Showing posts from October, 2006

DSM and SPD: Are we ready?

October 25-31 is National Sensory Awareness Week and The Knowledge in Development (KID) Foundation is working to obtain inclusion of Sensory Processing Disorder in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). DSM classification would presumably raise awareness of the disorder and contribute to appropriate diagnosis and recognition. The press information from the KID foundation also states that the addition of SPD in the DSM will help reimbursement for treatment.

I fundamentally agree with this effort but I really wonder if we have enough information about sensory processing disorders to present a cogent argument for inclusion. According to the American Psychiatric Association "each disorder included in the manual is accompanied by a set of diagnostic criteria and text containing information about the disorder, such as associated features, prevalence, familial patterns, age-, culture- and gender-specific features, and differential diagnosis. No information about treatment or presum…

on polar bears and autism

Parents are bombarded with messages about autism and that unfortunately fuels worry and speculation. It also fuels early diagnosis which is never bad.

I was recently observing an infant who has some motor delays and the parent was very worried about some atypical repetitive behaviors. The baby would sit and stare at the carpet while running his fingers through the carpet pile. Over. And over.

Repetitive and non-purposeful behaviors always need to be assessed. However, this child has excellent play and social interaction skills - so the parent did not understand why he would engage in this very autistic-looking type of behavior.

To some degree children thrive on repetition and adults will become bored by an activity long before a child will. So, a child may repetitively place a ball through a series of ramps and watch it over and over as it rolls to the bottom - but this is just a way that they learn about cause and effect. This doesn't mean that they have autistic-like behaviors, and…

swinger of birches

We had a little snow here late last week that extended my hiatus away from the computer. This is a view of my backyard from the deck. The bowed trees are a clump of four river birch that are approximately 30 feet tall (well, when they were standing). I planted the trees there on purpose, so I could look at them from my office window in my house.

Anyway, there are still many people in the Western New York area still without electricity, heat, etc. and we are very fortunate.

Much of the snow is melting now and my birches are struggling to stand again. I think they will.

I don't mind that this happened; it reminds me of important lessons that I like to think of as I go about my daily work. Thank you, Robert Frost:

So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having…