My 4 year old has been diagnosed with sensory issue's but the experts feel she is not autistic. She flaps her arms when excited and bunny hops or skips instead of walks when she does this. She will spin herself round and around on my computer chair until I tell her its enough. She fixates on dogs and horses. She makes eye contact and converses with you if you ask her questions but not with elaborate answers. short and to the point usually. She is nearly impossible to keep dressed at home and wants to run around naked but have successfully convinced her underwear is a must. Gets really upset if her clothing gets even slightly wet and panics trying to remove the clothing. If she gets into a temper tantrum she can get to the point where she is so out of control she will keep screaming at the top of her lungs Ï can't calm myself down" I'm so afraid! She has never just cried herself to sleep. Its like shes a broken record and will keep on screaming and crying even to the point that she barely notices that I am holding her and I have to convince her I am there and she is not alone. She has huge anxiety about being alone at anytime. Bedtimes are horrific as she is terrified of the dark and of being alone. She will sleep with the light on and with our dog in her room with her on most nights. Some nights this isn't even enough for her to go to bed and sleep. She often complains of a sore stomach and she just can't sleep. She is up 2-4 times a night every night. Needless to say I am one tired mamma. Is there anyone out there that would read this and dispute the experts who have told us that she makes too much eye contact to be autistic. any info would be appreciated.
Hi it is hard when they are doing such behaviours as my daughter sounds similar to yours, she also strips off alot for no reason, she also strips off if clothes wet or mucky. She also flaps her hands and tiptoes more on different surfaces. My daughter is coming up to the age of 3 in March so still only 2. She is friendly and does do eye contact although outside when people say hello she ignores them even people that she definately knows and if in pushchair and they are directly in front of her saying hello she will look out of the side of her eyes and not say anything at all, but then when in the place where she knows the people from normally the creche she will then say hello, she is also very ocd about things, all pillows, cushions ets have to be in the right place and the right way although she doesn't scream about it she will just do it right herself, she even straightens tins on the shelves when shopping and makes sure they are facing the right way bless her. She does have temper tantrums and they can last half hour, and hers are that bad that we have had social services called as it sounds like we are murdering her, i ignore them although she likes to get our attention by slamming cupboard doors repeatedly until we go to her, or smashing trays on the tiled floor. She also screams when excited as well and is impulsive on the hitting and smacking she also thinks she is a teacher or an adult as she goes around telling all the other children off. Her speech isn't yet clear although she is trying. I haven't had her assessed but i am keeping a close eye on her as she isn't severe and they won't do anything unless she is, she is head strong, i tried getting my now 7yr old assessed and no one wanted to know she was more severe on the communication side of things ie two year behind on receptive and expressive communication and one and half years behind in her education but still not bad enough to warrant her being assessed so why bother, as by the time they say that they have something the worst of their behaviour is over with so what is the point. I know my eldest is probably aspergers but she is now 14 dealt with all the worst behaviour when younger so what is the point i could get a diagnosis now but it won't help her now at this age. Sharon x
Hi, my son has sensory integration disorder without any other condition. This is possible and this developmental delay of the nervous system can be very difficult for the child and others with the child to function. My son's issues are worse at school and when he was 4 and in preschool it became a painful experience for everyone. That is when I got serious about helping him. We started occupational therapy with someone who was trained in sensory integration disorder and do this once a week (to this day we do this---- he is almost 6) as well as many things for his sensory "diet" at home. It is a daily thing that we work on. It has had a dramatic improvement. Most days are pretty calm and behavior at school is good. He may have an "off" day but now a teacher would describe it as unusual vs when it was every day.
I am impressed with your daughter's ability to verbalize what she probably really is feeling. My son has problems with what they call regulation or modulation of mood. Once he is upset, he is unable to soothe himself easily ( or anyone else for that matter). We've come up with some coping strategies that help. He has a safe place to go to (somewhere enclosed is good like a pop tent, under a table, we have a big pillow pile behind a chair in a corner------ and since she doesn't want to be alone, you can sit right by the area), he knows to take deep breaths and cound slowly, a thick piece of chewing gum for him to bite his teeth into helps him, we have these blow up things that look like animals that he can blow into and the animal blows up (bought at Kroger, Wal mart, Cracker Barrel)----- this slows him down and makes him take a big deep breath, etc. That deep pressure hug you are doing is good too. But probably even more key is to figure out what are the triggers. Take notes and look for a pattern. Once you see one (and yes, it can come out of no where but then you will note things like a cold starting, really bad night sleeping, etc.)---- start to problem solve on how to help her be more comfortable.
My son to this day sleeps with a full lamp on in his room. It has a 60 watt bulb and I bet he'd turn the overhead light on if I let him. We just go with it as it makes him comfortable. I would start talking to her about sleep. Talk about when she is having a meltdown that maybe part of the reason is that she didn't get enough sleep. Then say as she is going to bed, we want to have fun tomorrow so we need to get our sleep. It will take a while for this to hit home for her but my son now gets that correlation and knows that HE needs his sleep. It helps a lot for the process. I also make sure that we do LOTS of physical play each and every day. This would be good with your daughter especially if she is a sensory seeker. Run, roll, jump, skip tons and tons. When she does that when she is excited, it could be her system trying to calm down. It calms the nervous system. So you need to plan lots of activity like that all day long whenever you can fit it in. Stick to your guns too about bedtime as some of that is probably not just sensory but kid stuff that lots of families go through. So just walk her back to bed and tell her it is time to sleep now. When she says her stomach hurts, tell her it is because she is tired and sleep will help.
If you aren't doing occupational therapy, consider starting it. The "real" school years are right around the corner. I have lots of ideas you can do at home, if you would like!
Good luck----- it is very hard work this parenting thing. But I will say that as I've seen such great improvement in my son---- I want you to know that there is hope. Things can and will get much better if you address that sensory system head on!
Saying that a child is not autistic because they can make eye contact is rubbish. Some can and some can't. Some say they feel strange if someone looks at them. Others say that if they 'look' they can't also listen at the same time. Some can look unless they have to think about what they want to see and then they might have to divert their eyes away.
Has she been assessed by a multi disciplinary team that has experience of diagnosing autistic spectrum disorders? Has a speech therapist assessed all aspects of her receptive and expressive language, her comprehension etc.
Google Semantic Pragmatic Speech Disorder to see if that sounds possible.
She does sound like she has alot of sensory issues.
She also sounds like she gets overwhelmed by her feelings and emotions. My son also has this. He will say he can't stop the feelings and can't control them. Then he will get upset that he can't stop being upset. My son is diagnosed with an ASD.
I don't know what country you are in. But if you are in the UK you can contact the National Autistic Society to see whereabouts locally you can go to get assessments done.
What are her social skills like, can she play with other children her age?
If you google the DSM IV criteria for autism you will see that each area has a list of difficulties and the child must only have 1 out of this list of 4. So in section one you can have a child with perfect eye to eye gaze, but if they are not socialing as other children, or to the level and extent of other children, then they still tick the box for an ASD in that area skill set.
However, some kids have things that autistic children have and those kids are NOT autistic. My son has some social issues but is NOT autistic. The first question I asked when the therapist was telling me about my son is "are you saying he is autistic" because they hit some of those things that are present with autism. They said definately not. And that is the case with my son. He JUST has sensory integration disorder which affects him socially. He is not on the spectrum but lots of kids on the spectrum have sensory problems. So your son may not have autism and if his sensory issues are not maintained, he will have difficulty with lots of areas including speech, social ability with peers, and ability to maintain focas. Speech was the first thing we noticed with my son. Speech is affected in sensory because of motor planning. We went to a steller children's hospital that is nationally ranked number 3 in the United States (and we have some pretty awesome children's hospitals here in the US) and had his speech evaluated at age 3. It was within normal for articulation and above his age for expressive and receptive language. The problem was a motor problem with articulation when he was in an enviroment in which his nervous system was overwhelmed (school) his brain's messaging system got out of wack and disorganized. That is the essence of sensory integration disorder.
Again, on the plus side----- we've done occupational therapy for my son and lots of sensory things at home and his teacher needs no intervention for him to do well in school at all. He is blending in like every other kid these days with no special things in place to do so. This is because we got the right diagnosis in the begining and the right course of action to help him cope. There is so much sensory integration comorbid with autism that I think it often gets confused. I came here to see what other parents do for sensory needs for their kids as additional insight is so helpful. When I see a post like yours, I think if I can help in any way and perhaps have another family have the posative outcome we have had----- I'd love to see that happen. good luck.
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