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  #1  
Old 04-11-05, 07:09 PM
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Post AH/HD and/or Sensory Integration Disorder

Sensory Integration Disorder


One of the best ways to describe what a child with DSI may feel like is to picture yourself sitting in your room, while dinner is cooking in the oven downstairs. The air conditioner and TV are on, the shades are open, and you are reading a book. For many children and adults, this is not a big deal. For the child with sensory deprivation they may feel like the sunlight is blaring in their eyes, the TV is set on HIGH volume, the air conditioner is too loud and blowing in their face. The book they are trying to read is made of material that is irritating to touch, and the dinner cooking downstairs is distracting because the smell is bothersome, and the kitchen timer is ticking too loudly.
Knowing this, it should not be surprising that many children with DSI, unable to understand their sensory signals, may have multiple issues to contend with, including difficulty concentrating and negative behavioral consequences.

What kinds of signs does a child with Sensory Integration Disorder show?
A typical child with DSI will show one or more of the following signs:
1. Over or under sensitive to sound. Ie child may cover ears and pull away from most noises or crave a lot of multiple sound stimuli.
2. Overly sensitive or under sensitive to lights. Ie, child covers their eyes and may not be able to tolerate bright lights or flashing lights.
3. Under-reactive to sensory stimulation: Ie, child craves spinning, jumping, moving constantly -or- has difficulty with most movement stimuli.
4. Unusually high or low activity level; may seem hyperactive or hypoactive.
5. Coordination problems; may seem clumsy or careless.
6. Delays in speech, language, motor skills.
7. Below par academic performance.
8. Poor organization of behavior (impulsive, distractible, frustrated, aggressive)
9. May seem lazy, bored, or unmotivated:
10. Difficulty making transitions. Child has difficulty with routine changes, difficulties with season changes ( Ie, going from shorts to pants and visa versa)
11. Social and/or emotional problems. I.e., acts out, has frequent temper tantrums, or seems oppositional and defiant.

Are there certain children that are more prone to sensory integration disorders than others?
Although sensory disorders can be present in any child, studies indicate that approximately 70% of children with learning disabilities have sensory issues. Children with pervasive developmental disorders, such as autism, children born prematurely or who have had head trauma, ADHD, and children with anxiety disorders are also more prone to sensory issues.

What are the most common Sensory integration problems?
A child's reaction to touch and their response to movement are the most common problems that we see.
For example, children with abnormal touch sensation, may be over-responsive to touch or under-responsive to touch sensations. Children, who are overly sensitive, often have difficulty with certain fabrics and refuse to wear certain clothes or sleep on certain sheets. Tags on the back of clothes may annoy them or certain socks are preferred over others. Very often children do not like buttoned pants, because of the sensation on their waists. Many of these children do not like a lot of close touch. They may pull away from physical contact such as hugging and being touched.
Children that are under-responsive to touch sensation often crave physical touch. These children tend to seem as if they are always in need of physical contact. These children tend to disregard the need for 'personal space, ' and always seem to be touching or doing things with their hands or body.
If children have abnormal movement sensation, they may be over-responsive to movement and have difficulty with car rides, playground equipment, and seem to avoid physical activity or being lifted up. If they are under-responsive to movement, they may crave physical sensations, such as running, jumping, climbing, and swinging. These kids often love rollercoster rides at an early age!

My child tends to cover his ears and eyes when in a crowd of people. Should I be concerned?
Actually, this is very common among all young children. Crowds of people are noisy and there is a lot going on. My recommendation is to pay close attention to other behaviors. I.e., does the TV or radio tend to cause the same symptoms; does the child have difficulty in most group situations, even small groups? Does the child react to most sounds and sights in this way?
If this were an isolated situation, that tends to overwhelm your child, then I would give it time and see how your child develops. Chances are, as he gets older, he will adjust to crowds better; although there are plenty of people who have difficulties with crowds, even as adults!
What should parents do if they suspect a child has DSI symptoms?
Take note of the behaviors you are concerned about. I recommend keeping a journal in order to keep track of your thoughts and concerns. Speak to your child's teacher about your concerns. Advise the teacher to be on the lookout for certain behaviors, and to keep in touch with you about this.
Make an appointment to speak with your child's doctor as well. If your doctor is also concerned he/she will often recommend an evaluation by a pediatric occupational therapist.

How does an occupational therapist (OT) evaluate my child and how is DSI treated?
An OT that specializes in sensory integration (only about 20% of OT's) will do a structured examination of the child's responses to various sensory stimulation, checking for balance, fine and gross motor skills, coordination, eye movements. Other tests may be done as well, such as developmental testing, to be sure the child is developmentally up to par may be necessary.
Based on the deficits found, activities will be done with the child to help the child react properly to sensory stimulation. Focus is on adaptive measures to help the child function more appropriately and feel more comfortable with the world around them. Most activities are fun to the children and most actually look forward to going for therapy!

What can I do to help my child with sensory integration disorder?
Most importantly, accept your child's deficiencies and try to learn as much as you can about DSI. Your child's doctor's office, and your OT can often supply you with information.
Children tend to feel less stressed when parents are accepting and comforting when they are feeling 'out of control' or uncomfortable. Respecting your child's needs and preferences with regards to their sensory deprivation is often comforting to your child.
In addition, the OT that is working with your child can provide you with an array of activities you can do with your child at home or as an after school activity.
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  #2  
Old 04-23-05, 11:55 PM
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Thanks. My girl was diagnosed with SID a couple of months ago. Brush therapy and joint compression really do help alot. But I am now looking at my son who was diagnosed with ADHD at 8 in a different light. I now tell people who suspect ADD?HD in their child to look at SID too because I am convinced my son was misdiagnosed and I am looking into having him reevaluated.
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Old 08-28-05, 10:23 PM
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This all sounds like me.....maybe I have SID too??
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Old 08-30-05, 09:20 PM
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It sounds a lot like me too.

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Old 09-17-05, 11:02 PM
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Get Your hands on a copy of The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz. It places SID in it's very basic day to day terms of what the behavior looks like by using real cases to illustrate it. It also has a good checklist developed the same way.

Gidget..Your probably not reading things wrong if your looking at SID Kranowitz states that about 70% of all school age children probably have some SID. The theory is that they do not get the right types of play and stimulation at the right ages to organize the systems.

The problem is that SID can look a lot like ADHD or ADD, so it's comorbitiy rate will naturally be fairly high. All I know is that sensory therapy has helped my son tremendously after 6 weeks. When he first went in his sensory threshold was so low that he actually hit at his therapist within the first 15 minutes. Now he actually wants to go because he knows that he feels better when he does.

If you have sleeping problems, this kind of therapy have proven helpful for it too. Caleb 6 wks ago slept only 4-5 hrs with tossing and turning te whole night..wandering the house. Now he's sleeping at least 7-9 hrs and on the nights he crawls into my bed he's actually still. No more bruises from toes and feet kicking into me.
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Old 09-18-05, 12:52 AM
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Okay..but what about all those kids who can't control their impulses, who act on their impulses to knowingly poor outcomes. Who simply are not engaged in the classroom. Who couldn't make a friend if their life depended on it? Is this all sensory I issues, or is this disruptive behaviour? I'm buying everything that you are selling.
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Old 09-18-05, 02:14 AM
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I'm not sure that some of the behavior issues are not sensory related when they are young. I do know that reaction behaviors can be changed depending on parenting skills.

The first time My son had a meltdown and lashed out at the therapist, she remarked that she was suprised that he didn't pick up one of the kid chairs and throw it. he is not allowed to throw things at home because he was raised with a baby brother. Throwing gets him time out or the loss of an immediate privelege and/or a turn at whatever toy he wanted thathe didn't get. Kids do learn what bad behaviors will be tolerated where.

At some point sensory reactions become ingrained behaviors. I truely believe that, but I think we need to look at what sensory issues we have going on that may precede reactions. Is it possible that kids don't get enough "sensory diet" and it causes problems that are mistaken for other things. Through repetitive occurance the brain will become hardwired toward that response. I realize that many dissorders have a genetic background, but if we lessened the sensory responses that are comorbid with them could we decrease the severity?

Now Scuro, If I could answer that question with total confidence and research support I'd have my PhD dissertation written and wouldn't be working for a small country school district. I'm just saying it's something to consider. I know that adding sit balls and bean bags in my classroom as well as tactile cloth squares has eliminated some of the behavior problems in my ADHD students who have refused meds and are not interested in suppements.

Most of my 'ED" labeled students have fewer outburst problems and when You look at what they're reacting to, I can often find ways around the problems with support of the staff while the problems are being addressed. I'm not saying my way is always correct; just that it's helped in my classroom.
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Old 11-21-05, 01:40 AM
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What's the difference between this and ADHD. This definitely seems like me. I seem to hear and see everything. I also have to touch everything that looks like it feels bumpy or "cool" I guess would be the word in my mind. I can't stand museums because I can't seem to keep from trying to touch everything. But I ABSOLUTELY hate other feelings. Like some blankets drive me crazy. Too many different noises definitely make me very uncomfortable. I also can't stand people touching me unless it's like a hard touch (like a tight hug from a parent or something). Anyways, I've heard of a lot of this stuff in ADHD too, so what's the difference? Thanks!
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Old 12-03-05, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaycee
Get Your hands on a copy of The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz. It places SID in it's very basic day to day terms of what the behavior looks like by using real cases to illustrate it. It also has a good checklist developed the same way..
Also check out the book written by the same author called: The Out of Sync Child has Fun: Activities for kids with Sensory Integration Dysfuntion. You can find more info about this book here; among other highly recommended books:
http://suggested-reading-a-mind-inte....blogspot.com/
(I hope it's ok to post this).
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Old 02-12-07, 09:30 AM
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Can't SID Co-exist with AD/HD?
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Old 02-13-07, 05:58 AM
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Yes Bandie...SID can co-exist with ADHD...I suffer both of them!!!
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Old 02-13-07, 11:22 AM
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Could SID be considered a subset of ADHD symptoms that may benefit from specific treatment?

(Or is it something different?)
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Old 08-08-07, 08:31 AM
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Hello there Gidget,

I am currently doing research into SID, and just wanted to ask whether your child was diagnosed as having SID here in the Uk, since the last time I heard, SID wasn't recognised as a diagnosis. Any information would be of great help.
Many thanks,
Tascha
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Old 08-08-07, 07:13 PM
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I don't think SID is part of ADHD at all. I think that some people with adhd could have SID but I think it is possible to have SID without any other disorder at all. It's commonly diagnosed with adhd, NLD, and PDD's.

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Old 04-19-08, 09:04 AM
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Re: AH/HD and/or Sensory Integration Disorder

I seem to suffer from the hyperactivity/constant need for physical stimulation. I find it hard to relax sometimes. I often move when I am uncomfortable, and as soon as my anxiety comes down I am able to sit still. Hard to say if moving is just my way of dealing with being overwhelmed by a new situation. But I have been physically hyperactive since I can remember. Sometimes I seem underactive and incredibly bored too.

In times of major stress my speech goes, and I get aphasia, and have trouble with words.
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