Recognizing Sensory Processing Differences: Guest Post by Jonathan Evans

I regularly receive comments from parents expressing appreciation for the respectful parenting approach I share on my blog (Magda Gerber’s RIE approach). Occasionally, these same parents will then assert that this could not possibly work for their child with high needs or special needs, for any number of reasons. Over the years, I have consulted with many experts on the subject of RIE and children with special needs, and the majority refute that belief.

Dr. Jonathan Evans is one such specialist, and he generously offered to share his insights in this guest post about a subject “dear to his heart”: behavioral and learning difficulties in children and sensory processing:

What Parents Need to Know About Sensory Processing and SPD  

Sensitive observation is a central element of infant expert Magda Gerber’s RIE philosophy. When we practice the RIE principles and are present for our child, our sensitive observation often enables us to better understand what is going on for them, and parenting is extremely rewarding both for child and parent.

However, even in a perfect world where we are completely present and available for our child, there will be moments when we simply don’t understand why they are behaving or reacting a certain way. If these moments become more frequent, then we may find ourselves putting a label on our child’s behaviour. For example, “they’re colicky” or “they are teething”.

Sometimes this is 100% correct. Often, however, we simply don’t know. As our babies turn into toddlers, these difficult moments can multiply. If they start to join up, then we may start to describe them as behaviour issues. If things get really difficult, then our child may be described as being on the ‘spectrum’ or his behaviour may have other labels attached such as Aspergers or ADHD or SPD.

This is a subject very dear to my heart because not only do I specialize in the treatment of children and babies, but my 7 year old Makani has sensory processing disorder (SPD).  It’s all quiet in my house now as both my boys are in bed, but half an hour ago it was chaos – it was the nightly ‘teeth cleaning’ routine for my two boys, and unfortunately we had run out of their toothpaste so it had to be the adult brand.

First my 4 year old, on goes the adult toothpaste. A little bit of a registering from him that it tastes a bit different, but all good and off he goes to mum for a story. Next, my 7 year old. First, a calm explanation of the situation from me as he doesn’t handle surprises well. Then the toothpaste, and as soon as he tastes it things get difficult – tantrum, shouting, feet stamping, spitting out of the toothpaste and general refusal to co-operate in any way. It’s not fun, and I want to shout back at him. I manage to stay calm. I back off and we sit down in the bathroom to discuss the issue, his view, my view etc.

In the end we manage to compromise over a reduction in length of the teeth cleaning for tonight, along with the promise of his usual toothpaste tomorrow and the lining up along the sink of what seems like every vessel in the house that is capable of carrying water. We go at it again, and after an eternity involving all the water vessels and much rinsing and complaining, we are done!

So what have we got here? A naughty child and a good child? An indulged, spoiled 1st born and a meek 2nd child?  These types of questions and the behaviour that prompts them is what I talk to parents about every day that I’m in clinic.

“What is going on inside your child’s head when they are being difficult?”

Sometimes the answer is obvious – hunger, fatigue — but let’s look at a model that will shed light on the behaviours that we can’t explain.

The Sensory Processing Model

input, processing, output - software system

The understanding behind all human and animal behaviour is stimulus and response. There are the 5 senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste) and a sixth, the balance mechanism (vestibular system).

  • We use our senses to gather information about our world
  • We send this information to the brain where it is processed
  • The brain then tells us what action we should take in response

Simple and predictable? Unfortunately not, as everyone processes the same stimuli slightly differently, and this is why we see different responses to the same event. This is true in adults and especially so in children whose brains are still developing.

The term sensory processing disorder (SPD) is used to describe a child who has difficulty processing ‘sensory information’. However, all children will experience situations where they can’t process the information that their brains are receiving. It is only the frequency and severity of these situations that separate these children from those with an ‘official’ SPD diagnosis.

Relevance for you as a parent

Let’s go back to my boy Makani. Taste is not his only Kryptonite. He also has an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), and we see difficulties in the other senses as well. If I was unaware of these sensory processing difficulties, then I would consider him very defiant, which would probably have led to one of two parenting options:

1)    Increase the discipline to combat the defiance

2)    Give in and let him do whatever wants

3)    A combination of both

None of these methods is addressing what is going on and, in fact, make matters worse. The third option is disastrous. We see this played out when a Dad (it’s usually Dad) enforces discipline for what he sees as an unruly child, and then Mum tries to dilute the discipline as she senses her connection with her child being permanently broken.

All three of these options create immense stress for the child which hugely influences the brain.

Stress and the Fight/Flight Response

If a child encounters a stimulus that he can’t process easily, how will he respond? In one of two ways: fight or flight. This fight/flight response is hard-wired in humans. In children we will see:

  • Fight – tantrums, shouting, crying, refusal to do something etc.
  • Flight – withdrawal – stopping of movement and hunkering down, avoidance of eye contact, refusing to speak or answer, refusal to do or go somewhere (by peaceful means as opposed to the defiance seen in flight response).

What is vital to know is that a little bit of stress = improved brain performance. A lot of stress and/or continued stress = poorer brain performance. This means that if a child is stressed by a stimulus and isn’t supported appropriately through that situation, then they are likely to get more stressed and less able to handle the next stimulus. Now and then isn’t a problem, but on a continuing basis this can lead to serious problems for that child.


If the overloading stimuli keep coming, then it is 100% certain that the child will adapt his behaviour in expectation of the next unwelcome stimulus. How does an intelligent child do this? He does it by controlling his environment. Can he control it 100%? Of course not, but he gives it his best shot anyway. This is when we start to see some of the following:

  • Continual movement and activity: flitting from one activity to the next, never stopping for one second. The child is trying to fill his brain 100% so that there is no room left for other unwelcome information. If the child initiates the stimulus, then he is in control of it, and it isn’t overwhelming. This is what is generally diagnosed as ADD or ADHD.
  • Ordering and making lists: whether it is dinosaurs, pencils or your desk (if you are an adult), excessive ordering and tidying is a way to control our environment, to block out stimuli and attempt to prevent future change. Diagnosis for this is OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Defiance: if I just say ‘no’ to everything, less will happen that is outside of my control. How do we diagnose this behaviour in children? We call it ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder).
  • Talking loudly, making lots of noise, shouting, continually interrupting and asking questions. A child who exhibits this behaviour to an extreme is probably trying to drown out noise so they only have to process their own noise. With the interruptions and questions, they are pausing the flow of information to their ears in order to give themselves a chance to catch up and process what has been said. This is a classic APD (Auditory Processing Disorder) trait. I know I have done this myself all through my life, and I only realised it in my 30’s when I started working in this field! (Apologies to past girlfriends for all those arguments in the car when you were giving me directions and I got us lost and blamed you!)
  • ‘Perfect’ behaviour when away from the home and/or when away from parents; poor behaviour at home. This often occurs with kids that have very high levels of stress. They often shut down and go inward when they are out of the home as a defence mechanism, but then they can blow up when they are at home. This is because home is actually the only place they feel safe enough to express their bottled up feelings. Very common is to see school reporting a model child (i.e. one that doesn’t cause any trouble or disruption or says nothing much at all), and this leaves the parent a  bit confused as this isn’t the picture at home at all.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

So I have a son with APD, and I have APD. Coincidence? Of course it is. He had a difficult birth, and I was hit on the ear by a cricket ball when I was four. Anyway, this is what I’d like to believe, and definitely those two incidents have affected our ability to process. However, having worked in this field for a while now, I have seen far too many ‘coincidences’.

I mention this because it is very important for parenting. If you or your partner have a similar ‘processing issue’, then both parties are probably creating a lot of stress for each other and winding each other up until one or both explodes. This is a negative downward spiral that must be addressed. Now, it is also likely that if a parent has reached adulthood without realising they have a processing issue, then they are usually very reluctant to look at that. So please don’t bash your partner over the head with an accusation and lay all the problems at their door!

So what can we do about this?

1)    Make sure you or your partner aren’t making the problem worse. Do you have processing difficulties or relationship issues that are creating a spiral of behaviour within the family?

2)    Now that you know what triggers difficult behaviour, look to identify specific stressful stimuli. Avoid or reduce them wherever possible. If you need more details, Google SPD and APD, and you will find lists of triggers.

3)    Time is your friend. The more time your child gets to process, the less stressed they will be and the more able they are to deal with a situation. So, if they have auditory issues and you are in a noisy shopping complex and you are rushing them, then you’re either going to get a ‘blow up’ or they will withdraw and bottle that stress. It will come out at a later time.

4)    Growing up is also your friend – as a child gets older his brain matures and he is far more capable of dealing with the sensory information that he struggled with a few years earlier. This is usually seen from five to six years upwards. However, if stress levels for the child have been very high, then it will take further years of supportive work to see these improvements.

5)    Appropriate classical music can be very beneficial. This is a topic in itself, and is the basis of the Integrated Listening Systems, a home program for APD & SPD.

6)     Osteopathy and other hands on therapies. Cranial osteopathy is an excellent modality for treating the cranial bones and birth trauma. For most people birth is the most traumatic event that their body will encounter, and this will influence the cranial bones which can in turn influence the brain and its ability to process, especially under stress.


Dr. Jonathan Evans is an osteopathic doctor that specializes in children and children’s development and the founder of Kindred Academy. If you wish to read more of his articles on children and children’s health visit his website: 

Please note: extreme cases of any of the conditions described should be diagnosed by a specialist.

Jonathan welcomes your comments and “will do his best” to reply to your questions!

(Photo by Luke Wisely on Flickr)


Please share your comments and questions. I read them all and respond to as many as time will allow.

  1. Hello.
    Since my son has been two we’ve been having emulations done on him because of his behavior. No doctors seem to see what I do. But, before I go further, at age one and half my son was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. He unfortunately lost his right eye because the tumor was too large to treat and starting to “seed” . No cancer cells got out of the eye wall and he never needed treatment and he’s now four and a half and cancer free. However, he’s always exhibited odd behavior. If he’s especially he will look to get our attention and curse and hit..he knows this drives us mad. He is an only child and has NEVER been around any children. UNTIL NOW he’s in prek and its for about three hours three days a week. He does well but he doesn’t play with anyone..he smiles and will give one word answers but he can’t communicate with these kids. He’s extremely smart, learned to read at two and is always around adults. He seems very hyper and when he plays by himself he talks out loud while he plays jsut spitting out words that he has heard and not making much sense. Yet, other times he takes the doll and says “he’s going to the store” and he drives him in the car and pretends to go to the store. However he never plays pretend really either..he doesn’t pretend to be someone else. I worry of autism. A few doctors that saw him for an hour didn’t think so but I do. Or I’m not sure I should say. Maybe not. Maybe it’s from the sensory issues from losing the eye? I’m at a loss and need help..thank you so much.

    1. So sorry to hear about him losing an eye. I know that must be hard fir him. What you explained is exactly what my now 3 yr old is doing. He also could read at 2 yrs old. I noticed that he talks extremely loud when we go in public places. Did you ever find out if he has SPD?

  2. Hi,
    I really need help with my 3yr old son. He is really sweet but has always been high maintenance. He has a 1 yr old brother who is active but typical. My 3 yr old has extreme separation anxiety, needs monumental amounts of attention (and if he doesnt get it behaviors follow). He is extremely hyper and seems to have delayed responses to questions and directions. I have to repeat 5 times and then sometimes still have to touch him gently or make eye contact. He also repeats himself constantly or wants me to repeat consistently (for example: answering his question the same way 5 times or rephrasing his question into my answer.) I try to stay patient but then when I cant take it anymore I lose my patience and my calm and am too firm! So I feel like I alternate btwn two parenting styles and am confusing him! My spouse doesnt understand him at all and thinks I am spoiling/too soft with him. I need help!

    1. He also doesnt sleep well at all ever!

    2. This is exactly what I’m dealing with, with my 6 yr old! He also only seems to communicate at one volume level…ALL THE WAY LOUD…no matter how many times he is reminded about his inside voice or the fact that we can hear him just fine and we are listening to him. I’m so stressed out and frustrated cuz I can’t seem to help him figure this out. Help!

      1. My son seems to only have one volume which is loud, when anything surprising happens he will scream even louder if it’s good, bad, whatever, it has improved a little since his speech has improved and he does understand what being quiet is but his go too level is loud, big screams, shouting Mummy continuously even if he doesn’t need anything, he will scream in other children’s faces when frustrated (granted they might have done something to him but still) its like he genuinely thinks loud is the normal level for everything, he is a happy, very friendly, bright, engaged little man popular with his peers, empathetic, cuddly and enjoying stories if they are able to hold his attention through songs/voices actions ect, when he has a major meltdown normally during a ten day period of increased bad behaviour with culmivates in an eventual big meltdown and then behaviour improves significantly the days afterwards for normally good few weeks or more, he will pretend he is scared of me, fake shaking and backing away makjng whimpering noises (I rarely raise my voice let alone lay a finger on him?) scream, cry and create a massive drama particularly if he has an audience or actually weirdly a mirror where he can see his behaviour, any advice???

  3. What wonderful information! As an infant my son was sensitive to noise, easily distracted, overly alert, active, hard to fall asleep. I finally listened to my concerns and realized at age five he was a sensory seeking kiddo who’d always had lower motor skills, needed help and had him tested. He began speech, OT, play therapy and continues both. Now at eight, he’s diagnosed ADHD. I found it hard to see the signs laid out before me before getting professional help. I share this because if you have doubts listen to them and act. Get resources and be an advocate for your child to be their best. It’s a long road, but SO worth it.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. As an ardent follower of RIE, I have been practicing it with my 27 month old from the beginning. However, I’ve been consistently frustrated, feeling like it’s “not been working”. My son exhibits many, many behaviors of SPD, Asperger’s, ODD, ADHD… But is cognitively high-functioning. He was evaluated last month for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The whole month the psychologist was “50/50” but eventually came back deciding that my son is a “perfectly normal, neurotypical two-year-old” because of his cognitive and language abilities. This was very stressful and disappointing for my husband and I because we know this is simply not true and it makes us deeply sad to see how much our son struggles through every day. We desperately want to help him but don’t know how, and so we exhibit the exact parenting traits you spoke of. My husband and my.father both have many traits of my son, but my son is much “worse”. Would you mind advising, in your personal opinion, what we should so from here given the neurotypical diagnosis? Thank you again so much for this article. It gets tiring and worrisome to visit the RIE boards and Facebook groups and see how successful RIE is for other children, but not your own. You begin to doubt yourself and consider finding “harsher” approaches, it is true. I am thankful we have not followed through with that. Thank you.


  5. Help! My 3 year old has been completely different to my other three sons. All my friends and family say he is quite odd not in a horrible way but I know exactly what they mean. Since 8-10months old he has thrown tantrums for no reason at all which was constant in public with a lot of people around. As though he couldn’t handle being out of the house then at 13months old he began having meltdowns 20-60mins I would Hugh him, try destracting him… I tried everything but it was as though he was possessed! He would be tensing up fingers curled toes curled head back, scream/growling this would happen sometimes all day with 10mins of him being normally behaved. He can’t acknowledge your there with these meltdowns and they are over nothing 90% of the time the other 10% because he can’t get his own way. He worries me sick. He had a unknown fit February this year I was screaming in hysterics he was asleep the next thing he was fitting doctors checked him over ran loads of test and no know reason for fit?? He laughs and giggles but you can see it’s always delayed and it seems so put on the same if I tickle him he stands staring then puts on this har har… I don’t expect to much from my children but I’m 100% something is not right with my 3year old. He can’t concentrate on anything at all ever. The only time he’s still is if he’s on the toilet or falling to sleep or asleep. When people come to my house he is so hyper he starts swearing on repeat which he don’t do any other time, he literally bounces off the walls and floor and what would hurt me or any of my other children just don’t bother him. He squeals at high pitch and is overally affectionate with strangers wanting hugs and kisses. He don’t look at you but seems to look through you or as though he’s reading writing on your face. I’m getting the blame for this as social services have got involved and taking me to court to remove all children as my three year olds behaviour is uncontrollable infront of social workers etc. To be honest everyday I’m absolutely exhausted with repeating what he says else he goes on a huge meltdown, physically picking him up off furniture because he does flips off them and just don’t feel pain. He can’t stand the texture of fish or meat he physically heaves. He is constantly demanding crisps and chocolate from the moment his eyes open until he falls to sleep. He’s always been fed healthy meals but they have always made him heave. He practically lives on chips, pasta, mash potatoes, baked beans, bread, chocolate cereal, crisps and chocolate. That’s all he will eat. He is so very very clumsy but I am too. He can fall over just standing. He runs into the walls and doors bounces off them onto his bum. He’s always banging his toes but as am I. His eyes have been tested and are said to be fine. He is such a beautiful loving boy who I love with all my heart but what a awful thing for me his mum to be saying, I would change his hyperactivity and showing off as he endangers himself and I have 100 near heart stopping moments with him every day. Also he sleeps with his eyes open. Can anyone help me? I have done ‘positive years parenting course’ and since last year when I began using it consistently behaviour is spiralling out of control but social services have said if I stop using the parenting course then that’s not acceptable…. help a desperate mother

    1. My daughter (4) is the exact same. She has been on fire since birth. Always making noise, talking excessively and very loud, even when right beside you. Her behaviour is explosive. It’s like walking around just waiting for her next explosion. She’s great when outside, but indoors she’s in need of a lot of stimulus. Eats and sleeps well, but wakes early, almost every single day. I never know what to think or how to speak straight most times because she’s losing the plot and scrambling my brain. No one seems to want to help me. Apparently it’s harder to get help for girls and I believe it more as each year passes it’s becoming more disconnected and messed up.

  6. The other thing, he’s obsessed with cars no one can touch his cars he has them lined up on his quilt when he sleeps. He always has cars in his pockets or hands. He’s particularly obsessed with black cars. If another child tries to touch his cars he screams or physically attacks

  7. My 13 yrs old son has been diagnosed as Borderline ASD(Asperger), ADHD, is OCD and ODD, everything you’ve written on this page fits him 100 % , except he had to be pulled out of public school 3 yrs ago from his behavior, and the school resulted to isolate him in the office closet, no P.E., Music, Lunch, Recess, Library, strictly isolating. He has to constantly have at least 2-3 things going at once. He says he hates his family members, everything is my fault, I’m dumb and don’t understand anything.I live in Tennessee and there are not any options that I know of. I want and need to help him. He is never on the same sleep routine, preferring nights over days. Can’t be in any room in the house alone and/or without me.Can’t eat any foods without a utensil, and you have to wash your hands and everything before you prepare it, and no one else can prepare it, and he won’t do anything for himself.Please Help Me. (931)837-2133

    1. HElyssa also has to have wipes for everything, his tablet,remotes,chair,table,bed,the door handles, his toys, the toilet, a new hand towel every single time he washes his hands, which is 50x a day.

      1. HE fears to be alone,can’t be without me ever!No one else other than me can cook for him. He will not eat leftovers, or food if he thinks someone breathed on it.

        1. HE does not play well with others.Is aggressive, physical,demanding,loud, rude,and selfish.Has never been able to communicate well with anyone.Has been willing/able to say hello when prompted,and very rarely says he cares for or loves us.I am a single mother, and he has gotten dominant since my father passed over a yr ago.

          1. HE also hates huge and kisses, since he was 1 yrs old.His physical is hitting,punching,stabbing,squeezing, kicking,anything that inflicts pain, or a negative response.Then he laughs and is excited.
            He mentioned when he was 7 yrs old that voices in his head tell him to do bad things, but he don’t want to.
            He also almost beat a kitten to death when he was 7.
            He says he hates kids because they are dumb, touch his stuff, and don’t shut up.
            He yells, and curses every day.
            When he was 3 he endured frontal-lobe damage
            and was held overnight in the hospital.

            1. Kate Kunz says:

              Hi. . How old is this post? I don’t see a date but I’m very concerned for your son and your family. These are very concerning things you’re saying he does or has done and he needs professional help. Beating a kitten almost to death is something almost all serial killers did as kids. If he hears voices, he probably has schizophrenia. Its rare in children but it happens. He can be helped. Please get him help.

              1. I agree with Kate.
                The kitten thing is a huge red marker I ca imagine this will be very painful as a parent yi hear

            2. Hey Nicole,
              I don’t know how long ago your son was diagnosed with all of his Diagnoses, but sounds like he needs inpatient psychiatric assistance. Where he can do 1 on1 sessions daily talk about his feelings. If he is schizophrenic he can be put on the proper medication that will work for him. Unfortunately ODD does not go away and if he is schizophrenic he is at a higher risk of hurting himself and his family. He needs continuous therapy and help him understand his feeling and emotions and strategies to help him work through all the negative input he is seeking. It can also help calm down his OCD. once again not get ride of it, but help decrease the intensity of it. Mental health is extremely important we can make the proper decisions without our mental health being properly balanced. At the age of 13 his emotions are only getting stronger because of puberty and the changes happening physically within his body as well. So I would definitely get on the fast tract for inpatient psychiatric help.

  8. He is intelligence, and was always finished his work, and tests before the entire class, as well as A/B honor roll.
    He refuses to be told what to do. Will beat you if you try to force him.

    1. Sandra Flechas says:

      Have you looked into PANDAS as a possibility?

  9. I don’t know if this is related or not, my sister has a 20 years old girl, non verbal. She usually is very happy and nice. She tends to hug people even strangers a lot. Recently when she goes to somewhere she likes e.g dance lesson, friend’s house, etc. she wont leave. She sits and does not listen at all. If you want to take her hand and force her she would not listen at all. She just doesnt move at all. This has become very difficult for the parents. What can we do?

    1. It’s common for toddlers to exert their will that way, or sometimes they just get stuck because transitioning from one activity to the next is difficult for them. I would calmly and kindly pick her up and help her to leave when she’s unable to do it on her own.

      1. Janet ….how on earth are you going to “calmly and kindly pick up” a grown 20 year old woman and “help her to leave when she’s unable to do it on her own”?
        That’s ridiculous!

  10. Hillary Jones says:

    Do you have other articles that I could read? I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dr. Evans article. I have a bright, happy and oh so very loud, very active three year old boy (in comparison to other toddlers he comes in contact with). He has no problem having a tantrum or meltdown either. I have also noticed in myself in recent years that I am “sensitive” to auditory stimuli and become agitated as my response to the auditory stimuli. I would really be interested in reading more about the connection between birth and SPD. My three year old son was an emergency inducement due to oligohydraminos (dangerously low amniotic fluid). He came into the world via myself pushing and the use of the vaccuum suction as he needed assistance coming out of the birth canal. The vacuum suction was apparent as his head was briefly shaped by the pressure of the suction. I wanted to know if that would be similar to what was mentioned in the article’s 6th bullet point.

  11. Marcia Walker says:

    Thank you so much for this article. My 2.5 year old son has SPD (auditory) and the diagnosis has been a relief actually. We now have tools we can use, and things to watch out for and since we are better educated about him, he is so much happier and more relaxed. What I love so much about this article is the honesty in this sentence “If you or your partner have a similar ‘processing issue’, then both parties are probably creating a lot of stress for each other and winding each other up until one or both explodes. ” I think DH and I both have some level of SPD and parenting twins (both with colic and reflux, one with undiagnosed SPD) has been intensely tough on us. We most certainly are not always winning. There have been some very explosive, sleep deprived moments. Deep down I have always known what you are saying here, and I have never read anything that confronts it head on, as this article does. Thank you. It’s making me more determined to practice RIE not just with my children, but with my husband too.

  12. Cheryll Waldrop says:

    Could APD be behind my toddler’s behavior, or is it simply stubbornness or seeking attention. If there is something she wants to watch on the television, she will quietly enjoy it, but if anyone attempts to watch or listen to something that she is not interested in, she will stay close to that person and babble constantly, drowning out what they are trying to listen to. If the video or audio is paused, the babbling immediately stops. I say babbling, because she is much more coherent at other times, and if we stop the noise and offer to communicate with her, she refuses. It seems that she does not want to communicate at those times, only to keep us from listening to what we need/want to hear. Watching or listening to the news is impossible when she is present, as well as any attempts from my teenager to watch educational material for school. Yet, at times my toddler will sit happily through “adult” programming like nature or science documentaries, or full movies. It all seems to hinge on whether or not she is interested in the subject. If she isn’t, we aren’t allowed to be either. It feels like we have a little dictator controlling the flow of information in our household, and it particularly drives my husband crazy, who has tinnitus and chronic pain, as she is often denying him any form of escape from his symptoms.

  13. Hi

    My son has seen phycologist who mentioned over and under sensory disorder. We also have a methylation pathway defect gene in the family and my nephew has Autisum. Was no sign to us when my nephew was young..

    Anyway when he was born he screamed constantly waking constantly all night . Tried different formula milk and then went to a gp who said to try lactose free milk..

    Nutramigen titally different baby stopped screaming still a bit fidgety at times and woke but the screaming and legs coming up stopped he also was gluten free as the go said with my problems maybe I should be careful with gluten…

    So I did was happy baby but when weaning if did have gluten maybe dairy aswell I could tell straight away

    He had a thing about flicking anything long leafs, ears, anything you could flick… and wouldn’t stop jumping if anyone held him constantly jump ..

    As got bigger he was fussy but was eating breakfast lunch dinner and snacks and healthy and very sedative to sugar so didn’t hardly have any!! It very hyper ..

    Nursery noticed he had big delays and then I was told my gp yo stop gluten free diet

    He was more distant, sad, wouldn’t go to sleep at 8 and fidgeting rolling round, constipated wanted sugar foods , started scratching in new class really badly never had before, throwing toys all sorts… he would be hyper or slow ..

    He don’t like sound of hoover, fan in. Bathroom hand blowers or hairdryer .. but latest one is if I drink next to him or eat points towards the door even hit me said I’m angry .. ( he is such a lovely boy)

    All labels have to come out clothes, won’t wear certain clothes, don’t like getting tiny bit wet, running in garden for ages even when sweating not wanting take coat off .dont like bath has to be more or less like warm , hard to get jomhave a bath, speech delay, not answering me .. trying to dominate , no fear or scared and clingy

    So I have gone back to trying gluten free as it ended up him on laxatives and all these symptoms appear I understand it’s maybe a trigger

    Is very hard as fussy about eating any having gluten a tear has made him much more fussy so it’s hard to get him back he is suspicious about food or only has to be a certain brand and same one every time ..

    He get very into a certain toy which is batman obsessive

    Craves stimulation at times when tiered will jump run , wants tv and pc games , chocolate, spinning round

    Or he don’t want to do anything it’s muchvwirse when had bread he don’t want to eat only chocolate because it makes him tiered bloated think just wanting it for energy

    But if I don’t give him any when having bread he tiered , started at tv not wanting to go anywhere clingy just not like Jacob

    He dontblike change either

    So diet does seem to help not totally but enough to help his belly ..

    Not sure what it is going on but does sound like sensory processing disorder x
    Fast forward

  14. My granddaughter will be 4 May 5th and she does not communicate. All she does is scream but has never said a word. She had an MRI and they said her brain is fine. Now the screaming is getting worse and my son has no idea what to do. They live in Chapel Hill, NC and have seen doctors but no one has any answers. Any suggestions on what type of doctor we should be looking for. We live in California so we are not there to help. Thank you for yours or anyone’s input.

    1. Hi my son is 6 years old and his teachers have talked to me this would be the third time now that my son Is constantly making noises in class they ask him to quit down and he’s quit for a couple minutes and then he’s back at it again what is this and what should I do….

      1. Hi My kid is 6 years old at age of 3 he started to show obsession with numbers he’s very good at math and superseding his classmates. He used to repeat himself many times but all of that got better when he grows up. Right now we are facing issues at school since he’s getting physical with his class mates and every time he seems so factual by confessing that he made a mistake and apologizing but he does not seem to realize the consequences of his actions, he accepts punishments like it doesn’t bother him , also he faces difficulty to control his saliva, he plays with our neighbors kids with no issues he has a lovely sense of humor, he also can’t control his voice tune as he speaks very loud not minding the surroundings.

  15. Hello ,
    My son is 4 years old and just this past couple weeks I’ve noticed he is blinking more than usual I asked him if his eyes are hurting and itchy thinking maybe allergies. He has always made a humming nose when he eats and is concentrating on a task (eg. legos). I’m just wondering could these be symptoms of a processing issue and is it common for symptoms to show up a different times. Thank you for any help or information.

  16. What about OT to support sensory processing, attentional, and regulation challenges?

  17. Lisa Bova says:

    Hi everyone. Mother of a 6 year old girl diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder and Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder. We live in South Australia.

    The education setting has sparked behaviours that I have never actually seen. The educators call us nearly every day to pick her up from school, due to kicking and hurting other students. I was told originally, this was just one young boy. This boy had the same name as her father, who she is extremely close with.

    Now, I believe that there is too much sensory input for her brain to process, due to the social nature of the education setting. If I saw this behaviour myself, I could probably isolate the trigger, and offer a solution. We are told that the solution lies in Ritalin/stimulant medications.

    What a hugely controversial subject that this produces. I listened to the medical professionals and started the medication. Unfortunately, I was faced with opposition from her father. I stopped the medication, because I believe that gaining both parents content for a child is important.

    Later, a behavioural therapist talked him into trying it again. I was told exactly these words by the head of special education “Would you be umm ohh not sure about diabetic medication for a diabetic?” She was basically comparing this ideology with stimulants for a 6 year old.

    I dont think we can ever know the motivation and origins of psychiatric medication, because it is still in research. Especially in a 6 year old. I believe that the drug is unpredictable. Any thoughts?Theories, predictions, facts and documented research all seem to be pointing towards medications and drugs for children, as a first line approach, not a last one. I am so confused with the information on this subject, that I simply cannot make a decision.

    I can see pros and cons to both sides of medicating a child with stimulants. Therefore, I will leave this to the parent who makes the decision and sticks with it this time. No mind changing on this topic is important, because the medication should be consistent. Would love to hear peoples opinions and experiences with Ritalin or dexamphetimines and similar in 6 year olds.

  18. I have an 11 year old son with SPD. He’s had it since day 1 and I have always been very proactive in working with him on learning to control any issues he was having at the time. He still has issues with babies/little kids, clothes, food, and must have at least a 12-24 hour advance notice before we plan to do anything (such as going to the store), then he needs to know which stores we are going to (and I believe so he can regulate how he reacts to known stimulus in each store). He is home educated and very good with computers. He has many friends online, one being a year younger than he is with the same issues he has so they understand each other pretty well.

    I think this article was well written and I enjoy reading from the stand point of someone going through the same thing, and helping others with “hey this works, this doesn’t” from that stand point.

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