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Sensory Processing Disorder-anyone have knowledge?

8 replies

KateF · 14/08/2006 22:39

I hope you don't mond me posting here but I am floundering and you are all very knowledgable! Dd2 has struggled for the whole of Reception and I've been getting more and more concerned that she has some problems. She is very distressed by noise and a busy, crowded environment, doesn't like people to get close or touch her (apart from a chosen few), avoids direct eye contact, is very physically active in bursts but tires quickly. On holiday we also had some problems with sand blowing on her - she got quite hysterical about it. Most of these things have been present since she was about three and were documented when she transferred from playgroup but as she seems quite able academically I've been told that she is immature and attention seeking at school. I have read about Sensory Processing Disorder and it makes me think of her but I don't know what, if anything, to do. She is refusing to go back to school atm.

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sphil · 14/08/2006 23:29

There are two great books - The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun - which have been recommended on here many times. I've only just bought them, so can't tell you much more, but on a quick skim through I would say that they would be very useful. Sorry- can't remember author (am in loft and books are downstairs!) but if you google them you should get the name.

BIBIC ( have been extremely good in helping my autistic son with his sensory difficulties. They've given him a 'sensory programme' which we do every day, which combines massage, playing him different sounds, giving him different things to taste and smell and rolling him up in a duvet for deep pressure, as well as various physical activities - swinging, trampolining etc. He tends towards being under-sensitive rather than over-sensitive, so the exercises would obviously be different for your DD. I don't know whether BIBIC deal with sensory processing disorder outside of autism, but you could look at their website or give them a call.

Oh, and I've just remembered - Stanley Greenspan's 'The Special Needs Child'has some really good early chapters on working out your child's 'sensory profile'. It's quite reassuring as well - he implies that many many children have these kinds of difficulties and it doesn't necessarily mean that they have SEN in the 'classic' sense.

I think the school are being very short-sighted in their attitude to your daughter - there's lots they could do to help, but you will probably have to be the one to push for it, which may mean going for some kind of dx. I'm not sure how you'd go about this though - referral to a paed? Occupational Therapist? Hopefully someone will be along who is more knowledgeable soon.

Piffle · 14/08/2006 23:33

MY dd is 3 and we have a couple of similar issues like you mention
Occupational therapists are generally the first port of call
My dd is auditory defensive and shuts down and freezes with many noises not always loud ones - esp anticipated ones - door closing, phone ringing, car horn etc
She also cannot handle a busy fast environment, we think that stems from her poor vision, but we're still trying to establish that
Dd handles it ok atm, we are told it will most likely manifest in more overt SPD when she starts school - which may be what has happened to your dd?

KateF · 15/08/2006 08:26

Thank you very much. I will get the Out of Sync Child as I've seen it reviewed elsewhere and it sounds useful. My reason for trying to work out if she has SPD is that a diagnosis would give me something to wave at the school to make them take notice and help her. She is terrified that she will have to stay for lunch again next term - I had pulled her out because she was so distressed but have been told it "won't be tolerated in Yr 1" .
Do I get an OT referral via my GP?

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Blossomhill · 15/08/2006 09:39

How is your dd socially?

coppertop · 15/08/2006 10:02

It might be worth asking for a referral to a developmental Paed.

Ds1(6) and ds2(3.5) both have problems with sensory processing. Ds1's OT has given us a lot of useful info. Apparently tiring easily is also connected to sensory issues. Ds1 has this problem too. Ds2 has very sensitive skin and hates being touched lightly. We've done a lot of de-sensitising with him and he can now tolerate wearing clothes for most of the day.

Ds1's OT lent us some excellent books. I'll dig them out later and let you know what they are called.

Has the school SENCO been any help at all?

KateF · 15/08/2006 10:24

Socially she is quite reserved, tends to make one special friend (who school have helpfully separated her from for Yr1) and doesn't like anything which might be noisy or busy. She is very attached to me - almost pathalogically so, will cling and howl if I try to go out, always giving me really hard hugs and kisses etc.

I havn't had any contact with the SENCO yet as the teachers have stuck to the idea that she is "naughty" and "immature".

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coppertop · 15/08/2006 10:33

If you've tried the teachers and they aren't helping then I think it's not unreasonable to approach the SENCO direct. Alternatively you could try the school nurse and talk to them about the problems your dd has. The nurse at ds1's school isn't there all the time but parents can contact her to make appointments.

It makes me because there is so much that the school could do to make life easier for your dd.

In the meantime I would ask your GP for a referral to a Dev Paed. There's usually a waiting-list so it's best to do it sooner rather than later.

Ds1's school (mainstream state primary) has a sensory integration programme that they use for a number of the children. The nurse/SENCO should be able to tell you if your dd's school has anything similar.

KateF · 15/08/2006 14:16

Thanks coppertop, I'll make an appointment with our GP and try to get things started. Am not confident that the school will be very receptive and have started researching into the idea of home education.

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