This blog post is especially for parents! First off, thank you for visiting Play It Forward, it shows that you are invested in your child’s development and learning more about “what makes your child tick?” Often kids with Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD spend large amounts of energy just trying to get through the day. It takes an in ordinate amount of energy just to “hold it together” between the demands of school and your child’s brain and body working hard to make sense of sensations that others may not seem to notice or find bothersome.
I believe that kids want to do well and will perform well if they can. If they can’t, then it’s our job to find out why and figure out ways that we can support them.
If your child is struggling to participate in typical activities and daily routines, take a closer look at what may be triggering the behaviors (e.g. melt downs, anxiety, stress, shutting down or not participating). Granted, there are times when kids can be little stinkers, but for the most part, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on how sensory processing challenges are impacting your child’s behavior.
It’s not only important for parents to seek knowledge on behalf of their child’s well being and development, but it is equally important for kids to better understand how their brain and body works. Once kids have a better understanding and can learn tools for how to cope with SPD, it’s an empowering feeling for them to be able to know that they have the tools to cope with their sensory processing differences.
But the first step is in recognizing how sensory processing is affecting them in their daily lives. There are several formal standardized assessments and caregiver questionnaire such as the Sensory Profile or Sensory Processing Measure that you can access when evaluated by and OT.
This list highlights the major or most noticeable areas of sensory integration dysfunction. It’s not a comprehensive list but rather to be used as a tool to get you thinking about the reasons why your child responds the way he or she does in certain situations.
You are welcome to download a FREE printable version.
Questions to Ponder
- What are your sensory preferences?
- Are they the same or different from your child?
- Think about when you were a child, what was your sensory learning preference or style?
- What types of activities did you gravitate towards and what types of activities did you avoid?