Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Anyone know much about vestibular processing, please?

(36 Posts)
EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 19:51:35

DD has dx of ASD, and <hopefully> the local Paeds will take her on for in depth sensory profiling (has been referred by CAMHS)

She's HF, very impulsive at times and wonder if she might end up with ADHD dx also.

But something that has always puzzled, and really irritated us at times, is she simply MUST be 1st to go up or down stairs or escalators. Even if we're holding her hand she has to stand a few inches in front.

I thought this was the classic 'must be 1st in line' thing, but she actually prefers to be at the back of lines etc so just ignored it to a point.

Over the past few months, I've noticed she has a quite unique way of walking down stairs, she 'feels' the riser with the back of her heel and slides her foot down that way - I watched her purposefully today as we were at the leisure centre, and there was lots of room. She did this movement all the way down, but if someone was coming up past her, she lost her footing and then almost lost her balance!

Her general balance and co-ordination has improved vastly over the past year due to trampoline classes, but stairs are still a problem.

Anyone got any idea?

TIA

PolterGoose Sat 23-Feb-13 20:01:02

Hmm might be more of a proprioceptive thing? She needs the space around her to be able to see and know where all the bits of her body are?

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 20:04:23

<had to look that big word up>

ah, so it could all be linked with her sensory processing issues then?

she does have huge problems with spacial awareness at times (if that makes sense) she often holds her hand out for things but misses iygwim

PolterGoose Sat 23-Feb-13 20:19:14

Sounds possible then? Both me and my ds have proprioceptive problems (resulting I think from hypermobile joints) and are very clumsy and accident prone. Being unable to judge gaps to get through, how far to reach for something, tripping over nothing, all can be due to proprioceptive problems.

Ds's assessment for ASD include OT assessment which picked up his many sensory problems. It is very very common with ASD.

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 20:29:28

it sounds extremely possible!

just reading up about SPD again - she has a sensory profile the OT did from a questionnaire and the assessments she had for her ASD dx, she fits a lot very well.

is it possible that she's learnt perception by going to gym and dance classes?

she had a long break throughout december/jan because of illness and christmas, and she was definitely more accident-prone then

PolterGoose Sat 23-Feb-13 20:36:28

I would imagine gym and dance help a lot. Other things that can help are anything weight bearing, try getting her to wear a rucksack with a bit of weight in it (not too much grin) to see if she finds it easier to use the stairs when she is more 'grounded'. It can all feel a bit floaty at times I find confused

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 20:42:06

we use a rucksack a lot already! it stops her running off, another great recommendation from OT smile

you know what?

i think I have SPD sad

i get terrible vertigo, can't drive because of it. i get that weird feeling on slatted stairs, the ones with open risers.
i hate certain clothes, can't have my feet too hot, can't touch certain foods, hate the noise of polystyrene, music in a certain key has me in tears, hate people patting my head, but love deep massage....

PolterGoose Sat 23-Feb-13 20:48:12

Yep, me too, always thought I was just fussy and awkward, but since ds was diagnosed and I've done lots of reading realise I have it too. Two good books are 'The Out of Sync Child' for your dd and 'Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight: What to Do If You are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World' for both of you.

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 21:00:01

i keep forgetting to read 'The out of sync' book, i've got it here blush

another that really helped me but has no mentions of any neurological conditions/disorders etc is 'Parenting your Sensitive Child' it helped me work out what was overwhelming DD, it was very useful in the early days.

<eyeroll> early days, she's only 5 now sad

Ds1 has spd and has odd ways of doing certain things. Does she display any sensory seeking or defensiveness? It was ds1s obvious sensory seeking behaviour (especially vestibular) and his spatial issues that caused him to be referred for OT. His OT was amazing and picked up on a lot of traits which we had put down to behaviour issues but which were in fact sensory processing issues.

lougle Sat 23-Feb-13 21:17:24

It could be proprioceptive issues. I used to work in neurosurgery and it was amazing how, for example, strokes and bleeds could affect the proprioceptive system. We absolutely take for granted that we can close our eyes, say, and just know where our little finger is. In actual fact, that knowledge is really quite complicated.

It sounds like she's (perhaps) a little bit under-sensitive, so needs that feedback from the riser. DD1 is generally under-sensitive so is always climbing, bashing herself against things, etc., to get feedback.

mummywizz Sat 23-Feb-13 21:32:09

my ds 5yrs has just seen an OT for these reasons (deliberately bashing into children) touching everything, and everything goes into his mouth, Poor thing struggles to make friends as they are all 'wary' of him. the Ot suggested joint compression therapy and rub downs, can anyone tell me how this will help, she didn't really explain, just that I had to do it 3 times per day

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 21:39:39

i find her chewing tissues, and odd stuff - bought her chewellery but it's too hard, she want's something with 'give' in it.

her favourite chew is ballet shoe leather confused

she hangs upside down at every opportunity, and loves mirrors, she does slap her own head...

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 21:41:03

<shocking errant ' there, sorry>

Definitely sounds like she's doing a lot of vestibular and oral sensory seeking. Can you get another referral to OT?

If she's struggling to get enough sensory feedback from certain activities to the point where she's developed coping strategies she could probably benefit from some more OT input.

EstherRancid Sun 24-Feb-13 08:14:09

Summer yes, hopefully the local hospital will accept her referral for OT, her Dr at CAMHS has written to them.

because you're all so helpful, any idea why she suddenly become fixated with the TV stand? i keep finding she's lined small toys/coins/anything on it, or i've removed those she's always touching it, it's like she was a toddler again, i'm not an ogre, but (see my post about my own sensory issues blush ) the noise of her tapping on the wooden unit drives me bonkers!

mumgoingcrazy Sun 24-Feb-13 15:51:04

Dd2 went to gosh for vestibular testing, she does exactly the same as your dd2, feels her way down the stairs, rarely looks at her feet. The result was vestibular organs normal, however vestibular processing very out of wack. We do lots of balance beam and stepping stones, stand on a wobble cushion, trampoline. We also did the listening program with bone conduction. The reason we did it with bone conduction as its not just the air waves, it also vibrates directly into her vestibular system. She has really improved, although we do have a long road ahead, she is quite severe. Hth

EstherRancid Sun 24-Feb-13 16:28:59

can i ask, those with DCs with SPD/vestibular processing difficulties and are having OT, are you expecting your DC to need some sort of therapy/exercises to use all their life does the brain/neurological system 'correct' itself? i know ABA can help wrt behaviour, but is there anything similar for sensory issues?

PolterGoose Sun 24-Feb-13 17:34:49

I think, I may be wrong! that most of the sensory activities have a shortish term effect, it is more that children learn and develop ways to modify their own sensory difficulties. Things like deep pressure and weighted activities may have an effect for a couple or few hours but some desensitisation activities like brushing can have quite a lasting impact. Often as we get older some sensory difficulties diminish as our joints stiffen, our hearing and sight worsen etc

My ds is 9 and has recently started the Alert programme run by our OT team so he can learn techniques to recognise and manage his own sensory processing problems, I think that is key really as he will then be able to use what he learns wherever and whenever.

I do think that, when you look around, many adults do things that could be seen to be sensory seeking, chewing gum, doodling, fiddling, rocking, it is only really at school that we expect someone to concentrate whilst motionless. Most adults on training or education or in a meeting will exhibit some form of sensory activity.

Goldmandra Sun 24-Feb-13 17:48:58

This video explains a bit about the vestibular system and how it can affect children. I don't know how much it will help you but it's interesting.

EstherRancid Sun 24-Feb-13 18:16:06

there's another one about the proprioceptive system too, Gold - thanks for those

Polter i understand what you mean, yes, there are tappers and wigglers everywhere aren't there?

the problem arises i think because DDs ASD causes her anxiety wrt to her sensory processing, and it's this that could give way to learnt detrimental behaviours if not addressed.

DD has just come up behind me watching those videos and said 'is that about proprioception' shock i can hardly say it, but she's an expert grin

Goldmandra Sun 24-Feb-13 20:11:50

I should have linked to both of them, shouldn't I? I have shared the proprioception one with school staff and other Early Years providers in the hope of helping them to understand the children in their care a little better.

I hope your DD is educating her teachers smile

MerryCouthyMows Mon 25-Feb-13 02:03:35

blush I'm 31, and I still 'feel' my way down the stairs without looking at my feet, and get anxious and stressed if anyone else is on the staircase at the same time as me!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 25-Feb-13 02:04:53

(I have lots of Autistic traits, various sensory issues, some I've overcome, some I doubt I ever will - the noise of polystyrene squeaking for one...I score 43 on the AQA test...)

EstherRancid Mon 25-Feb-13 09:04:48

DD will indeed be educating her teachers, trouble is, she's in Y1 confused so not very likely to be taken seriously. Yet wink

I've shared those videos in a girls group i'm involved with, thanks again, Gold

Merry, i've been in tears trying to touch polystyrene packaging in the past. With hindsight it was a very troubled part of my life and the stress must have contributed to the sensory overload.

I score very low on those self-testing doobries, but i'm wondering now how much i've learnt to hide/ignore too?

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