Hi there and welcome! I was away and just returned so sorry for delay in answering your post.
Regarding your daughter---- truthfully, I'm not sure if it looks like sensory. sensory can take many forms but there are some hallmark things that are missing from your history that would indicate sensory. Examples are that most kids with sensory have some issues with fine motor. My son walked early but this is common with sensory as walking is actually much easier than crawling in terms of motor coordination. My son rolled over a bit behind schedule. Nothing ever stood out to pediatricians but I remember worrying for about a month that he should be doing it. In his toddler years, he had trouble with things like pinching tweezers to pick up pom poms from a dish, using scissors, writing. that is all very common with sensory integration disorder. It's confusing because while my son did have trouble with those things, he is a mixed bag and is actually quite coordinated athletically. He has done occupational therapy which got his fine motor back on track. But that your daughter never had any motor planning issues is a good sign in terms of not being sensory related.
Another hallmark sign missing is that she does fine in school. Now, it could be that she holds herself together at school but falls apart in the more relaxing environment of being with family. That does happen but in truth, It would be rare for her to not have issues outside of home. In fact, most sensory kids are the opposite with major issues being away from an environment that they feel they have more control in such as home. My son's issues in preschool were very different than at home. At home, we saw 'some' things but it was much worse when he was somewhere that he felt overwhelmed, in less control, or was excited about it or anxious about it. School is almost always a tough place for sensory kids as well as loud places like parties or malls, etc. So, I'm also not sure that your description matches sensory with that bit of information.
Now, the issues of having over the top meltdowns when hair is brushed, face washed, etc. is absolutely classic sensory. My son has tactile dysfunction and feels things to a great degree that the rest of us don't.
My son was also a baby that we had to walk forever around the house to get him to sleep. He was a happy, content baby over all but he needed this type of stimulation to help him sleep. He still can have issues sleeping but not many compared to many sensory kids. they like to 'nest' which means to build a little nest around their head an body of pillows, stuffed animals, and blankets. Some kids like a weighted blanket as well as that deep pressure is very soothing to the nervous system. My son has one of these and it's great.
If a child is diagnosed with sensory such as my son, he always has this developmental delay. Part of the treatment for it is teaching coping skills as well as learning ways to regulate the nervous system to keep the symptoms as minimal as possible. My son blends in well and at 9, understands that he has to do things to make his 'engine' (as we call it) feel just right. With a daily dose of sensory activities, he is well regulated and this helps him feel good, blend in, and keeps the symptoms of sensory very low or gone. and when he has sensory symptoms, he knows what to do to cope with them.
yes, changes in the environment, schedules, etc. affect sensory symptoms. If my son is sick or tired, his sensory is much worse. If he is in an environment that is unfamiliar and overwhelming, his sensory symptoms are worse. In terms of hormones, etc. I would imagine that all things have some affect but this is outside the control of your child or you. the interventions for sensory are related to learning to regulate the system and having go to plans when the symptoms become troubling. Behavior modification is introduced for the times in which someone can't slow or speed up their nervous system due to issues with the sensory system.
They do sometimes look at diet as well with sensory kids but we found my son's diet to have no affect on him.
That you've gotten her very active in things, that she does well, etc. is great!! I'm happy to hear that.
No vitamins really help. I do give my son a good multi vitamin though for overall health. No medication helps. And blood type is unrelated. The way to treat sensory is through occupational therapy with a trained therapist in sensory issues of children. this will include teaching the things a parent/child can do to help keep the nervous system 'just right' (heavy work is a term often used for this and is basically physical activities that cause the nervous system to be organized, well functioning. Deep pressure is part of this as well. My son is a competitive swimmer which combines the muscle work of heavy work and deep pressure both---- great for regulating the nervous system). They also work on behavior modification during OT and they work on the things that challenge a child with sensory (hand writing, tactile issues like hair brushing or brushing teeth).
What is she doing now that has you concerned about sensory?
Thanks so much for responding! Kind of you to share your experience with others.
It is late and so will need to keep this brief and respond more later. It seems she has some of the sensory signs and yet perhaps there isn't a 'category' in which she falls yet. We are still learning about emotional regulation in the brain and issues with crossing the midline, with regard to emotion. Perhaps one day...
It is possible, too, she holds me to a higher standard because as an infant she was conditioned to know I would help her with whatever it was bothering her in the moment. We seemed to communicate well with each other from the beginning. Perhaps I need to work even harder on building coping skills to deal with upsets and self-soothing. I still wonder too if certain herbs could help as her anger flares up so quickly when upset. If that reaction time could be slowed and emotions softened it may save her a lot of time spent frustrated. Adaptogenic herbs might be useful in not taking down her fabulous spirit but preventing crossing the line into rageville.
I don't think, you are right, she has SID. There may be overlap, as I have remembered a couple more fitting signs, but not all the same. Or the root of what challenges her produces similar signs to what kids with SID have but are different in etiology.
I do think too that some are more aware and sensitive by nature and it is one of their gifts. But it can also be overwhelming if nature or nurture isn't serving them well. In her case it is nature but as parents we can always adjust and improve to help.
Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts. It is challenging to figure out these things. I know with proper care, guidance and love these kids will do fine.
So much for a short response. ;) G'nite.
I will consider more heavy work for her too, thanks! Her Enki homeschool materials have ideas and swimming is something she enjoys so if we can fit that in... Maybe it will help with her nervous system.
Your son is fortunate to have such a devoted, caring, smart mom. I am sure it has not been easy but your love for him and consideration of other families shines through.