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sensory problem .....uumm i dont' know

(28 Posts)
justamom Wed 09-Mar-05 15:21:22

my some was evaluated yesturday...for delays...well they said he was o.k. but was red flagging for sensory....what ever it is..but i just don't think so...
1. he does bang his head, but only to go to sleep. her response..children typically don't do it this long...
2. he loves spicy food.,not just spicy, but sometime we can't eat it...now we are cajun so we never thought anything of it... she says that it isn't normal.
3. he is considerably unstable and stumbles alot.
i thought that was normal for tots
4. he stuffs his mouth...again don't all kids do this....now he does it almost everytime he eats but i thought he was just gready...she says no
5. he is very very touchy feely, aren't all baby's to there mom?
6. petrafied of bubbles in that bath! i thought everyone is scared of something
7. gets nervous in large crowds, and tunes out. geez don't all tots?

now she did say that not just one of these means anything , except the head banging, but all of them combined started to kinda show a pattern..
anybody agree with this lady
i do have some concern but nothing along these lines, sometimes i think my ds is briliant and other time i think good gracious child...

i should also say alot of his social issues i think are because he stayed sick and we stayed in "alot"...i tried to tell her that but, still

coppertop Wed 09-Mar-05 15:25:46

How old is he?

justamom Wed 09-Mar-05 15:28:47

21 months

coppertop Wed 09-Mar-05 15:37:04

I have 2 boys with sensory integration problems. It basically means that their senses can be either overly sensitive or undersensitive.

My eldest used to love bubbles but screamed if one burst on his head. His head was so sensitive that he could feel this. Maybe that's why this person thought your son didn't like bubbles. I agree though that it seems to be taking it a bit far to say "he doesn't like bubbles so he must be hypersensitive". Does your ds like wearing clothes?

It's possible that he likes his food to be very spicy as otherwise he can't taste it (my dh is like this). OTOH he might just like spicy food!

It's very difficult to know. Did she say anything else about his (possible) sensory problems?

justamom Wed 09-Mar-05 15:41:57

just that they were going to send an ot...he is being evaluated for speech,,, but i think he is picking up like lightning there...since we started allergy shots. also he will pet the cat for ever and ever and ever or anything that feels soft that way..

coppertop Wed 09-Mar-05 15:53:41

My ds2 (25 months) had an OT assessment last month. They got a lot of their information from filling in a questionnaire. The rest was mainly giving ds2 specific toys to play with and seeing what he did with them.

justamom Wed 09-Mar-05 23:26:23

she just asked me alot of questions...no toys..what kind of toys and what did your ds do that made them decide that they had SID.

my ds is still so young and changing so quickly that i really don't see how any of the things she mentioned could mean such a big thing...i guess my biggest fear was that he is really really really intelligent to the point that i told the lady about something my ds does and she told me that it was almost impossible because the thinking was to complex, yet he is really really unsocial in public places "with alot of people", and just started talking, and very very clumsy...he bumps into things right there. or he will be walking o.k. and then he'll hit the wall..it's funny but then again it isn't....Also, the more excited he gets the clumsier he gets...How about your DS.
my dh says he's a genius, and most geniuses don't have a lot of common sense..he ment it as a joke because i was so shaken..

coppertop Thu 10-Mar-05 10:04:33

Both of my boys are very very bright. Ds2 was assessed just after his 2nd birthday and the Psychologist spent a lot of time saying "Did he just do/say what I think he just did??" She said that it was too early to tell whether he would continue at the same pace but that he is at the level of a 3.5-4yr old in some areas. Of course he also has disordered language development so being able to do the extra stuff isn't much use to us at the moment.

The OT put one or two toys out at a time. She started off with a couple of jigsaw puzzles (the wooden inset ones). She was looking to see if ds2 had an appropriate pincer grip to hold the pieces and whether his fine motor skills were good enough to twist his wrists round to put the pieces in. There was also a toy garage with 3 locked doors and 3 keys. The colour of the key matched the colour of the relevant door. This was to test recognition of colour, ability to figure out the keys and how to turn them the right way. There was also a 'trick' car which had to be twisted out of the garage rather than just rolled.

She also gave him some springy pop-up men. If you put enough pressure on them they pop out of the box. She was looking at whether ds2 could apply enough pressure and which part of his hands he used. Ds2 used his palms to do this as well as his fingers. Ds1 (who had over-sensitive hands) only used his fingertips when he had the assessment.

As well as seeing how he used his hands the OT was also looking at his senses in general. Workmen were drilling outside (not part of the assessment though!). It wasn't particularly loud but ds2 immediately put his hands over his ears. She also looked at how he inspected the toys. Ds2 likes to have his head on the floor or table and look at toys from that angle. She was also looking to see if he tried to put any toys in his mouth. Both ds1 and ds2 have very sensitive mouths and so they don't tend to mouth things at all.

Ds1 was never particularly clumsy. He falls over in the playground at school but no more than other children of his age. Ds2 is like a cat. He has excellent balance and will climb absolutely anything. People joke that ds2 will either be a gymnast or a mountain-climber.

justamom Fri 11-Mar-05 15:45:41

does it stop here? like should i be concerned that something else may pop up....?

coppertop Fri 11-Mar-05 16:18:53

Sensory problems can sometimes be linked with other things, eg autism, but they can also just be stand-alone things. There's a lot that can be done to help though so even if your ds has them it doesn't mean he will always be this way. My eldest used to avoid using his hands to the extent that if he fell over he would break his fall with his elbows. 2 years later and there is hardly a problem there. If the OT decides that he does have sensory problems then they should be able to give you lots of ideas to help improve things.

JaysMum Fri 11-Mar-05 21:30:07

My son has SID.....a good book to read is The Out of Synch Child....would recommend it to anyone with a child with SID....it offers a good programme to help with the sensory difficulities.

justamom Sat 12-Mar-05 02:52:33

how about wipeing the tongue, and fingers in the mouth, and gagging themselves? any of that?

JaysMum Sat 12-Mar-05 07:11:54

My son J did all of those things....he isnt as bad now as we are undergoing an intensive sensory programme.
Can you get a referral to a GOOD OT who knows about SID and the desensitising programme?????
The book I mentioned has got some good excercises in it which do help with sensory problems.

coppertop Sat 12-Mar-05 19:30:54

Ds2 went through a period of several months when he kept trying to touch the back of his throat with his fingers. Sometimes it was enough to make him actually be sick. It was always worse when he was tired, upset and generally intolerant of everything. He hasn't done it for a few weeks now (touchwood!) so I'm hoping it was just some kind of phase. He usually avoids anything being put in his mouth so it was a bit of a surprise for us.

justamom Sat 12-Mar-05 23:03:25

just wanted to say thank you for the input..as pitiful as this may sound i really really felt as if i had no one that would understand until i found this sight..this one and speech delay..so thanks!!!Most of the time people really don't want to know that something really isn't right they ask in politeness and you are supposed to say"everything is fine" it is calming to have other parents with over active minds that love there kids.

Nic04 Sun 13-Mar-05 00:19:17

Can I ask, out of interest, what the fingers in the mouth/wiping the tongue/gagging is supposed to signify? My son went through a stage of doing this too, putting his fingers in his mouth and sometimes making himself gag. I haven't seen him do it for a while, but at the time I think it actually meant anything.

With regard to justamom's original post, my ds is also touchy-feely (particularly with other children) and he also stuffs his mouth when he's eating - we're always having to remind him to take smaller bites rather than stuffing everything in his mouth. Once again though, I didn't know these things were significant! Would really appreciate hearing a bit more about what it might mean... thanks.

Nic04 Sun 13-Mar-05 00:20:12

That should read "DIDN'T think it actually meant anything" in the first para.

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 08:59:32

Nic - In the vast vast majority of childen these kinds of things mean absolutely nothing at all. Children like to touch things because they are interested in them. They stuff food in their mouths because they don't want to wait to finish chewing what they've got before they shovel the next lot of food in there etc. Children may well make themselves gag because it's either an interesting experiment for them or because it gets them extra attention, eg if (as we usually do) parents come running because they think the child has been/is being sick.

For a few children (I don't know the exact figures but it's a pretty tiny percentage I would think) these things may be a sign of an integration problem. If, for example, they have very little feeling in their mouth they might not realise how much food is in there as they can''t feel it until their mouth is full. They may touch everything because that's where they get a huge amount of their sensory input. We were told that our ds2 seems to crave sensory input and will go out of his way to find it. The problem is that his brain doesn't seem to recognise when he's had too much and that's when he has a meltdown or just takes himself away to hide under a blanket. Ds1 is older and will just avoid something if he thinks it's going to be too much for him.

As I said, children with these kinds of difficulties are in the minority. Most children who do these kinds of things are absolutely fine.


Justamom - You're very welcome. You may find that your ds is absolutely fine but whatever the outcome feel free to ask away. I'm far from an expert but there are several parents on MN who have experience/knowlowlowledge of sensory problems etc. The book that Saker recommended on here - "The Out of Synch Child" is apparently a very good book. It may help give you a clearer picture of whether or not your ds has sensory problems.

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 09:01:09

Ooops! It wasn't Saker, it was Jaysmum. Sorry Jaysmum.

Nic04 Sun 13-Mar-05 10:43:30

Thanks coppertop - ever helpful

I've posted a couple of things recently about my ds & sensory issues that I feel he may have, although I don't know the extent of it. He's fine with most things but there are just some that really stand out to me, like his problem with certain noises and his reaction to unfamiliar things, not to mention having no idea of personal space, lol. I'll have to get a copy of the Out of Synch Child, it sounds like it would be very helpful.

justamom Sun 13-Mar-05 19:16:36

coppertop, i have really paid more attention to DS lately and i have noticed that he has been being extremely picky...like only eating the ketchup and not the fries,,JUST a stage? and he is flapping when he get mad? now he no longer wants to eat spicy food which was one of the "flags" that the teacher saw....he changes so much from day to day that i think i am nuts for even trying to figure him out!! he went to daycare ( church ) today and i was with him..only four others and he played better i believe than the rest..helpful, nice, i could go on and on..more grown up in a way than the rest..could it just be some of his issues due to the fact that for so long he was stuck in the house?

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 21:30:31

I'm not an expert but I'm not sure that being inside for a long time would have much of an effect on him.

It may be that the person assessing him was reading too much into things (although obviously I don't know for sure). It's possible that he was just going through a phase of liking spicy food, in the same way that another child might go through a phase of only liking sweet things etc. My ds2 goes through different phases like most other 2yr-olds but the sensory side of things has so far stayed pretty constant. His range of food is very limited and he seems to only eat things that have no lumps and that require little or no chewing. He may, for example, go through a phase of not wanting to eat cornflakes any more but he won't replace this with lumpier/chewier food.

Ds2 does flap when he gets excited/frustrated/angry etc but from what I've read on mumsnet a lot of children go through a flapping phase so that may be nothing to worry about at this age.

Is there anyone that you can see to get a 2nd opinion? From the sounds of things the original person has left you with a lot of concerns but no solutions whatsoever. If there really are sensory problems then there is a lot that can be done. In your case it sounds as though you've just been given this news and left to get on with it.

Dingle Sun 13-Mar-05 21:49:30

Justamom, I have just seen this! I started a thread in the SN section recently about my dd's sensory issues. She has Downs Syndrome and I am having a few sensory related problems ATM. Funny you should mention about the ketchup!! DD would eat her ketchup, mayo, gravy ...by the spoonful and would want more . She hates it if I put it actually on her food (but I still do it anyway!) rather than just on the side of her plate.
We have just started being seen by the Learning Diasability team, who are hopefully going to chase up an OT appointment for her-we have been trying to get an OT for almost a year now!

Saker Sun 13-Mar-05 21:52:14

Both my NT ds1 and developmentally delayed ds2 eat ketchup in spoonfuls if they get the chance. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of kids do that .

Dingle Sun 13-Mar-05 22:01:30

He he he....that little looks like dd when she has a whole banana in her mouth!

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