In the end, it is all just a LABEL.
Thursday was Ellie’s Sensory Evaluation by ECI and I believe that it went well. I am feeling more at ease with the situation and a plan has been formulated. I am still not entirely sure I am comfortable with the plan, but Andrew and I are willing to give it a go for a few months.
Our developmental therapist Jan was present for the evaluation, which I believe was a really to our benefit because she has known Ellie since she was 3 weeks-old and also because I TRUST her. I called her almost immediately after receiving Ellie’s SPD diagnosis at our Developmental Pediatrics appointment. J, an Occupational Therapist [OT] was also present for the eval.
|That's it with the photos! What are you? The mama-razzi??? I am escaping from this bench immediately.|
|I am going to frolic! Then I will search for. . .|
|...my Sophie Princess Puppy!|
I had to fill out a questionnaire and they also observed Ellie. There are pros and cons to this.
Ellie is in her own environment and is thus comfortable.
Jan has known Ellie for almost 2 years vs. Dr. F who has only known her for 2 hours.
Ellie is in her own environment and thus knows all of her toys. Therefore, she is less motor-driven and less oral seeking. After all, she knows what all of her toys taste like. It would have been better if she was observed in 2 different environments--i.e. home and a park.
So, what was the difference?
New environments = sensory overload or the-kid-in-the-candy-store
New things must be explored. For Ellie, that is oral exploration and tactile moving. She goes nuts pushing and crashing things everywhere. She must mouth everything and good luck removing the objects from her mouth without getting bitten or potentially dislodging one of her teeth. I will also point out that this has become an issue in speech therapy. In speech therapy, we have to place her in a high chair to complete the tasks. She mouths everything, BUT she is getting BETTER as she toys become more familiar.
- Ellie has sensory issues with regards to oral cravings. These issues do impact her activities if she is in an unfamiliar environment.
- Ellie’s motor activities and attention span seem to be typical of a toddler (just what I was thinking!).
- The label of Sensory Processing Disorder is NOT being applied to Ellie at this point :-) Yes, she has some serious sensory issues, but most of her behaviors are related to being a toddler as well as her global delays.
- Because Jan has extensive experience in sensory integration [SI], an OT will not be working with Ellie. Instead, we will be increasing our therapy visits with Jan.
Originally, I went into this eval hoping to get OT added to our ECI therapies. I even asked if we could add in OT, but I was told an OT was not necessary (eh, sort of like what they told me about Speech therapy). Perhaps this is true and perhaps I should be relieved she doesn’t need yet another specialist. It is just that I feel like we have so many issues to cram into one 45 minute visit. I am hoping that with the increased visits from Jan, all of these issues can be appropriately addressed.
|Of course the stacking rings must go for a walk.|
More Thoughts Leading Into Confusion:
I think her motor behavior is typical toddler with perhaps some hyper-activity at times like her mama. I also believe that she has huge oral sensory craving issues that are indeed impacting her ability to communicate, learn, and complete speech therapy. It is because of my last statement that it does indeed sound like she has SPD. After all, it is when these sensory issues impact learning, playing, communication that it becomes a disorder.
|Find what motivates your child. Sophie is the Great Puppy Paws Therapist in this household.|
How do I know who is right? A very specialized medical doctor who works only with children with behavioral issues and developmental delays or a social worker (Jan) and OT who solely help children around Ellie’s age work through these issues on a daily basis?
This is a prime example as to why I like to get 3rd opinions. You know, a tie-breaker of sorts. Next up, an ABA evaluation.
My Conclusion S/P 2nd Opinion:
So I guess my real conclusion is this: it really just comes down a LABEL.
Sensory issues vs. Sensory Disorder. Does it matter? No. Ellie is still Ellie and the therapies we will be doing with Ellie are the same sensory integration therapies anyway.