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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.

Can you have sensory issues without autism?
6

Working9to5ish · 24/05/2022 18:48

My son is increasingly struggling with sensory issues. He's 7 and recently has been saying he can't focus in school cos of the noise, scratchy pencils etc. He is very slow to finish work because of this.

He's also got sensory issues around food and quite a limited diet - that said he will try new things. He hates mushy stuff like mash potatoes and stews.

He can be repetitive- he asks a lot of, "who's more famous" questions. When he was a toddler he was obsessed with opening and shutting doors.

He also regulates himself by moving and dancing - eg if he's playing the tablet he takes breaks by having a dance in the garden.

But as far as I can see he doesn't have any other ASD signs. He doesn't have meltdowns (or tantrums either, he's quite easy going). School have never been worried either though note anxiety and being very sensitive. He's never had any social problems, there's always been a lot of back and forth with him, he asks a lot of relevant questions and can hold and instigate a conversation on a wide variety of topics, he gets sarcasm and jokes (and likes playing jokes), he met his milestones on time in terms of communication and gross motor skills. He's easygoing with changes and transitions too. There's no history of ASD in our families (diagnosed anyway).

I'm going to visit the GP and ask for him to be putting on the waiting list for assessment, I know it will take ages.

I guess what I'm asking is can you have sensory issues without autism? School have given him ear defenders to help and we've got a pair for home as well cos he has a toddler brother who is often very loud!

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AReallyUsefulEngine · 24/05/2022 19:54

SPD is generally not diagnosed as a stand alone condition in the UK. But it can be related to other diagnoses other than autism e.g. other neurodiversities, mental health conditions.

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Staynow · 24/05/2022 20:02

Make sure you keep a note of all the things you have mentioned here for any assessment, it's surprising how much you forget. These things tend to become more obvious as they get older if they are very high functioning (mine was diagnosed just before secondary school). From what you've said I wouldn't be surprised if he gets diagnosed at some stage, I love the dancing he sounds adorable!

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Working9to5ish · 25/05/2022 00:20

I will make a list. He is absolutely adorable, we love him so much ❤️

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RaisingAgent · 25/05/2022 22:40

Hi OP, you listed:
Sensitivity to background noise
Slightly restricted diet
Bit repetitive in questions
And school note:
Anxious
Sensitive
Dancing to regulate

Those things, to my mind, could well point to autism.

However, as you say, the other things you note don't seem to point to autism:
No difficulty with transitions
No meltdowns
Strong social skills and back and forth banter

He's an interesting profile!

I know one family near us whose child has a stand-alone dx of SPD, but he is massively sensory seeking and his profile sounds more pronounced than your sons. (Obviously there might be less sensory seeking children with SPD around, he's the only one I know.)

Have you looked up auditory processing disorder, does any of that description resonate?

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RaisingAgent · 25/05/2022 22:42

Haha sorry, just realised I listed dancing under something school noted! My son's EP report a few years ago noted after observation in class that "DS needed to get up from time to time to do a little dance, and would then return to his seat when prompted" Smile

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Louiseemily90 · 29/05/2022 10:09

Hi,

my son is very similar but he is only 3. We have been to see a private occupational therapist who has said he has got “sensory processing differences” but as the moment there is not enough evidence for ASD. She’s doing a report with lots of recommendations for how we can help to support him. He does have a CAMHS referral in for his eating and anxiety but the paediatrician said it would be 12-18 months so we are keeping that referral in the system should anything change. But you can have sensory issues outside of other diagnosis but it’s just hard to find out as it isn’t massively recognised here in the UK.

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