Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)- anyone had experiences?


New Member
Gotta question, anyone else have a Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (sensory intergration disorder) kiddo? Curious to exchange info and experiences with you. difficult child/DS was tested and receives Occupational Therapist (OT) for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and want to know if Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) was mistakened for bipolar or PPD not otherwise specified and if so, were medications discontinued or changed?


New Member
My JK is diagnosed with ADHD and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). I question the ADHD but I feel the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is right on. JK does not fit the critera for bi-polar. His Occupational Therapist (OT) thinks the ADHD symptoms were actually a manifestation of the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), especially since his symptoms vary by the environment. We have stopped his ADHD medication and he is doing great!!!!!


My wee difficult child has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), and very blazenly so. They are also leaning towards a mood disorder with him at this point. medications did not help with sensory stuff, but they have helped with his agressive outburts that might come from sensory stuff. If that makes sense.


New Member
Yes, we've had SI issues here as well. I started my son in Occupational Therapist (OT) and even PT when he was 18 months old. If you'd like any information from us, please feel free to PM me. We don't do Occupational Therapist (OT) anymore because the issues have lessened (my son is 11) but we do lots of things at home like setting up a relaxation station (a small tent with- a bean bag, weighted vest, cd player (with- his cd's) and headphones, etc. A place where he wants to be to get away from it all and let his sensory system rest. We don't do timeout but we wouldn't need to anyway, he loves to go to his station.


Active Member
We haven't had Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) formally diagnosed because here it's not considered a separate disorder when kid has already been diagnosed with autism (as in our family). But it has been acknowledged as another aspect of the autism in our kids.

difficult child 1 - always HATED loud voices, would get really upset by anyone shouting. Very clingy as a young kid. But it wasn't an overall fear of loud things because thunder never bothered him. He also likes loud music!

easy child 2/difficult child 2 - not phobic as such, but obsessed with furry textures. She covered it well and would carry her teddy bear around (still sleeps with her teddy bear, as well as her boyfriend - really odd). She made clothes for herself which included a lot of fur fabric - a skirt, cuffs, collar - all out of fur fabric. She bought some cow-print fur fabric and made a special cover for her school folder. Of course, her folder was then too big to fit in her school bag, so she had to carry it everywhere, including to and from school. This meant she had to hug it to her chest. Since a number of other kids also carried their folders everywhere, it didn't seem odd. But hers was the only one covered in fur.

difficult child 3 - loves towelling. From infancy he had to have a towel with him. As a toddler until only a few years ago, he had to have a towel near him as a comforter. If stressed, tired or upset, he would ask for his towel. We still keep one in the car - if he wanted to sleep he would ask for a towel and use it as a pillow or blanket. I even made him a pillow case out of a towel. I made him some long, loose beach shorts to put on after a swim - he will change into his towel shorts after a swim so he has dry clothes on for the short drive (or walk) home. Then he will wear the towel shorts for the rest of the afternoon.
difficult child 3 also hates loud noises especially voices, but also doesn't mind thunder.

With all the kids, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) also shows up in food preferences. Once again, it's worst in difficult child 3. easy child 2/difficult child 2 doesn't like food with nut pieces because of the texture. I can't make biscuits with nuts, cake with nuts - nothing. difficult child 3 doesn't like anything with a creamy texture. He won't eat cake frosting or cream topping and will only eat the cakey bits. All the kids have strict preferences for certain brands of foods - I'm a good cook but if I can't make my cooking taste exactly like Brand X pasta sauce or mayonnaise, they won't eat it. Mind you, they DO eat my pasta and bread for preference. difficult child 3 insists on a certain variety of a certain brand of frozen fish fillets (which is becoming scarce and he is getting anxious about it) but he will also eat home-prepared fish fillets.

Once again with all the kids - certain clothes never get worn because they feel scratchy. Sometimes it's just the label; other times it's the seam and the way it's sewn. When we're making clothes for difficult child 3 we make them with French seams where possible. Sometimes it's the fabric - easy child 2/difficult child 2 is especially fussy about the feel of clothing. With the boys - getting them to change their clothes is tricky. They like to wear the same clothes day in and day out, I have to remind them to put them in the wash and change them. difficult child 1 has even got upset with me for raiding his room and washing his clothes and bedding, because I've taken the smell away. We're in the height of summer right now, and difficult child 3 is still insisting on wearing his favourite pyjamas - winter flannelette ones. Right now he's only wearing the pants because I have to repair the shirt (it's falling apart, as his clothes tend to do, considering the way he wears them).

Smells can be a problem. easy child 2/difficult child 2 gets upset if I wash her clothes with the boys' clothes. She says there is a faint smell she can detect. I do everything I can to deodorise the boys' clothes but she is incredibly fussy. Increasingly she's doing her own washing.

One positive thing coming out of this extreme fussiness - none of these kids is ever likely to take up smoking. They hate the smell of it so much.

What do we do? We try to keep their sensory experiences as broad as possible but accommodate their fussiness where they insist, because it helps them cope. We encourage them to try new foods and tastes but don't insist on them finishing anything they tried and dislike.

With difficult child 1 we worked on the premise that his sensory input is disordered - he experiences the world as if through a sensory kaleidoscope, fragmenting the experience and jumbling it up. He uses his fussiness as a way of minimising what he has to cope with. If he can cut back on the number and range of simultaneous sensory experiences it's easier for him to understand them.

Everything we do is aimed towards helping the kids learn to cope. Why serve food that t hey will refuse to eat? Why buy clothing that they will complain about wearing? If wearing a certain shirt is likely to upset them, then they're more likely to have behavioural problems as a result of their heightened state. Keeping them calm and happy where it's easy to do so makes our lives and theirs more productive in other areas. And as they're getting older they are getting more adventurous about trying new things. they're learning to cope better.



Active Member
My difficult child has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) which has been *very* serious at times. Foods and food odors became so severe at one point he was hysterical over the sight of regular food at the table and food odors seriously impacted functioning. It wasn't mistaken for anything else and it rarely stands alone so if your kiddo has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) the liklihood is high that something else is there as well.

My difficult child's Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) goes hand in hand with the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits he exhibits but what I have observed is that his Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) highly impacts his other issues and visa versa. Probably more with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) than any of his other issues. When he was flared up with anxiety, his Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) was at an all time high and if I'd been seeking out a diagnosis then someone without experience may have easily diagnosed him with Bipolar because it was that similar. Once he was stable again the BiPolar (BP) type symptoms (periods of manic behaviors, etc) subsided.

medications won't help Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) but therapy, accomodations, and helping the child learn preventative and coping strategies will. If a child's issues (ie ADHD) would get in the way of those being implemented successfully then there may be some secondary benefit.

If you suspect Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), the best thing to do is to get a private evaluation because the school is only required to assess and treat those issues that impact the child in the educational setting. But to be treated effectively there has to be coordination between home and school, it's not just a 7 hour a day thing.


New Member
My easy child 2 was diagnosis'd Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) among other things. He got Occupational Therapist (OT) and PT SSI therapy and speech and language from about 16 months of age through middle school. He is somewhat sysgraphic and dyslexic and had an IEP all his school life even in college. He is an adult now and you cannot go up to him and touch or hug him without asking him first. He is very body defensive. He prefers very loose and baggy clothes to ones that fit. He wears work boots all the time. Won't dry himself with a towel just drips has a buz cut so he doesn't have to comb his hair. We are now thinking he is very high functioning Asperger's but he refuses to get tested. Not sure if Asperger's alone would accout for his sensory intergration issues though. For us we feel since he an adult and is functioning there is no need to push the issue further. If he were not we would insist he get tested to get him on disability. -RM


New Member
I can't buy JK any clothes without taking him to the store with me. First he has to touch the clothes with his fingers. If they don't feel "cozy" he won't even try them on. If the seam in a pair of jeans does not sit right he gets an upset stomach. He likes fleece type clothes the best and turtlenecks because he likes the feel of them around his neck. Shopping for clothes can be a whole day event with trips to several different stores until we find ones that "feel" right. Shoe shopping is also quite the experience. Sometimes he can try on 3 pairs of the SAME EXACT shoe and one will pass. If anything is off in the manufacturing he can feel it. He will not toleralte a problem with shoes or socks. (We can only buy one brand of socks, hope they never stop making them.) A problem with socks or shoes can send him into a tantrum.

Oral sensory problems are a BIG problem with JK. I think this has something to do with why he is over 10 pounds underweight. It is really a texture/smell issue more than anything. He has a limited diet that I am always trying to expand. Since we have moved he is eating better and has gained 3 pounds in 2 1/2 months.

He can smell things that I can not. He has vomited over a smell that I have hardly noticed.

JK is very sensitive and his Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) symptoms are noticeable, but he has been coping much better lately. When he started his new school I had to stop the teacher from putting her hand on his shoulder as I was leaving. I know she was trying to help him feel more secure, but this would have ruined the rest of his day (although she reports that she is able to touch him now but she has to be careful about judging when he will tolerate it.)

I spend my days figuring out ways to accomodate or help JK cope with his Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues. Sometimes it is draining.


When you say tested.. by whom???? If you're talking about by the school... don't rely on anything, they don't diagnosis, they treat.

Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) can be a symptom of underlying BiPolar (BP) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or not. Get a real evaluation by a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) specialist to eliminate a possible Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis and a child psychiatrist to eliminate a BiPolar (BP) diagnosis. Don't speculate!

There are no medications for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), so I'm not understanding the question I guess.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I ditto OTE.

difficult child T has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) but honestly his neurologist and I believe it is related more to his brain damage than to his other dxes. His issues with sensory are pretty complex.

difficult child N also has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). Not sure if hers is related to her dxes or not. She also suffered oxygen deprivation during labor, although nowhere near what her brother went thru. I'd say her issues are more what you'd think of when someone says Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). Cothing, certain foods, temperatures, noises, ect.

I also have it, could be piggy backing the diagnosis or because I was born a premie.

I would consider the source. If it is the school, take it with a grain of salt. If you think it is an issue, have difficult child reevaled by a neurologist.

I don't even think to list it in the profile because for us it has become pretty normal. lol



New Member
OTE and Daisylover,

difficult child/DS was recommended for testing by psychiatrist. He was tested at the local children's hospital by a Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) therapist. The testing took 2 1/2 hours and was quite an ordeal in the beginning. difficult child/DS showed off during the first test and then after a short break (think the therapist took a "bathroom break" as a sign for me to step in). He now goes to Occupational Therapist (OT) every Wednesday and I have also enrolled him in the local Y's adaptive aquatics program. He really loves the water.

Loud noises, smells, clothing and crowds are the main issues that lead me to the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) question (after a trip to Disney went bust) but after the testing I can see how much he is affected by Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). His fine motor skills are really horrid and his social skills are sad. He can be mistaken for Aspergers or autistic at times, but I hope the Occupational Therapist (OT) will be a major help.


My Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid had a lot of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues when he was younger. Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), Occupational Therapist (OT) and speech therapy is all built into a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) school program so mine had a LOT of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) therapy. No question that a kid with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues can have ODD behavior just based on the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues. For mine the difficult behaviors due to Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), he was never ODD, just difficult sometimes, were eliminated when the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues were resolved.

I'm not aware that Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) affects fine motor or social skills. I believe the motor issues (fine, gross or any other), in a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid, are related to the low muscle tone problem. The social skills are another whole issue and require another whole therapy that the school should do. There's a post on Special Education about this. Without the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis they are likely to refuse to do it though.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I've never heard of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) affecting motor skills either. I can't see why it would. You might want to check into what is going on with that.

But Occupational Therapist (OT) ought to help with the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). My friend's son was greatly helped with Occupational Therapist (OT), his issues are much milder now in many areas.