Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sensory Integration Dysfunction

In an evaluation done by a Neuropschologist a couple of years ago Teddy was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) also called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  A great book on this is "The Out of Sync Child" . The link is to the Out of Sync website which leads to the book. 

Here are red flags your child may have SPD according to the SPD Foundation
If more than a few of the symptoms listed below fit your child, refer to the complete SPD Checklist in Our Library. For a Spanish-language copy of the Red Flags, click here.

Infants and toddlers

____ Problems eating or sleeping

____ Refuses to go to anyone but me

____ Irritable when being dressed; uncomfortable in clothes

____ Rarely plays with toys

____ Resists cuddling, arches away when held

____ Cannot calm self

____ Floppy or stiff body, motor delays


____ Over-sensitive to touch, noises, smells, other people

____ Difficulty making friends

____ Difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping, and/or toilet training

____ Clumsy; poor motor skills; weak

____ In constant motion; in everyone else's face and space

____ Frequent or long temper tantrums

Grade schoolers

___ Over-sensitive to touch, noise, smells, other people

___ Easily distracted, fidgety, craves movement; aggressive

___ Easily overwhelmed

___ Difficulty with handwriting or motor activities

___ Difficulty making friends

___ Unaware of pain and/or other people

Adolescents and adults

___ Over-sensitive to touch, noise, smells, and other people

___ Poor self-esteem; afraid of failing at new tasks

___ Lethargic and slow

___ Always on the go; impulsive; distractible

___ Leaves tasks uncompleted

___ Clumsy, slow, poor motor skills or handwriting

___ Difficulty staying focused

___ Difficulty staying focused at work and in meetings

You can see why your child needs a full evaluation by a professional in order to have an accurate diagnosis. Medicaid did pay for our child's neuro psych evaluation. It did have to be preapproved. Teddy had an intake assessment by the neuropsychologist and then her recommendations for a full evaluation were given to Medicaid. He was approved for 6 1/2 hours of evaluation. I feel this was the most complete evaluation we have ever had done.  We found a neuropsychologist at a rehabilitation center for brain injuries.  A good diagnosis psychologically is as important as a good physical diagnosis for a physical problem. 
Never, never never quit.


Life's Mom said...

Life had many, many evaluations before coming to live with us. Not one of them uncovered SPD. I read about it and asked my pediatrician about it. He wrote me a prescription for an evaluation at a pediatric rehab center. Sure enough, I was correct and she was diagnosed. We have been in weekly PT and OT for nearly a year. We have seen her come from developmenally 4 years old up to 7 years old this year! Development delay often comes with RAD, and SPD often comes with developmental delay. She is so excited to be "catching up" to her peers. Just this week she was hopping on one foot and said "look - I can do it now just like the other kids!!" It has been a huge boost to her self esteem. And she loves to go to PT - it't like play time for her. Medicaid has paid for ALL of her therapy. (She has medicaid since she was considered a special needs adoption.)

Thank you Brenda for spreading the word on SPD. Many do not know about it.

matryoshka said...

I always list SPD as one of Jupiter's things...with the qualifier "not formally diagnosed." CDS wouldn't pay for a neuropsych eval because they considered it medical. The medical insurance wouldn't cover it because it was considered developmental. I find being proactive about it makes a huge difference..because there are so many little things that can be done throughout the day to manage the sensory issues. And if they are not managed, the behavior deteriorates so quickly.

matryoshka said...

correction: CDS paid for the neuropsych was the OT eval they wouldn't cover.

Stefan said...

There is more and more research that links many learning and developmental difficulties to poor communication and synchronisation between the two brain halves. An effective way of improving the processing functions in the brain is to listen to specially altered sound or music through headphones as pioneered by Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy BĂ©rard (Auditory Integration Training - AIT).

Now there is a new Sound Therapy Programme which has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning and it is entirely free to download and use at home. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

Check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme from Sensory Activation Solutions. There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Find it at:

Brenda said...

Stefan~ Sound therapy was used as a part of Teddy's occupational treatment. You can buy the machines for around $100. I have link to a place on my blog some place. I'll find it.

Jennifer said...

My daughter has SPD and is extremely sensory defensive. We have just finished Berard AIT - It was stressful, but we read a book called "Meghan's World" about a little girl with her same issues so she knew what to expect from it. I can keep you posted as to how she improves. Her audiogram already shows she is less sensitive and she's had a couple of breakthroughs already. I also want to mention - it contains good info on neuro-behavioral disorders and they have learning centers if you are looking for education/therapy.