Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder.

I haven't blogged much about sensory processing disorder and the sensory issues my little man is dealing with, but I felt that I wanted to share a little bit of insight into my little mans world.

My son was referred to a Speech Pathologist at eleven months old because he still had not started to eat food. Well he did, until we introduced lumps and solid food, then he refused it all. This was making it really hard for him to gain weight, and he began to loose weight too. After a phone call with the speechie, she thought it was best to have an Occupational Therapist observe him also. After the first visit with the OT, she thought it was best to continue seeing him because of his sensory issues, which is the reason why he never wanted to put food and things in his mouth. A few visits later and he started actually eating, which was amazing!

My son's mouth and face is where the most of his sensory issues are. Unlike most babies, Jydan wouldn't put toys and other things in his mouth. If he does get food around his mouth and lips, he quickly rubs it off. As well as saliva. When he does eat, and he feels food may fall out, he holds his hand over his mouth so food doesn't touch his lips, chin, ect. If it's a new food, he will put it close to his mouth and before trying it, he puts it down. He won't eat anything slimey and runny (he will now have mashed potato though). He won't let anyone feed him and he never took to a bottle of a dummy.

He also deals with a few other things, we've found that depending on how stimulated he has been through the day, he will or will not have blankets on him through the night. (If he has had lots of stimulisation, he doesn't want the pressure on his body. If he has had just a normal day, he is fine with the pressure). This is also the same with clothes. We will sometimes find that after going out and having a big day, coming home he will be crying in the car trying to get his clothes off. If we've had a normal day at home with not much stimuli, he will want to be covered head to toe. If his clothes are wet or dirty and we have to change them, and he is having a day where he needs the pressure of his clothes, he will cry and cry until he is redressed. He won't wear certain textures on his head, IE different beanies and and hats, and even so, any beanie's can be a struggle to keep on - which I know can be pretty normal for a toddler anyway. He will wake every hour through the night if he is wearing a cloth nappy too.

Pain is something else that has to do with my son's SPD. My son seems to have a very high pain threshold and doesn't react to pain. Pain senses seem to not deliver. With his vaccinations he doesn't even moan! Blood tests he screams because has to be held down, but not the pain. He often just rolls and gets right back up when he bumps his head - in fact he loves to hit his head on things!!

His sleep is also something else associated with his sensory issues. Jydan has been such a terrible sleeper from four weeks old and has found it really hard to get back into a sleep cycle. He will stir every hour or so, especially at the start of the night. During the day he struggles to sleep any longer than 40 minutes.  I had no idea these two were linked until I researched more about Sensory Processing Disorder! We haven't got to the bottom of why though, we definitely know that his sensitive to noise has something to do with it, but it could also be a stimulation issue or even an anxiety thing! With more visits to the Occupational Therapist, we are hoping that this is also something we will have help with.

During the pack up of our house Jydan stopped talking and sleeping, he also had some behavioural issues. He was so anxious about his environment being packed up. Those with sensory issues, because so many senses are heightened and things can feel so different compared to you and I, most take comfort in a strict routine and knowing exactly what's going on. A slightest change in routine can leave my son feeling really anxious, which results in behavioral changes.. so you can imagine when we started packing up all his things.

As time goes on we figure out his sensory issues more and more and are learning to deal with them. Sometimes it can be really overwhelming and frustrating, and sometimes people give me the strangest look when I try to describe all this to them, I think it's hard for other people to understand. I will write a post more about SPD in general, rather than just with my son, and also how things are going in a few months time.

1 comment:

Echo A said...

We also deal with SPD as part of my son's Asperger's. It affects his sleep, his emotions, his activities, everything.