Anyone have a preemie that has been diagnosed with a sensory integration issue? I'm trying to get educated about signs and symptoms to watch for.
DD (now 9 months) was born at 31.6 weeks and our daycare is starting to think she may have a sensory integration issue. I've brought it up with early intervention therapist, but she suspects she is just transitioning to new environment (started daycare 3 weeks ago). She is a pretty social baby, but is has always been difficult to settle at naptime. She is more active/hyper than her twin brother, but seems relatively content when playing/crawling/etc. She only started babbling a few weeks ago, but otherwise has been on track with developmental milestones (when age adjusted 2 months). Recently, she's been difficult/fussy during feedings, but this could be from teething.
Any advice? I'm trying not too read into things too much, but don't want to ignore the signs if they are there.
i have been doing extensive research on sensory processing disorders since I encounter children with this in my line of work. who in the daycare thinks this is the case? what make her think this? there are many different kinds of sensory processing disorders, so the list of "symptoms" is very extensive. also, many of the symptoms are typical child behaviors. in older children, (preschoolers) it is often mistaken for ADD, hyperactivity, autism spectrum disorders, etc... i am curious to know how they would suspect it in an infant. does she have extreme reactions to lights, sounds, touch?
My son has been diagnosied with this, he reacts to sounds and touch. So send him into an almost uncontrolable body losss. He shakes and just loses touch with reality, when he was young, I would have to pull him out of the road if a loud truck went by, he would just stop. We did a brush tech. on him when he was in 2-3 grade and it worked really well. They would brush up and down his arms, touch pressure points on his body, and seemed to help. He is 15 now, we have a few breakdowns now, you cant really yell at him, or talk loud, he always thinks you are screaming at him. He always flinches at everything, you cant go and try and touch his back, he will jump away and than settle into your touch. but otherwise, he gets great grades, plays basebal, and track.. But it is tough in the beggining, I knew right away he had some problems with his senses. He has never liked lawn mowers, airplanes, tractor trailers. What I did was taught him to put his fingers in his ears, when something bothered him, so that way he didnt freeze up. He still does it.. But if your child does have this, ask about a brushing technique...
Thanks for the comments ladies. I appreciate hearing from others on this.
swade- thanks for the advice on brushing techniques. It's good to hear that there are some therapies out there that work. Sounds like your son has adapted well, so that is encouraging to me. Just curious---was he a preemie? I'm hearing that the sensory issues are more common in preemies.
tiredbuthappy- here is some more background. It's the director at the daycare that I've been talking to about this. She owns/runs the midsize center (there are 4-5 other staff members). Her initial feedback to me was that she has felt (even since day 1) that there was something 'going on with' DD, and was leaning towards sensory issue. While I do think it is a bold statement (after just a few weeks of part time care for my child), I do appreciate her experience, so I welcome her feedback.
I've noted some behaviors that stand out. It seems to be around physical touch versus sound or light.
1) extreme fussiness when tired/at naptime. She wont fall asleep unless she is exhausted and overtired. And then, she fights it, but eventually crashes and is out like a log (but back up within 30 min usually!). Sometimes the only way to get her to settle is to walk around/bounce her to sleep. Even when she was just 2 months, I used to have to 'jiggle' her leg pretty vigorously, or carry her in a sling to get her to sleep.
2) very active--doesn't like to be confined long, happiest when crawling freely.
3) unpredictable at feedings. She loves her bottle and always takes that, but sometimes she eats solids well, and other times she is cranky about it. She has never refused harder textured things though, like biscuits, apple slice in the mesh feeders, and those puff star finger food things.
Also, sometimes she crawls over to a rug and will scratch at it a bunch, or even try to eat it. She does the same thing with the radiator covers that are a lattice-like pattern. She sometimes rubs her head against my shirt or rubs her sleep sack or hands against her face (hard) when tired. Daycare has noticed that she seems to have a higher tolerance for pain too---doesn't always react strongly if she falls or bumps hard into a toy.
When I look at these things separately, they don't seem that out of the ordinary. But, when you put them altogether, it does seem a bit off. I guess I've always considered her sort of a high maintenance baby, but thought it was in part from being premature and figured she's outgrow some of the fussiness. What are your thoughts? I respect your background and would greatly appreciate any insights you can provide.
Yea my son was born 15 years ago at 28 weeks, back than that was like 24 now.. Actually both my sons are preemies, my 11 yr old was born at 35 weeks and now I am on weekly apts to make sure this one gets to at least 35-27 wks...
I would trust in your E.I.T . Most Docters will not diagnois or treat at such a young age unless they have a reasonable cause. While your preceptions are valid and almost ANY mother would be concerned, i wouldnt stress out over it too much. I will say her behaviors do put up a red flag when you look at the whole picture. You also dont want to me misdiagnoised becuase she is so young yet. Relax and put your faith in God. You have your hands full as it is with 2 babies! I cant even imagine!
sounds like it may be possible, but like we've both said, most of those characteristics can be considered "typical" of children.
if it is a sensory processing disorder, there is a very good chance that she will be OK. the trick is to find the technique that works. often times, occupational therapy will have these children functioning in a normal classroom. one child needed to hear a certain song everyday on the way to school and was then perfectly fine. a little boy in my class now needs me to apply pressure to his torso by squeezing him to help ground him and focus. i am sure you've done some internet research which shows how many different types of sensory processing disorders there are. on top of that, there is a very broad spectrum within each category, and children may have more than one type. aside from speaking to your pediatrician, you may want to keep notes on specifically how she reacts to different situations and different things you try to help her. of children with sensory problems need extra sensory activities- water play, sand play, playdough, etc... you can find lots of sensory recipes and activities on the internet.
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to take your suggestion and start keeping notes how the things we find that do or do not calm her, etc. Also what triggers her 'active' state. Nothing I do seems to tame her active nature, but I'm starting to realize that she's happier and less fussy/irritable when she gets a good nap (aren't we all? lol). Thanks again fro the advice.
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