of preschool last year because the teacher "couldn't handle" him.   He is in kindergarten now and the youngest in his class but he will be going back again so hopefully the therapy will help with his communication skills.  He would have went to first grade academically.



I also found out today that a man my fiance works with is giving us a mini trampolene for Gavin to jump on.  He'll be very excited about that!

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Frances - posted on 01/21/2015

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I didn't realize do many others are going through this with me. I have been led to this site to help me help my child.

Frances - posted on 01/21/2015

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It's as if you are speaking about my Son, Raylan. I needed to see this. My Husband thinks I'm crazy. But Raylan is finally starting his Therapy for SPD. Thank you

Frances - posted on 01/21/2015

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I am new to this site. I'm going through what you as a Mother are Going through. I started Noticing things with my youngest Son, and as I started doing Research. I was led to the Sensory Processing Disorder. I tried talking to Raylan's Pediatrtian on his 3 year check. I was just told that it's too early to tell. Well he has developed other issues and has had his first visit with the Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist. They have picked up on what I knew in my heart. This is a Diagnosis that not too many believe in. Raylan has also been diagnosed with a Movement Disorder. This just started around Christmas. Where he jerks and Twitches from the time he wakes up until he falls asleep. I hope the best for your Babies. And I will give you any information that I learn and can. My name is, Frances

Jaime - posted on 03/06/2009

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Hi Kori, brushing is a therapy used by the OT (occupational therapist). You should never do it on your own until you have been taught by a trained professional because if done wrong your child can become disorganized and act out even more. The book is great and you should read it. Is your son receiving therapy at school? There are many affordable trampolines online that can be used indoors. I bought my son one for Christmas and it was about 50 dollars. I understand that looks that people give and you just have to brush it off because they don't understand what you are going through. I hope that helps a little.

Kori - posted on 03/05/2009

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Can someone please tell me what "brushing" means?  My son was just diagnosed with SID or SPD.  I bought the Out of Sync Child last night but haven't read much of it yet.  This is all so new to me.  My son is 5 1/2 and when he was 3 I thought he had Autism.  When he was 4, I was told he was on the Autism spectrum but now I've just been told he is not Autistic but has a sensory problem. '




For years, I have been struggling on what to do about disciplining him because I feel like he doesn't understand.  I have noticed that he seeks sensations and loves to be hugged and wrapped in a blanket.  He also loves to jump on a trampolene but we do not have one.  I have tried time out but he just cries and can't calm down at all.  He's always saying "I'm in trouble" and crying hysterically.  I can't take a video game away as punishment because he goes crazy and will cry until I find something else to get his attention with.  I hate it when people think my son is being a brat or whiney because he's really the sweetest boy.




I just want to cry for him sometimes.  I don't even know what OT or some of the others stand for.  I just saw this topic and thought I could use some help too!

Stephanie - posted on 02/05/2009

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I'm new to this whole thing. My son is almost 4 and is still in the process of being diagnosed, but he sounds just like your son.  One thing that I am currently looking into is dyes in food.  It tends to make them even more hyper and violent. I'm trying to test this crrently and I have noticed differences when he doesn't have them.  I know it is frustrating.  There are days I wonder how I'm going to survive his 'freak outs'.  I'm willing to try anything. I hope this helps.

Jaime - posted on 01/27/2009

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Thanks for all your help! SPD stands for Sensory Processing Disorder. I have found two great books that go with each other The out of sync child and the out of sync child has fun by Carol Stock Kranowitz. I have also just found out yesterday that Orin is on the autism spectrum. We are not sure of the formal diagnosis as he still has to have his ADOS test but the developmental pediatrician is sure he is on the spectrum. He said a lot of his discipline problems come from that but he didn't give me any suggestions on how to deal with it. I still feel lost, maybe a little more now because I have so many questions and none can truley be answered until this ADOS test and the first available is June 25th. If anyone has anymore suggestions I welcome them. He does do OT two times a week. He has brush therapy and a weighted vest which works wonders in situations outside the home. He is a total sensory seeker so our next big purchase is a therapy swing but that won't be for awhile. Once again thanks!

April - posted on 01/27/2009

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I'm right there with you, if you find out let me know. I have done all those things you have and Im at a lost too.

Karen - posted on 01/25/2009

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Has he started seeing the OT yet? We took our son to OT and they really gave us a lot of great ideas specific to our child. We have one child that seems to respond quite well to spinning and we take him to the park and spin him on a tire swing as often as possible. The other child seems to need heavy work. This is where he moves heavy objects. He will tie a large 6' post around his waste and drag it around the house a few times. Then he feels better. I hope everything is improving with you.

Lisa - posted on 01/17/2009

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Hi Jamie,



I know that you have already received a ton of good advice. Just wanted to share that I feel your pain. My daughter is now almost 8 but when she was 3, 4, 5, she could tantrum with the best of them. She would trash her room like a rock-star and go ballistic when frustrated, We had no idea what we were dealing with until she was about 6.



I wish I had known....the trampoline is awesome for that excess energy and frustration. Also a punching bag or Bobo doll to batter is a great diversion. We found that it is best to let her cycle through her frustration rather than try to control her behavior when she is agitated. Having a "safe place" like a small tent or private area where your child can retreat to cool down is also potentially modulating. Sensory seeking kids need to burn their energy rather than suppress it~that is why time-outs just don't work and are counterproductive. Have a sensory rich room is such a great idea.



So glad that you are getting the OT services. I just read a great book recently "The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun". Great age-appropriate activities for sensory kids that are fun and modulating.

Best of luck,

Lisa

Jaime - posted on 01/15/2009

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Thank you all for all your comments and suggestions. I really appreciate it! Orin is doing a little bit better, therapy really is helping. He is going to meet with the developmental pediatrician in a little over a week. Hope you all are doing well!

Rachel - posted on 01/15/2009

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I totally understand where you are coming from my son is now 7 and he can be very loving but the minute he gets angry it's like he is a different child. I have not found anything that helps other than taking his video games away but it doesn't stop him at first it usually makes him worse for a few minutes and doesn't totally stop the behavior, but punishing him, spanking him or threats of punishment do nothing at all. I have also tried removing him from the situation and talking calmly to him and raising my voice but neither of those things help either. He is not violent or aggressive at school. He is only like this at home. Sometimes I am at loss and just cry when I am alone. I feel like I am the only one sometimes but then i read things you all are going through and feel a little better.

Jen - posted on 12/10/2008

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My extremely bright incredible daughter is 3 and showed some signs of SPD as early as a year old. blanket wrapping helped her A LOT. if she was having a horrible day and everything was bugging her i would wrap her up in a giant blanket and carry her around like a baby. she was also naked most of the time from about a year until this past fall (after her 3rd b-day) It sounds like your son is the opposite from my daughter, so perhaps that wouldn't work as my daughter wants things to stop touching her lightly so wrapping her up makes the pressure even and nothing is "tickling" her. We also made a habit of introducing the icky-sticky things to her at a very young age to encouraged her to try the different textures regularly. I believe it helps tremendously that she is the youngest of 3. LOL good luck

Jaime - posted on 12/04/2008

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Thanks for all the great advice! The boys have started OT and the therapist has taught me how to do the brushing. I do deep massage with my hands when the brush is not handy and it seems to help my older son. I am learning that OT is great but when they try something new and hate it, that my day is going to be pure HELL. My youngest son did the shaving cream thing and had a complete meltdown the rest of teh day. He wouldn't eat and wouldn't sleep. I just bought some weighted medicine balls and a exercise ball and I am looking forward to using them. Thanks again!

Jennifer Miller - posted on 12/04/2008

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You're right about the brushing. Any therapy really. I was terrified of doing the joint compressions wrong and twist something out of whack. My daughter can not stand to brush her teeth either but Logan loves it. She can't stand to wash her hands but Logan asks to do it. But Sydney will get her hands dirty and eat with her hands and Logan throws an absolute FIT if one drop of food gets on his hands... he can not do a thing until you clean it completely! And I think it took 2 hours one day to get Sydney to put her socks on. It is such a fight every day. And pants.... she will wear only 1 type. Period. Soft cotton, no jeans, no reg cotton... sigh. But I am learning what to avoid.

Amie - posted on 12/02/2008

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Hi Jamie, I have a 6 year old daughter with SPD and I understand your frustration and concern! My daughter is in therapy through the hospital and that is where we were introduced to joint compressions and brushing, as was discussed in a few earlier posts. It has helped tremendously! I just wanted to caution you and pass on something that was told to me by my daughters therapist. If the brushing technique is not done properly, it can be disorganizing to your childs sensory system, which will take you in the opposite direction from where you are trying to go. It really is best to be shown how to do the technique rather than just being told. I am not trying to discourage you, because I feel like this is a wonderful and useful site, and I believe that the brushing technique may benefit your child, I just want to make sure that you are aware of the implications of, perhaps not doing it correctly.



Good luck and God Bless!

Chelsea - posted on 11/26/2008

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wow im going to say it too, that sounds so much like my son. he was diagnosed jan of 08 with SPD but he has been in our school districts ESD ECSE since he was 15mths with gross motor, fine motor and speech delay. he didnt walk til he was 16mths. even at 10mths old i had worries when hed scream and hit his head for no aparent reason. Judah's 3 1/2 now and he is more frusterated than ever or at least he was. Things are looking up and our OT has shown us some great things to do with him. You may want to ask your OT about RDI Relationship Development Intervention. Some forms of it work well for Judah, depending on the severity and stage of the current meltdown hes having. But the key is to calmly redirect befor they blow and need discipline. its so hard to stay patient. what has really worked for him though is thr hterapuutic brushing program, this goes along with the deep pressure. we started with doing the brushing and joint compressions every two hrs when he was awake for 2 weeks straight. During that time my husband and his OT and I were watching to see it the brushing and deep pressure were calming and organizing for him. and they were, it especially helps Judah to brush him before we brush his teeth, sometimes we skip the fight all together, the brushing helps his brain organize and ready itself for input and sensory stimulation. You also might want to ask your OT about theraputic listening...

Jennifer Miller - posted on 11/19/2008

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Hey, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner! Logan is teh same, he doesn't want to look at me. Logan's ST suggested to me (when I was trying to make his hands do the signs) was just to sign as I speak. So when he does look at me, he will see me signing and it also reinforces to him that it is a language and it means something. For instructions on joint compressions, check out this page
http://www.slc.sevier.org/sibrush.htm

Jaime - posted on 11/18/2008

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Thank you all for your great advice. Orin and Chane will be starting OT in December, luckily we have the same therapist through EI and CPSE so they can see the same person. I bought Orin my 22 month old a trampoline for christmas and we are working on slowly taking most of the toys out of the toy room and turning it into a sensory room. I wanted a swing but can't afford it right now and wouldn't know where to put it since my house i am renting is kind of small. I think it is stupid how insurances don't help you get the equipment you need to really help the kids but I guess they figure they don't really have to deal with the costs because EI and CPSE take care of the therapy. Also I don't understand why therapy stops for my 3 yr old when school is on vacation, it isn't like his SPD stops because they are on vacation or summer break. Once again thank you so much!

SUSAN - posted on 11/18/2008

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I can totally relate! My son Erik just turned 2 and we have the same issues. We have had 2 speech, 2 special ed., and 4 OT sessions so far through early interventions with our school district. The OT taught me how to do massage, which he really likes, if I can get him to sit still. She has suggested the following to help SPD kids like ours: having a small trampoline or letting him jump into the couch cushions, having him do "heavy work", carrying a weighted backpack on outings, having a picture schedule, doing sign language, using a timer to help end an activity, using a weighted or deep pressure vest for sensory input/calming, putting a swing in our home (we live in Minnesota), and having him do crawling activities like doing wheelbarrow walking on his hands or crawling through a tunnel (we have one of those collapsable 6' tunnles). I'm sure your OT will give you tons of ideas too. We also have feeding issues related to SPD, so we also try to do lots of tactile activities. It's pretty overwhelming when it's all new to you. Erik was diagnosed with SPD just 2 months ago, but we have been dealing with feeding issues since he was 6 months. We are also looking into doing sensory integration at an actual therapy place, but insurance probably won't cover it, so... They say the younger you get them help, the better, so I'm hopeful for all of us!!

[deleted account]

Hi!

I'm just beginning to learn about sensory integration problems, as my daughter 3 1/2 years seems to have those in tactile and auditive areas.



I've read several books written about these problems, and in many of them they advise to roll a blanket around child, to calm him/her down. my daughter does it already herself. it is also relaxing for spd-children to hide under mattressess an such, and you can play a "hamburger-play" where your child is the "beef" between large pillows, first put child laying down on one pillow or bed, then "spread ketchup" etc. on him/her with your hands and then put a large pillow on your child and gently press "to get extra ketchup off".. this is fun for both of us, and seems to get my daughter a little bit more relaxed and less violent and aggressive.



it is also good to let your child push around heavy thigs as furniture, if possible, and carry heavy bags. all these are calming and soothing experienses.



(sorry about my english, it's a little bit rusty...)

Desiree - posted on 11/16/2008

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If he is having severe difficulty with speech, then he may just be frustrated because he can not "say" what he wants or needs to say. You may want to look into toddler sign language. This will help him to communicate with you and your family. You'll just need to get the family involved in the learning as well so they will know what he is trying to say.

Jaime - posted on 11/10/2008

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He is seeing a ST and will be starting OT soon. I have tried SL but i can't get him to look at me long enough to see what i am doing and he fights me if i try to hold his hands and do it for him. I don't really know what the joint compression and pillow presses are but would love to learn. He loves to put everything in his mouth so we have bought chewy tubes, jigglers which are like the d-vibe, and some other approved toys for him to chew on. Any advice would be great and thank you for writing back.

Jennifer Miller - posted on 11/10/2008

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Hi, great to meet you! I have 2 children. My oldest Sydney is almost 5 and I think she has SPD, but my son Logan is 3 and has SPD and severe speech delay. He would get violent and bite his sister too. I feel your pain, I tried time outs too. Is he seeing an OT or ST? His OT said we needed to get his nervous system to mellow out and that would help. I don't know if you have tried joint compressions or pillow presses. Also, we are working with the school system's early program for Speech Therapy. We are learning sign language and have a picture book that he can pick out what he wants. That has helped Logan tremendously. Not that we are "there" yet or that all the tantrums have stopped, but the compressions help Logan not feel the need to get that sensory imput from hitting and the SL and book have helped him find a "voice" so the time outs are working better. I can give you some more details if you'd like.

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