Developmental Diagnostic Results

Friday Adam and I got the results for the tests we had done for Ben at the Erikson Institute.

I did not go in with high hopes. I figured either way it was bad news. If he had serious problems, that would suck. And if he didn’t have serious problems and was just being uncooperative that would suck too.

He tested normally and sometimes above average for most of the categories, but he did have some problems in the areas of processing speed, multisensory processing, emotional and social responses. He had a bigger issue with behavioral outcomes of sensory processing.

He was diagnosed as “Sensory Seeking.”

In layman’s terms, he’s smart enough for his age, but the way he processes things on a sensory level is disorganized.

He seeks more intense sensation than the average kid. Instead of a hug in the morning, a wrestle would be preferable. He needs to experience the world through touch, or by sticking it in his mouth. We complained that he couldn’t follow the instructions like the other kids in soccer class so we had to pull him out. That instead of kicking the ball he would just lay on the ground in the middle of the court, the therapist said that a sensory seeking kid might do that because laying on the astroturf felt good. Not because they are being openly defiant.

It was a diagnosis that did not take me by surprise. It was first introduced to me by my friend Jennie, who is an occupational therapist in Asheville. After hearing all the stories she told me to do my research on it, and coincidentally suggested I go to the kid’s occupational therapist that ended up testing Ben a few weeks ago.

If you have been reading my blog, you might remember we had a behavioral therapist observe him in October. Her first thought, even before meeting him was that he was sensory sensitive.

The therapist at the Erikson Institute told us he’s nowhere near the worst case she’s seen, but that sensory seeking kids often have co-occuring ADHD. That scared me. Then she said the best thing Benjamin has going for him is great emotional support that he has from his parents. That scared me more.

In the end it was suggested Occupational Therapy and Child Parent Psychotherapy.

Occupational therapy works on his motor skills. They might put him in a swing and push him or throw a blanket over him and wrestle with him. Somehow these activities are suppose to help regulate his system. I’m interested to see how and if it really works.

Child Parent Psychotherapy involves playing with your child while a therapist is there. It helps him learn how to deal with his anxieties and emotions, how to learn words and actions that will hopefully help him to begin to live a more normal childhood.

We plan on doing both types of therapy.

Our ultimate goal is to get him ready for school in September. He’s smart enough to start school, but we don’t want him to be labelled as a bad kid, or uncooperative because he reacts to things differently and doesn’t have the words or skills to help himself.

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