I have a toddler who has a speech delay and some sensory integration issues. What exactly is a neurobehaviorial condition? Can a toddler outgrow it? What are the best methods for treatment and the usual prognosis? Thank you.
My son has sensory integration disorder and it has become my passion to learn as much as I can about it. Sensory integration disorder is actually a developmental delay. As you probably know, it affects the nervous system and how the brain processes things. It can range from mild to severe. A child does not outgrow it as it is a delay. However, some kids will find ways on their own of coping with it. Unfortunately, these kids tend to not feel "right in their own skin" for most of their childhood. Other kids learn to cope through occupational therapy or do things that make the sensory issues much better.
Here are some examples. My son is a sensory seeker. Oh lordy, you should see him go when he is craving input. So . . . if I provide it for him in appropriate ways, he is much less apt to try to get it in inappropriate ways.
Regulation/modulation are part of sensory integration disorder. These kids tend to be volatile and over the top with their reactions and they can last a LONG time. They have poor self soothing skills. We've had to work closely with our son to help him with this and have seen great improvement. These kids also have meltdowns about what bothers them regarding their own sensory issues. My son at 3 and 4 could not STAND to wash his hands. At preschool, he would have a meltdown and if his shirt got wet . . . watch out! He has tactile defensiveness. We addressed that through occupational therapy and the issue is no longer there. But if he is really tired or sick . . . he will still balk at washing his hands.
Speech is a common issue with sensory kids. Motor planning is a big part of speech issues. Motor planning is responsible for a couple areas of speech. First, when something is said to a child-------- the brain must process it so he can understand it. (receptive speech). Then the brain must organize a response to what was said. (expressive speech). And then the nervous system carries the message to his oral motor muscles to make the sounds of the words he is trying to say (articulation part of speech). It takes a lot of mouth coordination to speak. My son's first noticeable issues were unclear speech and tripping a lot. That is motor planning at work.
Now---------- let me make you happy and have hope. My son had LOTS of issues during his toddler years. He had a tremendous amount of difficulty in preschool. We've done occupational therapy for 2 years and he is now just finishing up kindergarten. He is doing FANTASTIC. We still have our issues but he has learned how to cope with many things and areas like social skills (big issue with sensory kids) are coming along.
If you'd like to let me know some of the specifics of your child, I can perhaps help with some strategies for them. I'd be so happy to do so. Good luck
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