Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sensory Processing Disorder

Also known as Sensory Integration Disorder or Sensory Integration Dysfunction. It is never a dull moment around our house when you have a child with SPD. Some of you may be wondering what the heck is it. To our family it was a blessing in disguise because, now we had something solid to deal with. We knew that we finally had an explanation of one of Bug's many puzzles. Her behavior her developmental delays in some areas made sense. It was a big weight off of our shoulders. Her physical therapist was the first one to mention it to me. At first I was a little sceptical. I am not one for labels on a child. She recommended that I read a book, so I found 2 books, "The out-of-sync child" by Carol Stock and "Sensational kids" by Lucy Jane Miller. After reading both books and searching the Internet. I knew that I was on the right road and that I wasn't crazy or imagining things with Bug. Both her physical and occupational therapist started a sensory diet at the hospital and for me to do at home.

SPD is very complex in its symptoms. Your central nervous system is ineffective in processing sensory information and it effects how a person functions daily. I like to explain it like this- your 5 senses don't work together. As you know our senses are touch, sight, taste, hearing and smelling. When they don't talk to each other it makes you dysfunctional or out-of-sync in the way you do things or act.

For Bug it effects her in how she functions daily, behavioral challenges, she has a hard time regulating her emotions, how she learns and how she socialize with others.

Many children who have SPD have other physical and medical problems and they are now finding that a child my also just have SPD. That is one of the reasons it can be hard to pinpoint the dynamics of SPD.

Bug doesn't feel touch easily, so she touches others and things hard. She is still in diapers-the therapist and her Dr. don't think she can feel it-when she needs to go. She is clumsy. Most children learn early on how to extend their hands to catch themselves when they fall-not bug with lots of training she is started to catch herself) She is an extremely picky eater and will gag at just about anything. She will not eat meat at all. My now 6 1/2 year old looks like a 2 yr old eater. It's a complete mess-she has to touch everything with her hands. Tableware is foreign object to her the majority of the time.(think of cereal and you can put a mental picture of how it looks) We have to constanlty remind her to use the tableware. I could go on and on but I would bore you with all the details. I am sure I will touch on it from time to time.

Here is the start of her day.
1. I rub her back to get her up, she sleeps with a 5 pound weighted blanket over her head.
2. We rub her feet with all kinds of crazy stuff-brushes, rollers anything that has a texture. (I found stuff at the dollar store)
3. We exercise to fire up that nervous system. Jump on the trampoline, pull heavy things, scooter board, gym ball and several floor exercise. Granted I don't do these all daily-we mix it up.
4. During school we sit on a ball chair or a wedge on her chair.
5. Some days she puts her weighted wrap around her when needed.

Wonder what happens on the day we don't do the above? Its a very long day for me!

Homeschool is a big advantage for her. I make everything visual and kinesthetic for her. I can work at her pace and can customize it to fit just her. (if you need help in this area let me know and tell me what works for you homeschooling a child with SPD. I am always open for new ideals)

Everyday things we take for granted effect Bug in one way or another. The little things are a mountain for her.

If you are interested in learning more about it-here is a link: SPD information
The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, Revised EditionSensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing DisorderThe Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder

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