Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is Sensory Processing Disorder??

Though Carson was diagnosed with SPD 3 years ago, I am still learning exactly what it is. Hartley Steiner wrote a great article explaining exactly what it is. You can read about it here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Living with SPD - Carson's story

Carson swing - cross process

I have wanted to start an SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) for quite a while. Both my adorable boys have this condition. I am doing this mostly for me than for anyone else. I want to record their good and bad days so I can have a record of their behaviors and progress and also to show our different doctors and therapists. I would love to get any help from other parents out there on different issues we might have. Also, maybe I can help someone else along the way!! I still have so much to learn about SPD and the best way to help my boys.

In 2003 my sweet little Carson was born at 27 weeks, weighing just 1 lb 14 ounces. He was in the NICU for 8 weeks, but had a wonderful course. He never had a brain bleed and did very well. He never took a bottle or breast fed. He was fed through an NG tube and then later through a G tube. He ate just fine, just never ate enough to keep him growing.

I thought I had it all figured out. We had a daughter 19 months older than Carson and things were good. I had 2 PERFECT children. They were quiet, well behaved, and had good manners. At about Carson's third birthday I started to notice that things were no longer perfect. Carson was acting out more. So I started reading discipline books. I had been a nanny for 10 years, had a subscription to Parent's magazine years before I even had children, but was having trouble disciplining my own son. Then we moved to Arizona and things got worse. One day I took him to Walmart and we walked past the toy aisles. He starting screaming "I want a toy!" I mean, SCREAMING!! People were coming around from the other aisles to see why this child was screaming a loud ear-piercing scream at the top of his lungs. I had never bought him a toy at Walmart just because. Why was he doing this??? I noticed he started flapping his arms when he was excited. He would run methodically starting in one place, flap his arms, run a few feet, turn around, flap his arms, and go back the other way. He would do this for several minutes. I started researching autism. But he had excellent eye contact and had no problem playing with friends or trouble communicating. We got him in Early Intervention preschool for his speech delay. The preschool started noticing other things, weak muscle tone and fine and gross motor delays. They put him in OT. By then I had heard of SPD and was convinced he had this condition. That was confirmed by a developmental pediatrician a few months later. But he did well, his issues were minor.

He is now a fun active 7-year-old. He still chews on his shirt, throws tantrums over very small things, and can't control his bladder overnight. He likes to hit his siblings when he gets upset and sometimes for no reason at all. He has had to repeat first grade this year. That was a hard decision, but the developmental pediatrician assured us that it was a good thing. We moved to California in October 2009 and into a much harder school district. So he started behind and never could catch up. The developmental pediatrician said that since he was a couple of years behind emotionally, that having him repeat even at the age of 7, should not have any adverse effects on him. My husband and I realized just about a year ago, that we don't have to think twice anymore about taking him anywhere like we used to . Now his brother Landon - that is another story that I will talk about next!!