Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

If any sense is inefficient, the integration process can be disrupted, and Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) – a term coined by A. Jean Ayres PhD – occurs.  However, because of the possibility of confusing it with the unrelated disorder Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), in the 1980s, those in the field informally began using the term DSI for dysfunction in sensory integration. Ayres Sensory Integration Ayres Sensory Integration® (ASI) is now trademarked, and includes the original theory, assessment, patterns of dysfunction, and intervention concepts, principles, and techniques articulated by Dr. Ayres and applied by therapists trained in this approach worldwide. Some of Dr. Ayres’ colleagues and students, headed by Susanne Smith Roley OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA and Zoe Mailloux, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, founded a new organization called The Collaborative for Leadership in Ayres Sensory Integration (CLASI). CLASI provides continuing education opportunities for mastering, applying and advancing knowledge in ASI theory and practice, culminating in a certificate of certification.  CLASI is a…

Parasites Can Cause Seemingly Unrelated Symptoms

Parasites Can Cause Seemingly Unrelated Symptoms

Parasites Can Cause Seemingly Unrelated Symptoms

It took me years to understand how my seemingly unrelated symptoms of dental, digestive and respiratory issues as well as obesity were all due to parasites. Blood in the Stool It’s really frightening to have blood in the stool, especially with a family history of colon cancer. At first, I thought it was remnants of beets, and a colonoscopy showed no abnormalities, not even a tiny polyp. I eliminated wheat and dairy. No change. As my symptoms gradually worsened, I made an appointment with Pittsburgh’s “best” gastrointestinal specialist.  Gastrointestinal Symptoms The candy in the waiting room and the intake with not one query about diet should have been fair warning. “Dr. GI” requested a stool test. “I did one two weeks ago with a top lab; the results will be back soon,” I said, expecting him to be impressed. “Why’d you do that, honey?” he asked kindly. “We have a great lab down the street.” I explained that mine could…

Undiagnosed Lyme Disease

Undiagnosed Lyme Disease

Undiagnosed Lyme Disease

Nika Hamblin relates her personal story of dealing with undiagnosed Lyme disease in this post. Many years ago, my husband and I were living in southern Germany. I became very ill with what doctors thought was a severe strain of flu. Mentally and physically, I haven’t been the same since because of these symptoms: Memory loss Mental fogginess Weight gain Intolerance to alcohol Weakness Joint achiness Complete inability to exercise Doctors kept telling me “if you’d just lose some weight….” Nobody wanted to listen to the fact that I gained a lot of weight BECAUSE I was sick. Five years later, my internist sent me to Johns Hopkins. Diagnoses: chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH); I later discovered that some patients diagnosed with CFS in actuality have Lyme disease.  Both Sons Have Multiple Diagnoses While still sick, I gave birth to my first son, Spencer, who was born five weeks prematurely for no known reason. When it…

Learning-Related Vision Problems

Learning-Related Vision Problems

Learning-Related Vision Problems

An estimated 25% of school-age children have vision problems affecting learning. Students can have difficulties in any of a number of areas. Maybe their two eyes don’t work together to track or focus. These and other problems can have a profound effect on how they learn. What Are Learning-Related Vision Problems?   Symptoms of vision problems include:  Eyes that are red or tear when stressed   Poor hand-eye coordination Avoidance of academics Decreased comprehension Slow reading/writing   Losing place Omitting words Skipping lines Confusion of similar words    Discomfort Fatigue Headaches Short attention span when doing schoolwork Vision Problems and/or Disabilities?   Because vision and learning are intimately connected, vision problems can be easily mistaken for learning or attention problems. Undetected and untreated vision problems can elicit some of the very same signs and symptoms commonly attributed to: ADD ADHD Learning disabilities Dyslexia Impulsivity Hyperactivity Distractibility Poor reading Trouble learning math Illegible handwriting In some instances these conditions co-exist and treating one aspect of the…

Lyme Disease in Children

Lyme Disease in Children

Lyme Disease in Children

by Maria Rickert Hong, CHHC, AADP This article addresses the symptoms, causes, testing and standard and alternative treatments of Lyme disease in children. If your child has sudden and continued uncharacteristic behaviors, outbursts and mood swings, you may want to suspect Lyme disease. If your child has a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, OCD, ODD, Sensory Processing Disorder or mood disorders, you may also want to rule out Lyme. Many of these disorders have symptoms that are co-morbid with Lyme disease. Just because you live in an area that’s not “Lyme central” (Connecticut and the northeast United States), don’t think that Lyme disease isn’t possible. People, pets and ticks travel and carry the disease with them. The disease can also be spread by other insects such as fleas, mosquitoes, mites and spiders. Symptoms of Chronic Lyme Disease in Children Following are common symptoms of chronic Lyme disease in children: Fatigue Sleeping problems Headaches Nausea Abdominal pain Impaired concentration Poor short-term memory…

Rule Out a True Allergy

Rule Out a True Allergy

Rule Out a True Allergy

IgE Response:  A True Allergy A true allergy is defined as specific immediate reactions such as hives, congestion or swelling involving an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). Traditional scratch testing identifies IgE triggers, such as pollen, peanuts, or strawberries that can cause symptoms ranging from annoying to lethal. IgG Response:  Intolerance or Sensitivity A second type of reaction is an Immunoglobulin G (IgG) response, which is sometimes called “intolerance” or “sensitivity” rather than a true allergy because it can be delayed and is not usually life-threatening. IgG symptoms are cumulative in nature, and can appear as symptoms such as: Chronic skin problems such as eczema and thrush Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and constipation Behavioral reactions such as mood swings and hyperactivity Headaches ELISA Method for True Allergy Testing An extremely helpful test that many health care professionals order for those with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder is the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, known as ELISA….

Acid Reflux in Children

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) is a diagnosis I am encountering in my practice with increased frequency. Yet, little is written about it. Frequent vomiting is the most obvious indicator, but other symptoms of acid reflux in children include: Irritability (from esophageal pain during or after eating) Poor sleep Food intolerance Refusing foods (or oral intolerance) Difficulty swallowing Gagging, choking (especially with liquids) Sour breath What Is Reflux? Although many babies spit up, are irritable, and sleep poorly, GERD is present only when symptoms persist and become severe. The stomach contents consistently back up into the esophagus, and the acid and food combination can burp up the back of the throat or be projected through the mouth or nose. Most professionals believe that an improperly functioning sphincter valve at the top of the stomach is the cause of GERD. The valve pops open too easily when the child consumes an irritant, overeats or just bends…

Why Is My Child Always Sick?

by Kelly Dorfman. MS, LND My daughter’s friend came to spend the weekend. Afterwards, she told her mom she wanted to take vitamins like Tory because, “she never gets sick” and she wondered, “Why is my child always sick”? In truth, our family rarely gets what is “going around” because we have an effective natural medicine cabinet. At first sign of illness, we reach for immune support. In low verbal children, the first signs of illness can be hard to recognize. Sudden changes in behavior (increased aggression or self injurious behavior) are often the initial and sometimes only symptom of sickness or allergies. Nervous system regulation trouble can distort the expected symptoms of bacteria and virus infestations, such as fever or fatigue. If a patient in a nursing home suddenly becomes aggressive, the staff know immediately to look for a urinary tract infection. The behavior, not pain or fever, is the tip-off. Yeast symptoms also signal pending illness. Remember, yeast…

Neurological Symptoms

The following symptoms indicate that a child may be impacted neurologically. Gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation commonly result in neurological symptoms. Many of these neurological symptoms are common to children on the autism spectrum; however, they can also be displayed by children who do not have autism, but who are affected by the same environmental and biological factors as children with ASD. Children who display the following symptoms should be evaluated for underlying gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation by an integrative pediatrician or holistic practitioner. Persistent toe-walking (always walking on tip-toes) Delays in crawling, walking, talking Large motor delays–difficulties completing age-appropriate physical tasks Sideways glancing Sensory defensiveness or sensory-seeking behavior Pressure-seeking behavior Obsessive or compulsive type behaviors Persistent aggressive behavior Persistent non-compliant or oppositional behavior Tics (verbal or physical) Frequent temper tantrums (multiple times a day) Frequent crying, sadness, anger (multiple times a day) Learn more about “soft signs” and symptoms.

Where Do I Begin?

Where do I begin? Should I start with my being pregnant and working at a stressful job in New York City? Maybe I should first write about my family history of celiac and not knowing that having undiagnosed celiac/gluten intolerance can have major consequences to your unborn child. Maybe I should begin with my son’s delivery. I describe the aftermath as being a crime scene, (sorry for the visual). Let’s just say it was the perfect storm of two injections of an epidural, lots of pitocin and a forceps delivery. The Crying Began As soon as our bundle of joy came home…the crying began. The doctor diagnosed him with having an awful case of colic, the worst she had ever seen. He was prescribed a cocktail of Maalox and Zantac for the first year and a half of his life. No other suggestion was made other than medicine and changing his formula. Throughout all of this I was trying to…