Tuesday, June 11, 2013

SPD and Occupation Therapy


After our visit with our new Pediatrician, and her recommendation to have Selena screened for Autism, I began to do a lot of research and along with advice from a good friend of mine decided that we needed to head in a little different direction. I myself just do not see anything that would point to Autism except maybe Selena’s OCD tendencies and love for such a rigid schedule. Papa and I kept asking is this in itself enough to base the need for Autism screening?

Thank goodness for my blog as I have spent many hours going clear back to many of my earlier posts for answers. With posts like this one we continued to reminded of how many times Selena has shown sensitivities to things. From not wanting to eat certain foods to her inability to handle situations where there are too many people. Looking at her today she is the little girl who just can’t feel enough textures, the one out on the ball park that has the hardest time staying out of the dirt, yet all the while jumping up to make the quick catch and throw the ball back in, then back to the dirt she goes.

I finally called and asked for a referral to an Occupational Therapist to discuss and have Selena screened for Sensory Processing Disorder. So how did it go, well let me walk you through the day and give you a verbal picture of what SPD looks like for us.

I had not told Selena we had this appointment as I knew if I did she wouldn’t sleep at all the night before. We woke up in the morning and went about our normal routine, then I said we had to drive to Olympia. She asked why, and I told her we had an appointment. Never really going into any deep discussion as to what type of appointment, as I didn’t want her stressing and breaking out with hives.

We had a nice drive to Olympia. When we arrived at the building we were to go in, Selena discovered we had to use an elevator. She looked around and not seeing any stairs knew there was no choice. We got in the elevator to which Selena attached her self to my leg and braced herself for the ride up to the next floor. Once off the elevator, Selena was a wreck, in what I consider a melt down mode. Not a fit, as a melt down is not a fit but more of a flee mode. She couldn’t flee from the elevator so now she is going to run back and forth around the office waiting room, trying to calm herself looking for just the right texture to touch.

Knowing she was on the second floor she crept ever so carefully on a couch that was position near a window, and ever so carefully looked out the window, then she couldn’t decide if there was indeed a window behind another couch, so she gently climbed up there and with one finger barely tapped the window. With a long sigh of relief she announced without a window there she would indeed fall to the ground below.

Suddenly she heard a noise coming from the floor below, someone was pushing a cart of some sort. Oh my goodness, now Selena just had to get out of that room. She couldn’t get far enough away. With really no place to go she finally asked if there was a restroom. When we finally retreated from the restroom and back to the waiting room she discovered a pay phone on the wall. She examined it carefully then just had to reach up and touch it. As the cord touched her hand she jumped as if a snake had just crawled over her hand. She read where it said push for coins, and ever so carefully tapped that with her finger, when the metal piece moved ever so slightly she jumped again.

I finally got her calmed down just in time to be called to go back for our appointment. As the therapist and I talked Selena was able to play with play dough, beads, crayons and paper, and bubbles. We will be meeting with this therapist who I really liked and really disagrees with hearing a child like Selena being labeled with such things as ADHD and Autism, when in fact all we may be dealing with is a problem processing the senses in the world around her.

I will share more of what we learn as we go along, and keep you informed as to how things go for Selena. I am very hopeful that we are on the right track and will learn some techniques to help Selena transition in this ever changing world.

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  1. I'm glad you like the therapist - and aren't just blindly following advice you feel might be wrong. At least you'll know you checked out all possible avenues.

  2. Poor Selena! I am hoping that you will figure out something that will calm her anxieties and help her stay focused on good things around her.

  3. Learning about your child is so much more important than understanding a diagnosis. Discovering how Selena experiences the world & helping her grow through positive interactions is my wish for you!!! She is lucky to have a determined mom!!