Sensory Integration Processing Disorder

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Holley Calmes, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Anybody familiar with this? My precious 3 year old grandson is being tested for this tomorrow. He's basically fine, but seems stressed when there's lots of noise, and he hates getting his hands dirty like with paint, clay, etc. He's way ahead verbally and plays well with others but only in small groups. He's kind of a loner and not a joiner. He's been tested for Austism, ADHD, etc., and he's ok there. He also loves to crash into things-walls, other kids, and he loves to roll back and forth from one side to the other incessantly. In the old days, my daughter says he'd just have been called "a hyper boy." But, he does have some stress, and we want to find out how we can help him. He is extremely happy most of the time, but quite manic. His Pre-K teachers say he's extremely smart (but of course! :lol:)

    I'm not actually worried, but I wouldn't be surprised, after reading on the web site about this disorder, that he's got some of it. I just wondered if anyone else has had experience with it. I went to my first source-my FSU-ers!
     
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  2. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Holley, many, if not most, of the kids I work with have sensory issues. Usually it's dealt with by an OT or special needs teacher trained in sensory issues making up a sensory diet; we usually involve the whole team. They're actually a lot of fun to create and implement!

    There are some simple things that work with many kids, some like headphones, weighted vests or neck pillows, squeezey balls etc. can work wonders very quickly, other things like quiet time in a tent or covered by a blanket, rocking in a chair or on a horse, even just for a minute work well too. Sensory diets are very individualised.

    There are some fabulous books out there for activities that help with SI problems a let me know if you want some recommendations.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  3. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much Angelskates! My daughter is educating herself pretty well, but any and all information I can gather is wonderful. We just got the little guy an inside-the-house tent (with Lighting McQueen and Tater on it!) and he practically lives in it. I wish this had been around for me when I was a kid. I think I had this too. Noises drive me insane.

    So bring it on, and thank you so much!
     
  4. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    A friend of a friend's daughter has been diagnosed with this. She gets OT. But I would have never guessed--she seems just like any other child her age, may be a bit shy but that's not abnormal.

    When I was a kid, I'd crawl under my bed whenever my parents used the coffee grinder or the vacuum. Turned out OK without any therapy. I am still really really not fond of loud noises.
     
  5. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you were a cat in a previous life. :)
     
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  6. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I wouldn't be surprised. :cat:
     
  7. Nekatiivi

    Nekatiivi Well-Known Member

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    I think I might had (have) this disorder. When I was child, I was unable to use clothes. They hurt, so I was naked almost all the time. It used to drive my parents crazy! :lol:

    ...But I managed to start using clothes in public when I started school. No therapy was needed in my case either!
     
  8. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Holley --

    If your grandson is diagnosed with a sensory integration disorder -- or even not diagnosed and needing further diagnosis, I hope your daughter seeks out Child Find
    http://www.childfindidea.org/
    a program administered by local school districts under federal guidance to help identify and evaluate children from birth or later who may need special support or early intervention services. Early intervention can make a significant difference in a child's ability to make the most of K-12 schooling, and might include OT, developmental preschools, or other services to help the child and the family, as well as a smoother transition of needed services when the child begins kindergarten. Many middle-class parents don't find out about Child Find early enough. A call to the local school district's special education department should get her linked into the Child Find for her area.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I hope the tests and results help your grandson Holley Colmes.

    But I have to say, I think that psychiatric diagnoses are going a bit too far. There are so many mental disorders out there and they inevitably reconstitute and reflect perceptions and assumptions regarding what is normal. Pretty much anyone can go to a psychiatrist with any complaint and receive a diagnosis for something.

    Isn't is possible that some people are just more sensitive to stimulation than others? And that maybe it is the one's who aren't so sensitive who have the problem? Urban environments today overload people with stimulation - there is traffic, overcrowded transit, big box stores and shopping malls flooded with echoes and artificial light. Tons of jarring, in-your face unpleasant stimulation that people learn to shut out in order to cope.

    That could possibly be called 'sensory blocking disorder' or 'sensory avoiding disorder' or some such term. And in desensitizing a child's natural sensory awareness and responses, we could be suppressing an important natural gift - the quality that makes people such as artists and healers good at what they do
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
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  10. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Japanfan, I absolutely understand what you are saying, and that's why I wanted input from my FSU friends-you all come from so many cultures and you are all so informed and intelligent. I do treasure you! My sentence about him being "just a hyper boy" really hits the nail on the head. Plus, there are many musicians on both sides of my daughter's heritage. I can easily see Zach being hypersensitive to sound, as I was and still am.

    But- it's his mom who has the authority, and she is all for getting this input and testing. Zach has to live in the world he's been born into, with all the stressful situations. But I will definitely pass along your thoughts to her-they make a lot of sense.
     
  11. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Holley and Japanfan, the therapies and intervention are not ways of dulling the senses, it's a way of adjusting to make the child more comfortable. Autistic children, for example, who can be overly stimulated visually, should not just be put in a overly visually stimulating environment, instead, they can be gradually introduced to a new environment. Not treating sensory disorders can result in extreme fear/anxiety, just like someone who is scared of heights being told to get in a plane instead of gradually working on the process of overcoming the fear. It's not just the their over-stimulation/under-stimulation, it's the reaction to the stimulation (behaviour problems, extreme fear or anxiety etc.). I have SI issues myself, and am also an introvert, and I have had to learn how to deal with it to still live comfortably in society.

    SI how this sensory information is taken in, organised, and utilised to interpret the surrounding environment and make the body ready to learn, move, regulate energy levels and emotions, interact, and develop properly. If someone doesn't learn that clothing is necessary, or gets extreme anxiety from touching water - then that is treated, not by dulling the sense, but by overcoming the fear/anxiety or regulating the stimulation to a particular situation that is socially acceptable. For example, many kids with SI problems have issues with touching themselves all the time, while this is normal and healthy sometimes, it is not socially acceptable in public, and some an alternative tactile stimulation is given (usually a squishy ball), the same as hand washing is expected after using the bathroom...it's not about dumbing down the senses, it's about integration into the world in which we live.

    Holley, here is a handout I often give parents - you can find more here (search 'sensory). Creative therapies, such as art, music, dance and drama therapies are also great in addition to OT. It's all about making the child comfortable living in the real world, not shutting out the real world.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
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  12. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    I'll be praying tou you and your family. Good luck
     
  13. Bailey_

    Bailey_ Guest

    Hi Holley,

    I am an OT and I work with lots of kids who have "Sensory Integration Disorder" - although we don't diagnose it as such here in Canada. I just thought that I'd share my experience and my thoughts with you...

    Your grandson sounds very sweetl. It's great that he has been assessed and it has not been determined that he has autism or ADHD. It certainly sounds like he is a bright boy and he certainly has a very loving Grandmother!

    We all have sensory preferences. If we polled people here on this board, we would find people who get stressed or don't work well in noisy environments and others who need background noise to concentrate. We would find people who love to get dirty, and others who don't like it very much at all. We would find people who are picky eaters and others who will eat anything. People who like amusement park rides and others who get carsick. See my point... And, we all use sensory input to help us deal with stressful situations or attend and focus when needed (ie. chewing gum when studying, going for a walk during a break at work helps us return to our desk to work). We all have sensory preferences and there is nothing to worry about that. The problem comes when sensory preferences impact a person's ability to do all the things that they want to do in their lives. And kids don't have the ability that we as adults do to know what our bodies need and to get the sensory information that we need. That's when we as OT's start to do evaluations and develop sensory diets.

    It sounds like your little guy has a strong need for "vestibular" and "proprioceptive" sensory input to his muscles and joints. These types of sensory information are important in developing a sense of body awareness, a sense of body position in space, motor planning skills, and they tend to be very calming for the nervous system. And, it sounds like your little guy has some sensitivity to auditory and tactile or touch sensory stimulation. Participation in some of these movement activities should help to calm his nervous system and may help him deal with the sensory sensitivity. An OT could help you understand his behaviour and develop a list of sensory activities that you can do with your little guy - all fun, play-based activities - that he will find enjoyable and may help with some of these difficulties. OT's may also be able to help him use some cognitive-behavioral strategies when he gets older to help him deal with stressful situations - relaxation strategies, sensory based activities, etc... A great program used in the schools is the How Does Your Engine Run program. For example, if he is hyper (as you describe) and this is impacting his ability to attend and focus in school, he can use this program to find activities (ex. chewing gum to give him some proprioceptive input through his mouth, or going for a walk) that may help him find a more appropriate level of alertness for learning.

    The purpose of therapy is not to dull the senses - nothing can change how your body registers sensory information. Sensory integration therapy is a treatment approach, originally developed with the purpose to provide the child with graded sensory sensory experiences to promote an adaptive response. That's the technical definition. However, there is not much/if any research to demonstrate that the therapy provides much change to their underlying neurological functioning. For example, a child who is sensitive to sounds may learn to become more familiar with certain sounds, but they will likely always have a low threshold for sensory information and always be sensitive to sensory information. Current theory seems to be moving in the direction of educating parents, making certain accomodations, and helping children to learn to regulate their behaviour and function to the best of their ability given their sensory processing capabilities.

    It's true, in the past he may have been described as a hyper child, with a few "odd" behaviors (when you consider the sensitivity to sounds and touch). There is a big push to include Sensory Integration Processing Disorder in the DSM. Whether that happens or not, it is beyond me... In Canada, we don't talk about Sensory Integration Disorder like they do in the states because our health care system is different and we don't do treatment in the way it was intended - direct therapy, in clinic. We talk more about Sensory Processing in a more functional way. Depending on who you see, they may have a slightly different take on the subject.

    One of my favorite resources is the book - The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock-Kranowitz. Her website is http://out-of-sync-child.com/. She has another book called the Out of Sync Child has Fun. I would highly recommend these books - they may be even more helpful after you talk with an OT and learn a little more specifically about your grandson.

    All the best to you!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2011
  14. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Bailey!!! What fabulous input! Wow-I knew I could count on my FSU friends. You guys are the best! I can't wait to share your input with my daughter tomorrow. xoxoxoxo to you all. But-keep it coming! I'll let you know what the therapists say. BTW-Zach is probably the most adorable child in the entire universe. Just wanted you to know that....
     
  15. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Holley, I second the Out-of-Sync Child books, the activities are great for kids, regardless of their diagnosis. There are also some great art activity books that focus on specific senses which I will look up and send you (interestingly, all of the books have been updated with a name change from Sensory Integration Dysfunction to Sensory Processing Disorder - it's hard to keep up with all of the name changes in the field of special needs!)

    Here are the books I have lent parents, and they have found useful:

     
  16. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    My bf has very VERY low tolerance for noise and crowds, and I think being able to communicate your needs (and have the confidence to do so!) will be paramount when Holley's grandson is older. Finding help in this aspect is a great idea, but I certainly don't think that there's anything wrong with Holley's grandson, or my bf for that matter. :)

    It's just that certain aspects of life can be difficult when you're extra-sensitive to things that are commonplace, so finding coping mechanisms is definitely the way to go!
     
  17. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    My 4 year old son has sensory processing disorder. He is tactile defensive and has some vestibular and proprioceptive sensory issues. Angleskates and Bailey have summed things up very nicely, but I will add that I also highly recommend the Out-of-Sync child. Sensory OT therapy works wonders. I would recommend, however, that you seek out an OT that specializes in sensory. Not all of them do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  18. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again, everyone, for your fabulous input. I will fill my daughter in with all you guys have given me-it's fantastic. You guys are the best.
     
  19. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your informed insights, Angelskates and Bailey.

    I'm extremely sensitive to sensory stimulation and the way it registers does change in relation to how tired and stressed I am. And the change is extreme, I can experience severe distress from over-stimulation versus a very pleasant, almost high feeling of just having fun with it.
     
  20. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere that psychologists do not believe in Sensory Integration. Is that part of the reason why it is not in the DSM?
     
  21. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i used to go up in the treehouse when my mother vacuumed or when we had a lot of people in the house. i never liked a lot of noise or excitement in the house. i know my mother asked the doctor about it because my father thought she was stupid for asking and they fought about it. the pediatrician said, "some people can stand more excitement than others." and she wasnt allowed to bring it up again.
     
  22. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I didn't like big crowds either. Still don't.

    I guess we would have been both diagnosed on the spectrum these days. Let's do therapy together. :p
     
  23. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    I'm on! I literally refuse to vacuum...something about the type of noise it is just drives me wild. I carry a lot of stress with noises. I can't go to rock concerts-I like the music if I can control the volume and how long I have to listen to it...but I'd rather do anything than go to a loud concert (except vacuum.) It is PHYSICALLY painful.
     
  24. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but how much of that can be classified as a disorder and how much of that can be classified as being a plain old introvert? ;) I think the line is where it disrupts your regular life. My bf would fit on some kind of spectrum (I think everybody would) but he's able to work and live his life avoiding things that bother him so I don't think he requires any professional help. I just have to conscientious about playing music and/or my news podcasts, and I have to remember not to invite him to events or social gatherings. :lol: It's not a huge deal.

    I recently bought him a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for long car trips though. I'm perfectly fine with driving long distances but I NEED music to keep me occupied or else I kind of go nuts. I suggested a rule that whoever drives dictates the noise level in the car. :p

    With awareness and technology, I think most of us are able to figure out ways to live with our personality quirks/disorders. :)
     
  25. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    I know that you are joking. Everyone has some sensory issues to some degree, but when it starts impacting one's day to day life that it should be taken seriously. When my son was about 18 months, we joined a play group that specialized in sensory play. I didn't know about sensory integration disorder at that time. One day, all the parents were having a great time dipping their child's feet into paints and making foot prints. When I put my sons feet into the paints, he started to scream. It was a blood curdling scream of pain, not a normal reaction to finger paints. Also in the playgroup, he would not go anywhere near the sandbox or the water table. He also had/has extreme sensitive to loud noises. We had been seeing an OT about my son's gross motors delays and I mentioned about his reaction to the paints, etc and the whole sensory integration piece started to unfold. We were lucky to find an OT that specialized in sensory. He has made great gains in the last few years, but we still have a ways to go.

    ETA - An OT explained SPD to me this way. Everyone has some sensory issues, and most people have some tactile sensitives. One OT said that she cuts all the tags out of her kids' t-shirts because the tags drive her kids nuts. Another OT said that she doesn't like the texture of raisins in muffins, so she doesn't eat muffins with raisins. That is what most people do, we work around the things that bother us. Kids with SPD are so overwhelmed by their sensory issues that it impacts their day to day life.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  26. Bailey_

    Bailey_ Guest

    Great explanation! We all have things we like and don't like - it really is how the sensory processing difficulties impact our daily life that is most important. I hate to see kids missing out on social, play, and learning opportunities because of sensory processing difficulties.

    And yes, Japanfan you are so right! Everyone's ability to tolerate sensory stimulation varies depending on the day (whether you are tired or sick), the environment, so many variables. I often give the example of the bar - when you arrive it is all fun, you love the music and the people, but as the night continues and you become tired - most people get to a point where the noise and the people become too much to handle and they may go home. Or, if I'm sick - I don't do as well in group situations as I would on another day. But, it's unlikely that you will ever go from someone who avoids sound, touch, movement to become someone who seeks sensory information (the other end of the spectrum). It's also true that sensory thresholds - tolerance or need - change over time. For example, kids seek more movement than adults and their need for this kind of sensory information tends to decrease with age. How many adults do you know who say "I used to love/be able to ride the roller coasters, now I can't go on them anymore because I just can't handle it anymore." So, there is lots of variability in a persons ability to integrate sensory information - it's part of the challenge of understanding and providing treatment. It makes parents crazy when their kids are very picky eaters (orally hypersensitive) but put everything they can in their mouth. They are using their mouth to explore, but they are in control of the sensory information. It just seems contradictory. Or, when kids do one thing on one day and another on another day, or in another situation. But, we are all like that. Some days I like blasting the music in my car. other days, it's the quiet music of the spa station all day long.
     
  27. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Well, when I think about it, it does impact my daily life, to a lesser degree than a full on spectrum disorder, but nonetheless. For instance, I realized that it's probably part of the reason why I don't have a private practice. Pravite practice is a business that you have to market, you have to network, make connections, blah blah. All of these things I hate to do. I would say I am an introvert with some Asperger's features.
     
  28. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I think all of us have aspects of our personality that affect our daily lives, so it's really up to you to judge whether you need to get professional help or not. My stutter was so bad that when I was a kid, I would not go up and ask salespeople for help or even where the bathroom was. My stutter is still bad at times, but I've gotten over the fear of asking for help when I need it. But yeah, having a stutter definitely shaped me as a person.

    I guess my question is what would professional intervention do for someone who is simply introverted? You can't change the fact that social events or crowds of people make you exhausted and/or grumpy, so you can only work around them. That would affect what you chose to do of course, but unless it was truly holding you back in a way that was negatively affecting your life in a tremendous manner, I don't think you can really do much about it.
     
  29. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    If our society did not treat introversion as a flaw, this wouldn't even be a question.
     
  30. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    With the advent of the internet, I don't think introversion is as limiting to one's career/personal life as it used to be. :rollin: I don't have to meet potential friends/partners in person (I met my wonderful and extremely introverted bf off a dating site), I don't even have to use the phone (which I hate), I can post to my heart's content instead of having to speak publicly (I write much more coherently than I can speak).

    Of course, I guess this only counts if your life leans toward more modern sensibilities. :eek: