19 answers

Sensory Processing Disorder / Sensory Integration Issues

Does anyone have experience with Sensory Processing Disorder / Sensory Integration Issues? My son (6 years old) needs to be evaluated....I have multiple opinions regarding where we should start. Neurologist? NeuroPsychologist? Child Psychologist? Occupational Therapist? His main issues are 1) tip toe walking (currently working with Orthopedic Doctor for the physical issues, but clearly is a neurological cause) 2) Frequent tantrums/whining, easily goes into "overload" 3)Fine motor skills. Does anyone have experience with this with their own children? He worked with an OT over the summer for fine motor skills - but he needs more help, and I need to know how to help him. We have already spent thousands of dollars on visual therapy and occupational therapy, this has helped - but not a solution. Any referrals for NW Phoenix area would be appreciated. Much of what we have found is not covered by insurance, so it would be nice to find someone who has been through this to help minimize costs, and go down the right path.

What can I do next?

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I don't have anything for you here, just some advice. My niece has sensory processing disorder as well. Her teachers wanted to diagnosis her with ADHD or autism and wanted her on meds for school. My sister's doctor told her that she would never resolve the SPD if she put her ADHD medication. So my sister went to a homeopathic doctor who suggested diet changes such as removing dairy and wheat to help calm her and help her focus on the SPD issues thru OT/PT. She removed all wheat and gluten from her diet and now her teachers say they see NO signs of any ADHD or Autism, and she is doing wonderful in OT/PT and realizing more sensation in her joints and learning to control herself. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone! Good luck!

if you haven't been to the melmed center that is where i would recommend starting. They work with a large number of disabilities and diagnosing them. http://www.melmedcenter.com/

also has he started school yet? Many of the services that you are mentioning are provided free from the schools. If he hasn't been evaluated yet by his school talk to his teacher and the head of his school's special education program.

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Hi M., My 13-year-old son has Sensory Integration Dysfunction and we finally got him diagnosed at age 7 after many years of confusion and guessing. It was such a relief to know what was going on with him after all that time! He went immediately into OT, having issues with clothing, touch, textures, fine motor and some gross motor. He also had/has problems with crowds, loud sounds, working memory, self esteem, and is movement seeking to the extreme! We were fortunate that our insurance covered the OT except for a $10 co-pay. Keep up with the OT as it is the only option for the DSI - this is something that your child will simply have to learn coping skills for. We went to Banner Desert Behavior Center for his evaluation and treatment, but I'm afraid they may have closed that part of the hospital down. Keep in mind you cannot look for a "solution" as there is no "cure" for this, and no medication he can take (thank goodness because I strongly disagree with the over- prescribing of pharmaceuticals for kids) - it is something your son will live with the rest of his life - your best approach is to help him learn the coping skills he'll need to succeed in every situation in life. My son learned about the situations that brought out a negative response and learned to avoid them. He learned how to communicate his state of mind through the "engine" technique. I spent a lot of time educating his teachers about DSI and giving them some simple accomodations to do in the classroom to ensure his success in school. You must be your child's advocate and do lots of research. Every child who has DSI has it differently and uniquely, and to different degrees. Learn as much about it as you can and do whatever you have to do to help him learn about it, accept it as part of him, and love and support him through it. It is a brain disorder, and there's no pill that will change that. My son finished with OT at age 10, so there may be a time when you don't have to do that anymore. You will be surprised at the changes that happen as they age and mature. My son has made huge strides just by getting older! He's replaced some of the old problems with new ones (as is true with all teens!) but now he has the knowledge, support and skills to cope with all that comes along. If you need someone to talk more about this, even just for support and to vent (I know how frustrating it can be!), please let me know, I'm happy to help in any way I can.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.

My 5 year old son has Sensory Processing Disorder. I am an OT here in AZ and I work in a school district. I have to agree with Tania....I would not look for therapy in the schools to be your first or only mode of treating your child. What school based OTs can provide is not everything a child with Sensory Processing Disorder needs.

I would really recommend finding a pediatric Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist who specialized in Sensory Integration. Not all Pediatric OTs or PT have that specialized training in Sensory Integration (SI).

You might look at the provider directory for your insurance carrier and see if there is a list of hospitals or clinics that they cover and call them to see if they have an OT or PT that specializes in SI.

Our insurance didn't cover any of my son's therapy, then I found out that I could take him to his therapist who is an out-of-network provider as if she was an in-network-provider by getting a medical exception. Basically it involved calling repeatedly to the insurance company and letting them know that they didn't have anyone on their in-network list that provided the service that he needed. It took a few calls to get to the right person who could authorize it but it now enables us to take my son to his therapist and we pay as if we were going to an in-network provider which helps reduce some of the cost for us.

I'll also recommend a great book to you Sensational Kids, it is written by Dr Lucy Jane Miller. She is on the forefront on research on SPD and is an authority on the topic. She also runs a clnic/foundation in Colorado, they have a website http://www.spdfoundation.net/ that also has a lot of good information.

Hope this helps....good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My 5 year old son has sensory intergration dysfunction. He has been in therapys since he was 3 months old. Call the DDD. (Department of Developmental Disabilitys) Most DDD stuff is FREE!!! We have had a Developmental Mental Therapist, OT and Speach Therapist as well. If you would like to learn more on SID read the book: The Out Of-Sync Child. It is a GREAT resource to help you understand your son. My son use to FREAK out in crouds, he would rock so hard if he was in the stroller he would bruise his head. He walked around with his fingers spread because he couldnt stand the feel of them touching any thing, even his own skin from the palm of his hands. He hated being picked up or touched. Coulddnt stand eye contact. He wouldnt eat in resturants because he was so stressed out from all the people. He couldnt dress him self because his hand muscles were too weak. He has a hard time coloring, because holding the pencil is hard work. He cant still cant sleep in a bed because his brain cant process being off the ground. Over the past 4 years we have made incredable improvements... I can hug him now, he holds my hand, it takes him a while but he can eat out, he still cant stand large crouds and dosent like strangers looking at him, but we can go shopping with out him screaming for 3 hours after, he still struggles putting his shoes on and pulling his pants off, coloring and cutting with scisors is difficult, but the therapy helps so much!!! DEF. call DDD their # is ###-###-####.

Go through the public school system, I did that with my son, but he was haivng diferent issues. They tell you a place where you can get your child tested. It is competly free, they will determine if your child needs more help, and if they do they assign you a school to your zipcode. They will start the school right away if their accepted. My son started after spring break last year. It is doing him good as well. Good luck.

Good for you for paying attention! Realize that what he's experiencing is real and that you may have to run interference for a good long while to protect him from those factors in his environment that are just too much. Particularly because children with SI Disorder don't "look" different people tend to think they're acting spoiled,neurotic, etc. For evaluation and recommendations, I'd seek out a pediactric neuropsychologist. A few good books on the topic are "The Out of Sync Child", "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" and "The Highly Sensitive Person". I don't know AZ Special Ed laws, but it may be possible for you to get some of the services (especally OT) through the public schools Special Ed if he qualifies. Charter schools are still considered public schools and even if it's a private school, special ed services are still available. Wishing you the best.

I don't have anything for you here, just some advice. My niece has sensory processing disorder as well. Her teachers wanted to diagnosis her with ADHD or autism and wanted her on meds for school. My sister's doctor told her that she would never resolve the SPD if she put her ADHD medication. So my sister went to a homeopathic doctor who suggested diet changes such as removing dairy and wheat to help calm her and help her focus on the SPD issues thru OT/PT. She removed all wheat and gluten from her diet and now her teachers say they see NO signs of any ADHD or Autism, and she is doing wonderful in OT/PT and realizing more sensation in her joints and learning to control herself. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone! Good luck!

First of all, I am so happy you are a surviver *grin*

Second,I am so happy you have a supporting husband.

Third, I am sorry you are having these issues with your son.

I work for a couple of agencies that deal with all kinds of differnt special needs for children. I have them posted on my profile page here. The first thing I would do if you have not already done so is contact the DDD Department of Developmental Disablities in your area. You can get a case manager and from there you should be able to get funding through the state that you are in and direction on where you should go to next. You are not alone.

I hope this helps,
God bless to you and your family,
N.
www.aromaticbotanicals.com

My experience and research regarding kids with any kind of neurological disorder roots the causes to heavy metal toxicity. Heavy metals get into our systems and if not properly flushed out on a regular basis will build up to damaging, degenerative levels. They are utilized by parasites, fungus and yeast to assist those organisms in colonizing unhealthy or low immune bodies causing more "disease". Heavy metals lodging in the creases of the brain using the fungal entity aspergillis niger cause symptoms ranging from some you mention in your child as well as symptoms associated with ADHD and other attention disorders. Heavy metals are in everything from the air we breathe, to tooth fillings, to the commercial fabric softeners, makeup and body products available to the average consumer, to foods and the vaccinations the FDA approves as safe for our children. One food that is very good at pulling heavy metals out of the body is fresh cilantro. However, for intervention levels rather than maintenance, it needs to be eaten daily in quantity (like salad) and you also need to ensure that it isn't grown in soil where a lot of heavy metals are present or it will have leeched them from the soil while growing and they will be in the food adding to the problem instead of helping to resolve it. However, I can recommend some pure, safe and completely natural herbal products that address flushing heavy metals from the system. They contain herbs from the Amazon rainforest and have been proven over centuries of use to work effectively. Plus being grown in the virgin soil of the rainforest ensures that there is no heavy metal toxicity present - and the company that provides these herbs employs the indigenous people to sustainably grow and harvest these plants without cutting down the rainforest so there is no destruction being caused by the activity - only positive actions and deeds. Feel free to contact me for more specific information about the products I recommend.

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