sensory issue with my 8 year old?

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sensory issue with my 8 year old?

Postby dohertyab » Wed Nov 18, 2009 04:33 pm

Hello everyone. I'm not sure what to do now or even where to start. I'm concerned there is some oral sensory issues with my oldest who's 8 but...



I am concerned that Tara may have some eating/oral issues. Here are the things that I’ve noticed:

She has a very sensitive gag reflex. I was giving her children’s acetaminophen (7.5mls) and it took her about 10 min to choke it down. This happens with any flavour of medicine. It also happens with other foods.

She is a very picky eater and has unusual and specific rules about what she can eat (won’t eat eggs, potatoes of any variety including French fries, bananas, or cheese unless it’s melted, likes salmon and tofu and any raw vegetable. Food also can’t touch each other and she needs to break everything up with her hands. She literally picks her food apart and eats tiny pieces. She will eat corn or peas one at a time.

She usually has something in her mouth – pencils, pens, hair, shirt sleeve and will suck on it. She also bites her fingernails.

She doesn’t like to pee so she reduced her fluid intake to approx. 300mls daily and no surprise she also ended up constipated. She says she can’t drink more. We’ve made a point of making her drink a small glass of, at this point, any fluid before breakfast and dinner and she really struggles with it.

I have added ground flax seed to her diet and one night when I was reading the label and mentioned it had 6g of fat she got concerned that she would get fat by eating it. She has mentioned concern about being fat many times even though she still isn’t on a growth chart for weight (she’s 42lbs).

I’ve always been told that no child with starve themselves and to not make food an issue but she will hurt herself. She will extremely limit her intake and the dehydration was affecting her behaviour, mood, headaches, constipation. I’ve found myself getting angry with her and saying just finish it and stop making an issue of it (not that this is effective) so I’m now reaching out to you ladies for some advice. Our family doctor says it’s just a phase, but I’m not so sure.

She was a 29 weeker and spent 11 weeks in the NICU. She was on a vent for 5 days, then CPAP and nasal prongs for the remaining 10 weeks and a feeding tube for the whole 11 weeks. However she came home wire and tubeless. She's had infant development assessments until age 5 and although she did 4 months of speech therapy for some sounds and once she figured it out all has been good. She’s never been a big eater. She has a very narrow mouth and will most likely need to have adult teeth pulled to allow the others to fit in her mouth.

Does this sound like a sensory issue? Any other thoughts? Any suggestions about how to deal with this or who I would contact for further info would be appreciated!
dohertyab
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Re : sensory issue with my 8 year old?

Postby kara » Wed Nov 18, 2009 06:01 pm

Andrea,

I think your concerns are completely valid and that she should be assessed. Typically sensory issues will not just appear though. Were there suspected sensory issues prior to the past few years? I'm not a doctor, but I think I'd ask for an Occupational Therapy Evaluation (which will look for sensory issues) and also a psychological evaluation. Sometimes OCD goes hand in hand with sensory issues. Kids will compromise and adapt to the sensory needs which will result in unusual behaviors. Either way, a discussion with the pedi would be warranted in my personal, non-doctor opinion. It's amazing the therapies, tools, exercises that are available. Pleasse keep us posted.
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Re : sensory issue with my 8 year old?

Postby season » Wed Nov 18, 2009 09:11 pm

The true quote is "no HEALTHY child will starve themselves." Your DD would no necessarily be considered healthy - as it does sound like she may (not a medical opinion) have sensory issues and as well, is a former preemie.

I would not add the ground flax unless she ups her liquid intake. Adding it could add to the constipation issues.

I would see if there is a doctor that will hear your concerns.
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Re : sensory issue with my 8 year old?

Postby raetay » Thu Nov 19, 2009 04:30 pm

I definitely agree that an OT and psychological evaluation seem appropriate. My son has sensory issues, but he has had them from birth. I see them getting better, not worse. I'm also concerned that she's worried about her weight at such a young age.
Anyway, good luck figuring it out!
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