My youngest Monkey was recently diagnosed with SPD (within the last month). His private schooled offered to all new parents the opportunity to have their child assessed by an OT for any reason. At the time I was unaware of SPD and I had chosen picky eater. (Monkey Shine is actually a restrictive eater. I consider it a good day if I can get protein in the child. He has a severe dairy allergy which creates limits as well. His foods consist of McD Chicken nuggets, crackers, pretzels, chips and elbow macaroni. I supply him with food enzymes, probiotics and vitamins. He use to drink soy on a continual basis but refuses any non-dairy milk now. He sticks with water.) After his assessment the OT contacted me and let me know that he has SPD. The OT visits him once per week at his school to work with him. …continue reading
Tate’s got some special interests. Or, well, fixations, really. One of his main “interests” is to watch things spin. In fact, he often watches spinning objects as a form of regulation. The spinning of a fan, or a stick, or a toy, or a wheel helps him calm down. I think some of it is sensory…and some of it is a true, unadulterated fixation on the “how” behind the action. How does it do that?! As Tate gets absorbed in his fixation, he calms down. He stops having a “flight or fight” reaction to the stimuli around him. His body loosens, relaxes. He doesn’t need to bang or crash into walls, tables, or climb on top of me or Hubz because he is regulating himself again.
After a while of staring into the fan, Tate can carry on a conversation. He often is able to produce spontaneous speech. He’ll ask a question. Or make a statement–all without prompting. To a lesser extent, we see regulation and improved communication when he is able to spin a toy or a stick in his hand. By stick, I mean any object that is straight. Sticks include, but are not limited to actual tree branches, markers, pencils, pens, straws, pinwheel handles, glowsticks, wands, scepters, hangers, Swiffer stick, etc. One time he used the leg from one of Jake’s action figures as a “stick”. If he’s feeling a need to stim, he will make it work. …continue reading