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3 year old fidgiting
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3 year old fidgiting

My 3 year old has Sensory Processing Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder & has been in therapy for about 6 months.
Last week, her speech pathologist pulled me aside & asked me if my daughter had any birth injuries which she did not. Her APGAR scores were 9 & 9.
All of her therapists think that my daughters speech and body movements are Ataxic.
She speaks well, over 400 words, speaking in complete sentences, completely understandable but she just talks a little slow.
They recommended we see a neurologist.
They said her body movements almost look like someone with Parkinsons.
I noticed when shes sleeping and even awakem laying still, her body kind of jerks involuntarily every few seconds.
It doesnt seem to bother her & its not bad but its noticble.
What could be the cause of this & why would they recommend seeing a neurologist?
She has met every developmental milestone on time since birth
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Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Ataxia is a symptom of 100s of neurologic diseases. Cerebelllar ataxia is one type of ataxia occuring due to a problem in the cerebellum, one of the structures in the brain involved in coordination (among other things). There are several causes of cerebellar ataxia and whether or not the ataxia can be treated depends on the cause. Below, a few types of ataxias will be discussed but this list is by no means comprehensive.

In general, ataxias could be divided into a few groups (1) those with a known external cause such medications or drugs (2) those that occur following infection (3) those that are neurodegenerative, due to loss of cerebellar cells because of a primary abnormality in cerebellar cells as opposed to an external cause such as infection (4) due to an inborn error metabolism and/or a genetic defect that disrupts metabolism in cerebellar cells (5) those that occur in the setting of cancer, known as "paraneoplastic ataxias", and (6) others

For the inborn errors of metabolism, some treatable examples include betalipoproteinemia, adrenomyeloneuropathy, cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis, familial vitamin E deficiency, maple syrup urine disease, pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency, Refsum disease, and Wilson disease. Many of these disorders begin in childhood or adolescence/young adult-hood. Management typically relies on dietary modification, vitamin/cofactor supplementation, or drugs to reduce the load of the accumulating toxic metabolite, or removal of abnormal proteins from the blood by a procedure called plasmapharesis.

Other types of cerebellar ataxias that are genetic such as the large group of genetic disorders called "spino-cerebellar ataxias", Ataxia-telangiectasia, Friedreich ataxia, and other mitochondrial disorders are being studied, certain modifications may be helpful but there is not a cure. These have specific features that suggest one type versus another and genetic testing is available for some of them.

Since your child has “ataxia”, they likely would for her to be evaluated by a pediatric neurologist to determine if she actually does have ataxia and if so, what is the cause.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

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