Hello there. I have a son with sensory integration disorder and it sure can be difficult at times! Sounds like your son has some tactile defensiveness going on. My son has certain clothing and material issues too. He was diagnosed at 4 years old officially with SPD. We began occupational therapy and continued it for 6 years. It's hard to get truly helpful services for sensory for some reason. Our insurance started by paying some of the OT visits but then denied it and we had to pay out of pocket for the visits from there. I realize not everyone can do that as it is expensive. So, I trust you have gone through your insurance company, appealed any denials, etc? You mention NHS, is that national health service? I'm not sure how to work with them specifically. Will your pediatrician be an advocate? Tell me about your system and I'll try to help.
However, while we did occupational therapy one time a week, the REAL work was what we did outside of OT on a regular basis. There are lots of websites with information that can help. We used the Wilbarger brushing protocol for my son. If you want a link on how to do it with some instruction, I'm happy to help. We also used exposure. Example, we'd put vanilla pudding on a tray and ask him to trace letters in it and he could lick the yummy pudding if he wanted. He'd hesitate but eventually do it. Same with shaving cream (minus the eating it). Things like playdough, flubber, etc. This did help my son with tactile issues although truthfully, some of it is just dealing with it. My son is particular to this day about socks. If he feels a seem, he will not wear it. So, once I find a sock he likes I buy lots of pairs of it! No tags on shirts or underwear. YOu can usually get that nowadays just at any store but there are also special order places for these things. Eating is a difficult thing for sensory kids. My son is very picky and has had motor planning issues where he has had trouble chewing and choked on his food. We used a book called Food Chaining which helped and just keep working on it.
The best therapy for sensory integration disorder is called heavy work. This is deep tissue and muscle work. Tight squeezes, using the muscles, wall push ups, pushing pillows on them when they lay on the floor, animal walks like crab walk or bear walk are quick examples. Swimming is a perfect exercise because of deep pressure and muscle work both. I have lots of things to try if you are interested. And the more of that type of thing I do/did with my son, the better the other sensory symptoms got.
My son is now 13 and is doing very well. HE knows when his sensory is out of sync and takes steps to regulate again. It's a lifelong challenge but he's a straight A student, athlete, in the school band, in boy scouts, in his school band and has a couple of really good friends. So, hang in there. With the right steps, things can SO improve. Let me now how I can help!
My son was diagnosed when he was 4. Our insurance wouldn't cover OT for the sensory integration BUT when the OT evaluated him she found his fine motor skills far behind. Our insurance would cover OT for the fine motor!!
So our OT was able to treat him for both. We had homework twice a week and they gave us tips on how to help him.
He's 19 now and he doesn't struggle with noise like he did, he sleeps better, and he doesn't struggle with touch!