New to board, need advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2003
New to board, need advice
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 10:43pm

Hi--My son will be 4 in August and was recently diagnosed with SI dysfunction and fine-motor delays. Does anyone have any tips for helping him decrease his sensory defensiveness in one-on-one social situations (playdates)? Or any ways to get him to try a new vitamin? (The old ones he loves were discontinued--he chose new ones but screams and runs away hysterical when I tell him to take one. Denying desert hasn't helped.)

Thanks in advance!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 8:26am
Hi Cathy,

Welcome to the board...I too have a 4 year old...

For Patrick in playdates I let him slowly get use to the children, he will generally play a bit away from the kids. Then he will slowly get closer, this usually takes a few weeks, but he gets to know the other kids and that they are not going to hurt him and will start playing with them...

As for the vitamin, Does he take a vitamin because of his diet? My sons nutritionist says that most children don't require a vitamin...although Patrick is an exception, because he eats only 3 things...That's just my opinion...


Homeschooling, its any where you want to be!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 10:25pm
Thanks for the reply. Your approach w/Patrick makes a lot of sense. I try (diplomatically) to avoid playdates with new kids (after having scheduled lots with not great results) and try to encourage structured play activities. My guy, Ian, isn't shy, but he tends to be very formal and verbal with kids, but also very controlling. He likes structured games but finds it easier to play by himself, I think, also.

Ian eats only about five things (mostly carbs and dairy), so he does need a supplement. He only took the Sesame Street vitamins, but they seem to have been discontinued. Today he chose Flintstones (they look a lot like the others). We'll see.

This year has been such a change for me--everything was fine until he turned 3! I'm so envious of moms at the playground who just relax and let their kids play, and who easily make playdates with new kids. I used to, also, but it all became too stressful for me, with Ian's rigidity and immature (I guess) temper. (My husband does the park thing, now.) It's getting better, but I've become more isolated--by choice and because I schlep him to therapy 3x a week. So, do kids outgrow this sensory stuff?? Does o/t really help with the social issues? Sorry to be so long-winded; I appreciate your thoughts if you have time!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 9:39am
They don't actually outgrow it, but they do learn to cope with it better. The symptoms can go from mild to severe depending on what else is happening with them.

OT really does help, when their bodies are calmer and they have the correct sensory input then the social part becomes much easier for them.

My DD just turned 8 and was only DX'd at 6, we are finally beginning to see a lot of results. Good for you for catching it so early, work with him the best you can and eventually it will get easier to deal with.

HTH Susan

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 10:43am
I may be stepping over my bounds here and I do not know your child, but has anyone mentioned autism to you. The reason I ask is because some of your comments. For example, the eating carbs and dairy only. That is like a drug to autistic children, they behave badly after they consume these types of food. Another was his rigid schedule and games with other children.

But then again it is probably nothing. My son's therapist say he looks autistic on paper, but he is not (been through all the testing).

As far as the playdates, I have the oppisite problem. My son, because of his hypotonia in his upper body, craves pushing down on things (children being one of them). So my DS is the playground bully!!


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 9:54pm

Thanks for your reply. That's why I posted here!

I thought about autism at first and have since had him seen by two psychotherapists and evaluated by a psychologist, all of whom said within one session that there was no way he was autistic. One of those people is a therapist he's now seen once a week for six months. She says that some of his behaviors may fall into that spectrum, but he would never be characterized as having an autistic spectrum disorder. She seems to feel its all sensory related. He's very verbal, expressive and relational with adults and younger children, and sometimes with his peers. He's never rigid with his therapists and has been showing more creativity lately in his play.

I have to say I never really noticed if he gets worse with carbs and dairy. Is it the sugar, or wheat gluten that does it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 11:31pm
My son Sam turned three last week. He had gone through evaluations since 2 1/2 and was finally diagnosed with SI dysfunction in April. We too feared Autism but the specialists say it is not that. He still has a long way to go, but I really have noticed improvements since he began therapy. He has been in speech and Early Intervention since March and OT for 5 weeks. We went to the doctor for his 3 year checkup today and he actually behaved very well and was extremely cooperative with the nurse and doctor. 6 months ago he was horrible at the checkup and screamed from the moment they tried to weigh him. He is a picky eater too and we struggle to get him to eat something different. After reading the previous emails, I am going to pay more attention to his behavior after dairy products, etc. He does drink a lot of milk and always wants Chocolate Shakes. I also have a daughter who is 13 1/2 months. I quit work after she was born thinking I would really love staying at home with them. Dealing with Sam has taken its toll on me and I actually miss going to work. I completely sympathize with you because I know how difficult it is to deal with. I keep hoping that with his therapy he will continue to improve enough to seem normal to most people by the time he starts kindergarten!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 10:01am
It has to do with the wheat gluten. I am glad to hear they ruled out autism. The therapists say my DS looks autistic on paper, but he is not. I am happy to hear your child is responding well to the therapy. We are having a good week in therapy this week. He goes 5x a week (3x with SLP and 2x with OT). But I hate the days when my DS is having his "off" days.

Sue with Will 2.11 years old

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 10:08am
I dont have any advice for playdates, my daughter is severely autistic, with four siblings, and I just have never really bothered with playdates.

I may be able to suggest a vitamin, though. My daughter has never taken medicine or vitamins due to sensory issues, and so I bought the gummy bear vitamins. There are several kinds, such as rhino vites, or other brand names. Walmart sells some. Some are sour with sugar on them, and she will not eat those, or some are gummy worm vitamins. She loves the gummy bear kind, can detect no medicinal taste at all. You may want to try those, since they taste very good.

It is true that many children with an autism spectrum disorder, or even kids with DSI only, may have gluten/casein sensitivities or allergies, and so they go on the GFCF (Gluten Free Casein Free) diet. You can do a search for that to find symptoms or samples of what the diet might look like, and to see if you think your child may benefit from that diet.

I took my daughter off wheat and dairy products for a week, and we saw no difference in behavior. We also do not see bad behavior after she eats wheat or dairy. I think her food preferences, which may make her look like a good GFCF candidate, has more to do with taste and texture sensory issues than food content. She wants foods that wake her undersensitive mouth up, so wants crunchy or salty foods... chips, pretzels, popcorn, cereal. She also likes hot foods at times or mushy at others, but always seems to gravitate toward pastas... because of their temperatures and flavors, though. Pasta or soft foods also allow her to 'mouth stuff' which is what kids with proprioceptive issues may do so that they can feel the boundaries of their mouths.

Something you might want to do is collect data on types of foods your child likes. If there are any noticeable common factors, such as spicy, salty, soft, crunchy, bland, sour, hot, cold, warm, etc and see if any of those make sense in light of sensory profile for either oral defensiveness or hyposensitive. Compare that to preference for wheat based or dairy based foods. (We took data on cereals that my child liked, for example, and found that most the cereals she likes were either corn or rice based, and not wheat based, and she only has milk in cereal, and no other time. She does eat a lot of yogurt, but rather than that indicating cravings or addictiveness to dairy foods, we suspect strongly that she has candida overgrowth, and the friendly bacteria contained within yogurt is something she instictively craves, to maintain the candida.)

Hope this was a bit helpful. :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 2:18pm
Robyn, where have you been? I always look forward to reading your replies. Glad to see you back.