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Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) Community
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438877 tn?1224361089

Does my 3 yr old son have SPD?? Please help

My 3 yr old son has had feeding problems from birth, however things got really bad when we started on solids and he refuses to transition adult foods. He would easily choke, gag etc and it got so bad that he currently only accepts about 5 different types of food. He drooped from 50th to 5th percentile for weight. He also had problems with getting water on his body, then soap, brushing his teeth etc. for a while he couldn't walk barefeet cuz of the bugs on the floor. He never liked getting his hands dirty.  I didn't allow him to play out his fears and eventually he is getting better. He still screams if i wash his face, almost as if he is drowing. But now his new thing is he wants to wear long sleeves and long pants every time. He gets uncomfortable if the shirt or pants ride up and will even wake up in the middle of the night to adjust it. He always asks if he gets to wear long sleeves and tries different tactics (I am cold, I want to dress up, I need a bath so that I can wear my long sleeve pajamas, etc) to wear d long sleeves. He is always pulling his shirtsleeve shirts to try and cover his arms and sometimes will throw a fit. I finally got his pediatrician to refer him to the feeding clinic but I wonder if feeding issues is just part of a big problem??
3 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi there.  As the mom of a sensory kid myself, your son's reactions and behaviors sure do sound familiar.  Has he been assessed by an occupational therapist??

My son had eating issues as well.  He had motor planning issues that made it difficult for him to chew.  He also had tactile issues where textures, smells, etc. really made it hard to eat some things.  Once a child gags a few times on something, they get something called a 'gag' memory so that when the item comes near them again, they instantly gag.  Pretty hard when that gag memory is something like chicken or beef or pork chop.  We've had a heck of a time reintroducing meat.  

But we have.  We actually worked on this in occupational therapy as well as at home.  My son will now eat many items he resisted for a long time.  So, have faith.  Your son can overcome much of this.

In truth, sensory issues are a pain at home but become very troublesome as a child gets older and is out in the world.  Things that are quirks and we accommodate at home become full out tantrums at preschool and school or a birthday party or play date.  

It is important to get some coping strategies under way to combat that.  My son is now 9 and blends into the world quite nicely---  I have many ideas and tips for you.  But first, am wondering if you have had him evaluated by an OT.  
438877 tn?1224361089
Thanks so much for replying. The feeding clinic evaluation next week will include seeing an occupational therapist. Yes my son does gag or throwing up just by looking at some foods he has choked on in the past.  He is relatively good with strangers but has problems with crowded areas or loud noises.  
438877 tn?1224361089
update August 2015

Apparently he had obstructive sleep apnea secondary to large tonsils and adenoids!! As soon as he got the surgery to remove them January 2014, he has become almost normal.  He is now just a picky eater and well adjusted.  He has gained 10lbs in the past 18 months, He can play with dirt, get dirty, tolerate sounds, try new foods,wear any type of clothes ( still prefers long sleeves though) and hasn't thrown up or choked one time since the surgery!! He still has some sensory issues, but honestly its almost hard to notice, people think he is just a bit of a finicky child. So for people with children with SPD or sensory issues, should get their kids checked by an ENT for large tonsils/adenoids and sleep apnea.  
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