I have had such amazing feed back about our beginning journey with Sensory Processing Disorder. Over and over again parents say, “it’s like you are sitting in my living room writing this story about my child!”
I appreciate all of the support you’ve offered me with success stories from your grown kids, and those of you who have trusted me and reached out for support and advice about your own struggling child.
I thought I’d answer some of the top questions I’ve been asked about my son and our experience with SPD in a series of blog posts. Today’s question: Where do I start? How do I get a diagnosis?
So you read some things online (maybe even our blog posts) and see the behaviors of your child screaming back at you. Your mind races as you second guess your suspicions. The last thing you want is to “label” your child.
Let’s pause for a moment and talk a little about said “label.” Believe me, I worried and worried about this too. But honestly, kids label each other. Even subconsciously, teachers label. And what happens when someone else labels your child incorrectly? What happens if a lack of diagnosis leads to trouble in the class room? We all know trouble-makers have their own label. So, parent to parent, I decided I’d rather have an accurate label and then figure out the course of action to help my son. Don’t let a label scare you. It is what it is. We are here to advocate and fight for our children.
Now you just wonder, what do I do from here?
1. Double check. There is nothing as frustrating as going to talk to a doctor and having them dismiss you as if you have no clue as to the needs of your child. YOU are their parent for heaven’s sake! Trust your instincts and use this AMAZING checklist by the SPD Foundation as back-up. Print it out and check it off.
2. Find out if you qualify for early intervention. It is possible if your child is young enough there are many resources right at your finger tips. Start with you pediatrician, often they can refer you to the right place. If you live in Utah, you can dial 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow. They have resources at their fingertips ready to help you. (Although between you and me I skipped No. 2 and went right to No. 3).
3. Contact an Occupational Therapist for an evaluation. We used Primary Children’s Outpatient Center. I just called them and asked for an evaluation with an OT. You will probably need a referral from your pediatrician, I did. But it totally depends on your insurance. No insurance? Many places offer a non-insurance discount, just ask!
I seriously wish you the very best. Leave a comment if you need more support or have other questions. You can also check our SPD page for more blog posts and additional resources.