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Help Please!

My son is 5 years old and has several behavioral problems... He chews on everything, clothes, chords, toys, ect...... He loves to chew ice and eat cold stuff such as slushys, he actually craves them.  He has more energy than he knows what to do with, he can go from 6am till 11pm without batting an eyelid.  He will fall asleep in the car sometimes.  He doesn't seem to have much in the area of empathy.  He is addicted to video games and tv (we are working on that)  He gets stuck in loops very easily and is very hard to redirect.  He constantly wants to eat something which is fine but I think he is doing it out of boredom not out of being hungry.  He doesn't do well with loud noises (the hands go right up above the ears) If he does something that he is not suppose to do and gets into trouble, the first thing he does is start yelling at us saying that we have hurt his feelings, we are mean, thinks we are going to kick him out of the house, or my favorite he's going to run away.  He also talks really fast, like he's got a million things on his mind and he's just having a hard time getting it all out.

Now he does have some really great qualities about him... He is very inquisitive (always quizzing us in math), he has been able to tell us how to get to places (turn by turn) since he was 2 1/2, he's very strong, and sometimes he does show his lovey dovey side.  He has a 6yr old sister and he gets along with her for the most part (they fight like any other brother and sister would)

He was diagnosed with Pdd-Nos when he was 18 months (yes I know that is very young but we were noticing things that weren't right with him)  I'm just concerned that this is not the right diagnosis, maybe it is but I thought maybe someone would have some insight for me.....
8 Comments Post a Comment
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi there.  Well, I have something else for you to look into in order to see if it fits into the situation at all-------  either as a diagnosis on its own or to add to his already diagnosed developmental delay/spectrum disorder.

This is sensory integration disorder.  My own son has this and I will tell you that you mention a few classic sensory characteristics.  The loud noises and hands over the ears is common.  Does he shield his eyes to sun light (more than  your average child) as well?  Some kids chew and crave temperature of certain things for the sensation of it.  It is a calming mechanism as well as a great way to get input into the nervous system.  My son is a sensory seeker and this causes him to love to do things that other kids might get a little tired doing.  Climbing, jumping, spinning, running, hopping, pulling up on things, crashing into stuff, rolling down a hill.  All things my son can't get enough of.  

Many kids with sensory and Pd-Nos have a difficult time with regulation of emotions as well.   They over react. They have trouble with the concept that mom is irritated and it isn't the end of the world.  They are very sensitive.  

Sensory integration disorder or sensory processing disorder is very common with kids that have autism/developmental delays as well as it can be a disorder all on its own as it is with my son.  A good web site to learn about sensory is Sensory Processing Disorder (or SPD).  If you google that, you will find this site.  Basically it is a nervous system issue and involves how the brain/nervous system process information coming and going around and into a child's system. It too is on a spectrum with some kids being mild and others having severe difficulty functioning.  An occupational therapist treats for this disorder through targeted activities they call "heavy work" which kids think is play (they do it in a sensory gym) as well as behavioral training, social skills training and targeted help with things such as fine motor difficulty.  We work on eating with our ot as well.  

My son is doing really really well.  We've made a tremendous amount of progress.  Please google sensory and see if you think it matches at all and we'll go from there.  good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
   Really gotta agree with Specialmom.  I am also the CL over on the ADHD forum and while I do see some ADHD traits here - the SID really jumps out.  So please do check out the site she recommended.
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13167_tn?1327197724
What Special Mom and Sandman said.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much.......Whenever I am explaining all of his symptoms I am constantly going back to sensory....It makes a lot of sense....I also always say that whenever we had Early Intervention involved and we had a Ot coming to our house 2 times a week for an hour a day, I noticed a huge improvement with him but this was also whenever he was 18 months to 3 years old.....Would that be something that would have to be an out patient thing at a clinic or would there be a chance to get another in home OT???
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Avatar_f_tn
Also if he is really frustrated he will take his fists and pound them on his forehead......Which to me is also a sensory thing
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973741_tn?1342346373
Well, honestly, an occupational therapists office for a 5 year old is probably better than an in home situation.  I'm not sure about in home as this is not something I see in my area after the birth to 3 program.  But what an OT's office offers is a sensory gym.  It is full of things that your son will love and will help his nervous system.  Hard to replicate on the road, those gyms involve big swings, tunnels, just all kinds of equipment.  Also, when a child is having some peer issues, if two ot's work together, they may pair up two kids in the gym to work on social skills while playing a sensory game.  

I called around and found OT's that specialized in sensory.  Then I found out if they were on my insurance.  And then I signed up for a consultation.  

I also wanted to offer that I work on these things at home with my child.  I've been to every one of my son's OT appointments and look for ways to replicate the game/heavy work/ situation at home.  I've researched and read so many things to come up with lots of at home ideas to create 'heavy work' for my son.  Our OT gave us the 'brush' for the brushing protocol if there are any tactile issues.  So you can really make a huge difference by doing heavy work exercises/games at home every day.  

If you need ideas, let me know. good luck.  sensory can be made signficantly better.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I have done the brushing program and it didn't seem to work very well.....I just spoke to his OT from early intervention (we are still in contact) she is going to come out on this following Wednesday and is going to try to evaluate him.....The only thing I don't know is who to I go to, to get him diagnosed with that?? Or tested I mean??  Do I take him to his regular doctor??
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973741_tn?1342346373
Our regular doctor gave us a referrel (for insurance reasons) but an occupational therapist trained in sensory gives the official diagnosis.  We went through an evaluation period of about 3 sessions of testing.  Much of it was observation on the OT's part.  They did all kinds of things from having him track things with his eyes, to how long he could hold a certain position on the floor to how he followed directions to how he interacted to how he played without anyone telling him what to do, etc.  Much of what the use for the evaluation is what YOU say in regards to what you see.  Problems with eating, friends, handwriting, constant motion, etc. and how these things interfere with his life.  

I would get out a phone book and start calling OT's.  Ask about sensory.  Ask them what their evaluation process is.  When you find a few you like, match it to your own insurance and set up that evaluation (which is the first step for any ot to treat for sensory).  I will tell you that we opted to go to the person that has the most experience with sensory in our area and they are not covered by our insurance.   We pay out of pocket.  It is expensive and we make sacrifice for it----------  but it has made a world of difference.  Not everyone can do that----  so do your best to work within your insurance confines.  good luck!!
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