spd? would therapy do anything?

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treestar
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27 Jul 2016, 10:32 pm

I'm wondering if I could get some input on whether you feel my 3.5 old son is spd. He has not been evaluated due to him being mostly what we have felt to be normal, except socially. My husband and I both are 'shy' by nature so it's hard to know whether it's just that or something more. What I really need to know, is if the social issues he has can be helped by therapy etc or just patience and time. I know it's important to help early on, so if there's something I can do to help him socially I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here are his 'spd symtpoms' but the only one getting in the way of a normal life is the last -

-gag reflex issues - didn't eat solids until 2, but now at 3 1/2 eats a good variety, though not a big eater in general and has some minor texture issues (won't eat steak). He still prefers stuff like hummus, guacamole, applesauce, yogurt and lasagne over non mushy stuff.

-as a baby cried at loud sounds, at 2 he needed headphones with vacuum and blender, now he just runs off laughing and is not very bothered by any sounds, fine on the 4th of july.

-never liked toys much as a baby, only youtube/cartoons/video games. But now he has a wonderful imagination with his few toys that he does like.

-some speech issues, mostly pronunciation took a long time to form properly though at 3.5 he is now mostly understandable and talkative.

-tumbleweed in bed, even a weighted blanket to help with his nightly nightmares doesn't stay on. I find him on the floor at times too (bed on ground).

-his biggest issue has been this: social. He will go to parks but will not go up on the equipment/slides unless absolutely no one is there. If someone comes, he'll run off and just stand on the side and watch. Going to splash pads or anything he has to hold my hand. Something like preschool would be incredibly difficult for him, since he's very sensitive/ultra aware around kids. We've done little gym and he has good days and bad. As soon as he is in a big group or crowd he will say 'im tired' and just kind of shut down and want to go home. However, he is only timid sometimes (sometimes very social) with adults. He is ok with 1 or 2 kids max, even then hesitant. Eye contact seems fine. I remember being this way, to be honest I still feel this way but have found ways to get by.

-I feed him very healthy and avoid dyes, low sugar, give him some great vitamins and fish oil and iron seems to help too (he won't eat much beef and has tons of dairy). I have not tried gfcf diet.

To sum it up I am concerned with his esteem and confidence as he gets older, because of how difficult it is for him to be around people. They seem to drain him immediately. But sometimes he'll get a kind of high showing off around adults. Right now I am thinking more 1 on 1 playdates to help him, otherwise he gets overwhelmed and shuts down. Is there any kind of effective therapy or proprioception tricks for this kind of thing?



Fitzi
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28 Jul 2016, 9:45 am

It does seem to me that there are sensory/ social issues going on, and I think it warrants an evaluation. Are you in the US? If so, you can have the Committee for Preschool Special Education do a free evaluation, and he may qualify to get Occupational Therapy and Social Skills help. You would need to contact the DOE. Or, you can see a private Developmental Pediatrician or Neuro Psychologist.



sagerchatter
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28 Jul 2016, 2:02 pm

You are pretty much describing my son, to a "t". My son is older by a few years, but he was exactly the same. We didn't have him in daycare until just recently, and at that point we were able to see that his social skills are delayed more than just an adjustment curve. It *could* be different with your son, but why wait? I agree with the PP, if you can get him screened/evaluated, I'd do it. The earlier the intervention, the better. It sounds like if you found a small play group that is specifically for learning social skills, he'll flourish. :) Good luck!



treestar
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28 Jul 2016, 10:12 pm

Thanks these are some very helpful thoughts and ideas. This brings me to two other questions:

What can a therapist actually do to help with social fear of kids? I'd love to know what it is they do in a session for that kind of thing?

The social skills playgroup is a great idea. What is the best way to find that kind of thing locally? Facebook autism group for my state or something else?



treestar
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29 Jul 2016, 8:56 am

sagerchatter wrote:
You are pretty much describing my son, to a "t". My son is older by a few years, but he was exactly the same. We didn't have him in daycare until just recently, and at that point we were able to see that his social skills are delayed more than just an adjustment curve. It *could* be different with your son, but why wait? I agree with the PP, if you can get him screened/evaluated, I'd do it. The earlier the intervention, the better. It sounds like if you found a small play group that is specifically for learning social skills, he'll flourish. :) Good luck!


sagerchatter - I am curious what the delays were that were more than the usual? I'd love to observe my son to see if it's similar. Was your son able to improve with age? I feel like my son will be behind socially for awhile but with age may meld more and more.



sagerchatter
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16 Aug 2016, 8:16 pm

treestar wrote:
sagerchatter - I am curious what the delays were that were more than the usual? I'd love to observe my son to see if it's similar. Was your son able to improve with age? I feel like my son will be behind socially for awhile but with age may meld more and more.


Yes, I think he has improved with age. At least, his interest has greatly increased. The biggest fear-based issue we deal with now is if another kid starts crying. Half of the time, he can get past it without melting down. But when he does meltdown, it's severe.* He screams and the very top of his lungs and will sob hysterically, saying that he will hit me or hit the kid; it's like he is completely flooded by the other kid's emotions and by his own.

Some of the things I recognized in your post that he's since stopped doing:

- When he was two, we started a class similar to little gym. If any kid came near him he would yell "No way! No way! No way!" in their face. I can laugh about it now. It was horrifying back then. He got better with time, but I also needed to be there as an "interpreter", if that makes sense. Helping him understand the situation and such.

- I had to take him to parks early in the morning, if I wanted to get him outside at all. My heart would sink into my stomach if I saw other kids arriving. He would do the same thing, hang back and watch. I would sometimes take that opportunity to talk about what the other kids were doing or playing. That loosened him up some, but not enough to join in.

When we go to the playground now, he likes to be around the other kids, and will sometimes even introduce himself (and every other family member, present or not) but things can fall apart pretty quickly if the kid(s) are too aggressive or persistent. For example, he doesn't get "tag". He just thinks they're chasing him and trying to hit him. I think he just feels threatened and can't remember what the rules are.

So I would say while his interest in playing with other kids has definitely increased, his capability to deal with unpredictable circumstances is still fragile. I want to say that it seems as he could understand the world a little better, and communicate better, maybe things were less overwhelming?

The thing that became very clear was that his ability to calm himself independent of his parents was not going to get better without help. At least, I hope so - we aren't at the "help" part yet. We're still in the evaluation stage. I'm really looking forward to helping him calm himself better. He does better than a few years ago, but nowhere near where he needs to be to enter kindergarten. (Which I guess he'll be going in late this school year. But that's an entirely different topic. :roll:)

I think small play dates would be an excellent thing, especially if you could find someone with an equally introverted/similar temperament-ed child. There are services online where you can enter information to find local play groups. Kind of like dating sites but for play dates instead. I just came across this website that lists a few: http://www.encourageplay.com/resources-for-families/

I hope I covered enough of what you were asking. My ADHD severely limits my ability to articulate and edit. :lol:

*He has a two year old sister and life is very stressful at home right now. I am having a difficult time figuring out how to let her throw her tantrums without me reinforcing them, while at the same time keep him calm. And we live in an apartment, so I'm terrified of noise complaints. Blah!



InThisTogether
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17 Aug 2016, 7:58 pm

He may not have social issues at all. Hear me out...

Sometimes kids with sensory issues avoid other kids, not because they don't desire to socialize, but because other kids are unpredictable. They bump into you without warning. They can be loud. They can make sudden movements. They can come into your space. I've noticed more than one sensory defensive kid who avoids other kids due to sensory issues. Also, keep in mind it is hard to "bother" with things like socialization when you feel out of sync with your body or if your senses feel overwhelmed and bombarded.

As Fitzi said, contact your school district to have your son evaluated through their CPSE program. The evaluation is free to you, as is any therapy they feel he may benefit from.


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sagerchatter
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19 Aug 2016, 8:00 pm

InThisTogether wrote:
He may not have social issues at all. Hear me out...

Sometimes kids with sensory issues avoid other kids, not because they don't desire to socialize, but because other kids are unpredictable. They bump into you without warning. They can be loud. They can make sudden movements. They can come into your space. I've noticed more than one sensory defensive kid who avoids other kids due to sensory issues. Also, keep in mind it is hard to "bother" with things like socialization when you feel out of sync with your body or if your senses feel overwhelmed and bombarded.

As Fitzi said, contact your school district to have your son evaluated through their CPSE program. The evaluation is free to you, as is any therapy they feel he may benefit from.


This is an excellent point!