Friday, August 1, 2008

Sensory Processing Disorder

You can read about SPD in detail online here and here. But those are general explanations. For some, this means hyper sensitivity to their surroundings, but Carver has LOW registration. Here's what that means for our little boy:

Carver has difficulty processing and organizing what he's getting from his senses, but not just the 5 we all think of. These are the 3 senses that most relate to Carver.

Tactile is somewhat straight forward – relating to the sense of touch. Recommendations include vibrating toothbrushes, deep pressure activities, using puffs and loofahs in the bath, shaving cream, lotion, squeezing playdough, playing in the sandbox, with containers of dry beans/rice/pasta. This system has 3 majors kinds of difficulties – “tactile defensive” or oversensitivity, “tactile seeking” which crave touch input, and “poor tactile discrimination” which have difficulty with hand skills/fine motor. Carver fits into the 2nd two categories, which must be a possibility, as well.

The proprioceptive system is the input from sensations related to movement of the muscles and joints. It tells the body where the limbs are in relationship to each other without seeing them. So his movements are clumsy, stairs are difficult because he can’t see his hands, he doesn’t pull down on the back of his pants to take them off, he probably likes mouthing toys because he’s looking for more input than the rest of his body is supplying. Treatments include big physical activities, pushing and pulling heavy objects, hanging from a bar, jumping off things, climbing on parents and furniture, tug-a-war, blindfolding activities, etc…

The vestibular system is similar, but more about where we are in space – gravity and our surroundings. I see this in Carver in how he gets nervous up on the playground equipment, his clumsiness, poor bilateral motor skills (coordination between right and left sides of the body), high level of activity making it difficult to concentrate on a present task, poor auditory processing skills. Activities for treatment include swimming, gymnastics games, jumping, trampolines, swings, blanket “burritos,” rocking, rolling up and down a hill, bike riding on slopes and flats.

So there you go! We just love him to pieces, we have good days and bad days, but we are hopeful that we're headed in the right direction.

7 comments:

Wendy said...

How did you discover he had this? (I know it probably was a gradual thing but for lack of a better word.)

Rachael said...

Good question, Wendy! I added his "story" on the side. Hope that helps. :)

carlen said...

i know sometimes that blogging specifically about something that is a challenge can be difficult, but it can bless so many lives too!

as soon as ainsley received her speech diagnosis, i went home and GOOGLED "apraxia of speech" and i was thrilled most not by the websites that provided general descriptions, but by the MOMS who took the time to blog about their experiences and journeys and personal first-hand understanding of the condition--sharing how it has affected their lives and offering suggestions for other mothers!

so i know this will be a blessing not only for you and carver, but for other moms too!

(i saw your family is coming to the picnic! it will be fun to see you again!)

donna said...

You are so amazing to see the signs in him and then push the doctors to do something. Good for you! Carver was lucky to be sent you to and Derek. Our Heavenly Father must have big plans for your family!

Stacy Hatch said...

Sometimes, moms just know things. How great that you were able to keep asking and finally get him diagnosed. To me, knowing is half the battle. Once you know, then you can at least start to work on it. We have gone through the last 3 years full of therapy for Preston. Just a few months ago we found out he has very little fine motor skills in his hands. More therapy. I love all those who are willing to help. Sounds like Carver has a great start with you as a mom. I just love Carver!

Danielle said...

I found a miniature knee high tramp on craigslist and recently saw another, but its great for little kids because it is so low to the ground, i am debating on putting it in my garage in the winter. Just a thought, its big enough for all my kids at the same time but samll enough not to worry too much.

Alice Wills Gold said...

I think it is a great thing to blog about this. Not just for other people to be made aware but for you to have an outlet and for Carver to hava a really great record of his progress.