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Friday, March 13, 2009

Sensory Processing Disorder

So this is so far what we think Avery "has".  At her last evaluation for early intervention services in November (which are FREE by the way!), one of the evaluators mentioned this term-sensory processing disorder-after observing Avery for about 15 minutes.  We had never heard of it.  I love GOOGLE and I've done some reading on it -it seems to make the most sense right now as far as any labels for her issues.  Avery is more under-responsive and also a sensory "seeker".  She is not sensory defensive at all and this is a blessing-sensory defensiveness can be a real pain in the butt to deal with.  These are the kids who can't wear certain clothes, have tantrums from certain noises, don't like their hands or faces to be dirty and are just plain over sensitive to things that should not set them off.  Avery NEEDS stimulation and SEEKS it out.  Her muscles are weak and she is clumsy. When Avery was first seeing a PT back in 2007, the PT mentioned it being a sensory thing as a reason for why she wouldn't crawl.  Now it makes sense, she didn't like the way it felt to be on her hands and knees and therefore figured out a new way to move around (scooting on her butt).  Lots of kids with SPD have motor issues and low tone as infants like Avery did.  Lots of kids with SPD also have speech delays which is Avery's main hurdle these days.  She has some crappy behaviors that we think are all stemming from the fact that she can't yet verbalize what she wants to say (biting, hitting, scratching).  This makes it awfully hard to be around other kids her age or younger-they almost all say and do WAY more than she can do and it makes me so sad. That is by far the hardest part of all this-that and not knowing what to expect for her future.

We aren't sure if SPD is in fact the cause of her speech delays (or any of her delays for that matter) or if there is something else coming down the line for us.  She will be evaluated in May/June by Regional Center to rule out PDD-Pervasive Developmental Disorder and any ASD's-Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The great thing is she is responding so well to her therapists (well all except her pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist who I am not sure knows that pediatric = kids because she seems to have no love or joy in her heart for children!-we are getting a new one!) and making daily progress.  I get teary eyed seeing her do the little things that we may have otherwise taken for granted.  She colored with crayons for the first time 3 weeks ago.  I cried and clapped and laughed all at the same time.  She kicked a ball this past week, I got misty.  She fights us but she takes her shoes and socks off now and tries to get her pants down on her own. She certainly determined and confident (got that from my mom for sure) and we are so hopeful that one day in the near future we will look back and say "boy you caused us lots of gray hairs when you were little-but look at you now!"  Im pretty certain though, that no matter what the future holds for her, we will be saying that anyway!

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