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It definatly sounds like there is a sensory thing going on here.
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Jackson's social skills vary in different situations.
hi-your son sounds a lot like my 4 yr old daughter, kaia. we had been seeing a developmental pediatrician since she was 2 years old. she has a speech delay as well as a lot of the issues your son has. the first preschool we put her in when she was 2 1/2 was horrible for her. it was 2 days a week for 2 hours each day. she didn't socialize at all, and she cried the entire 2 hours for the first 2 months, then she finally stopped but it retrospect i think she just gave up which really makes me sad now to realize that.
she had a full evaluation from the dev ped when she was 2, we discussed autism and all of her delays and he didn't feel that she had autism. when we took her for her 3yr appt i brought up autism as well and he again said no. he really couldn't give me any clear answers and it was really eating at me. we made the 4 yr appt and i made it late b/c i just really didn't think we were going to find anything new out.
then one of my friends told me about a dev ped in NYC (which is only 1/2 hour away from us) the believes in SID, we took her there in july and it was the first time a doctor really sat down with her for a 2 1/2 hr evaluation, she went through everything with us. she told us she was not autistic but that she had a lot of sensory issues that really needed to be worked on.
we started OT 3 times a week (this is in addition to the 1 time a week she gets at school), 2 of the times are totally in a sensory gym and the 1 other time is in our home for fine motor and sensory issues. within 3 weeks of starting the private OT her speech excelled incredibly, talking full complete sentences, having conversations with us, going up to kids in the park and introducing herself, major increased eye contact. her entire persona changed, my sister who hadn't seen her in almost a year, was shocked at the changes. i was telling her about it on the phone but when she saw it in person she couldn't believe the changes.
i really credit the OT to helping her move forward in almost every aspect of her life. it is incredible that the OT could help her speech and social skills as well. she still has a long way to go, but i at least feel we've found something to help her. kaia doesn't get dizzy at all, and she craves being hugged tightly and OT is helping all of these issues.
kaia also has a huge problem with sounds, constantly covering her ears. we are still working on this, and i think we will be starting the listening program for her in january to help her tune out sounds. she has such sensitive hearing that she hears flying bugs and covers her ears and goes into a tantrum until we get the bug out of the house or kill it. she also has a very hard time with eating certain textured foods, again it is all sensory.
i liked the book "sensational kids" better than "the out of sync child" i thought it was much more parent friendly.
sorry this is so long, i have a lot more i can say but i dont want to overwhelm you.
please let me know if you have any other questions.alison
My son is 7 1/2 now. He has both SID and ADHD. He was diagnosed with SID when he was 3 1/2 and with ADHD this past March. At age 3 I began questioning my pediatrician when he was attending a playgroup at a preschool a couple of hours a week. The playgroup teacher who was also the preschool director thought something was a little off with him just like I did. My pedi gave me some refferals and we had him tested they said he had Sensory Integration Disorder and he started OT as well as PT. We then called our school system and they did their own testing and said he did have sensory issues, language issues and attention issues. We got an IEP and he started attending the city's preschool with OT and Speech. The pedi then recommended we have him evaluated at Children's Hospital Boston which we did and they have been following him for the past 3 years. The Children's report was pretty similar to the schools, they agreed about the attention problems and said to just keep an eye on it. Last February when we brought him back to Children's they observed him and gave him a few small tests then they gave me a BASC form to fill out and one for the teacher to fill out. When we went back in March is when they told me he has ADHD.
He is in 2nd grade now and still has an IEP and still gets OT, speech at school. His teacher have all been great and they say he is doing well academically, however he has a lot of social problems and is easily frustrated. The speech therapist has used social stories with him and they seem to help. We are going back to Children's this Thursday for some re-testing and the school will be re-testing him in the next couple of months before his IEP review.
I think a lot SID and ADHD symptoms overlap. Many of the books I have read on both subjects discuss a little about the similarities of SID and ADHD. I think one of the books said the most kids with ADHD have some sensory problems. My DS is bothered by loud noises but he himself is so loud. He is a sensory seeker and loves to be touched or too touch people and things.
I can understand why you are not convinced that it is ADHD as I feel the same way sometimes. There is no real way for them to be 100% sure that it is ADHD. I chose not to medicate my son, I don't think he needs it right now. I can manage him at home just fine. The doctors at Children's and the people at school keep telling me to think about meds and I will think about them but I still choose not to give them to him.
I give him the Nordic Naturals Children's fish oil and they do help a bit. Even the OT and teacher noticed and improvement in his handwriting a couple months after we started using them. We also have looked in to diet changes and try to avoid dyes and additives as much as we can.
His school has been pretty great about using weighted vests or lap pads, fidgets, pencil chews, pencil grips and other sensory aides. Good luck. If you have any other questions feel free to ask away, this board has a lot of great people and great ideas.
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Thank you so much for your response.
There is a small health food store in our city were I usually get the fish oil vitamins, the also sell them at the Vitamin Shoppe and we have one of those near the mall. There are many places on line that sell them too. Here is one link
I am not saying that I would never try the meds for my son. Like you I want to try everything else first. I agree with you about him being a handful at times but most kids can be a handful at times - everyone has their good and bad days! Maybe I am just so use to him and his little quirks that I don't think much about it any more. If he starts falling behind academically and has more social problems then I might consider meds. Just because he can't sit for long periods of time doesn't mean he has some disorder or disease, he is just a little different and that is okay with me.