Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 3: Sensory Integration Disorder

I mentioned in my first post that my oldest daughter has a developmental issue known as Sensory Integration Disorder, or SID. I decided to explain it as best I can.

DeLaynie does not have SID as badly as many children. I don't know the full spectrum of the effects possible, but for DeLaynie, it means that certain frequencies of sound are too powerful, and others are not powerful enough. She was very difficult to startle as an infant. We have a hard time remembering that Ella is going to be easy to startle since she hears normally. (We didn't learn how to control our volume well with DeLaynie.) Because of this discrepancy, she learned to ignore the more powerful frequencies, and she simply doesn't hear the less powerful ones. She isn't deaf. The blender, for instance, falls into a range that she can hear very well, so it scares the tar out of her. A car without a muffler has a similar effect. Before she started therapy, we had to yell her name three or four times, in a very stern voice, in order to get her attention. She had to consciously decide to listen to us.

All of this caused her to fall behind in language skills. Right now she's about four months behind in vocabulary, and a little more behind in other areas affected by language, like ability to follow commands.

It also changes the way things feel to her. She didn't like Play-dough, sand, or most food. She likes hard food, like almost burned chicken nuggets and chips. Most healthy foods aren't crispy. From the time she was born she hated anything on her feet. She liked being swaddled, but kicked the blanket off of her feet. She never has minded a dirty diaper, though. Her feet are more sensitive than normal, and her diaper area is less sensitive.

Why? No one's exactly sure, but many doctors think that's related to a part of the inner ear. The therapy is going to sound crazy, but she listens to cd's with specific frequencies. These frequencies "work out" the inner ear and improve her "reception". Well, that's what I'm told. I'm not totally sure that all of this information is completely scientific, but it's working. Since starting this therapy, DeLaynie is conversing better, hearing better, talking way more, parroting language like she never has, and even play with play-dough. The other day, she ate a brownie! (It was made with pumpkin, so that makes it a veggie, right?)

Small victories win the war. Most of our victories our very small, but we're going to get there.


Anonymous said...

We have a daughter with SID as well as a son. My daughter is in therapy for hers also- mostly hers in centered in her mouth and as a result she will go days without eating AND drinking to the point where we have a standing order in the ER for IV fluids when necessary. She has always struggled with her hearing but I have always felt that it was due to the fact that she had fluids (never infections)in her ears for 75% of her life as a 2.5 yr old. Do you have resources talking about the hearing sensitivities and delays? I would love to bring that in with me to the OT and Speech Therapists when I go next week. Thanks for mentioning this on your blog, I think people really need to understand about this disorder a lot more so they can react and interact in appropriate ways. Thanks
alyssa at mayofamily dot com

reena said...

We have a son in early intervention speech language,occupationial therapy and physical. My 5 y/o has Asperger's,adhd,pdd-nos,sid also he has been in speeck therapy for 3 years now and he has language but uses it as need ,he's the exact way you describe your daughter but he is making progress ,we've come a longggg longggg way.