Parenting kids that are overly sensitive poses unique challenges with discipline. Here are techniques for nurturing a kid who feels deeply.There are times when children with SPD overreact or underreact to stimuli, including touch, tone, and even food texture.
Despite the fact that many parents believe it exists, medical professionals are divided on whether or not it deserves its own diagnosis. Treatment for children with sensory difficulties can be found in occupational therapy. Learn to recognize the signs of sensory processing disorder (SPD) in your child so that they can be assessed appropriately.
The five primary senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, can all be affected by SPD in children. When he’s in a busy grocery store or a loud sporting event, he may experience mild sensory intolerances, or he may find it incredibly difficult to deal with sensory stimuli. It’s normal for a child’s nervous system to send signals to his brain when his shoulder is lightly touched.
A youngster with SPD may misinterpret the message and feel as if he has been hit severely. Other times, he may not even be aware that the communication has reached him at all. Inconsistent behavior is a common symptom of SPD, which is why most children with the disease are a combination of both over-and under-sensitive.
The vestibular and proprioceptive systems are two lesser-known senses that can be compromised by SPD. Sensory input is picked up by them and sent to the brain, where it is processed. Swinging or sliding down a slide are examples of vestibular experiences.
For example, when climbing stairs, the legs are told to exert greater pressure on the limbs than they would when walking on flat ground, for example. Proprioceptive messages can get mixed up in the brain, making a child appear awkward or aggressive since they don’t know how much force he’s using.
When a toddler is bombarded with mixed messages, he may find it difficult to understand why he reacts the way he does to regular events. It’s even more difficult to predict his conduct when asked to switch between activities. Because of the way his neurological system is functioning, it may take a child some time to focus and get comfortable in his task. There is a good chance he will reject the idea of switching gears and trying something fresh.
It’s common for children to have difficulty shifting gears, but the severity of symptoms and the number of senses impacted will determine whether a child is diagnosed with SPD.
There is a wide range of these symptoms, just as there is with autism. It may be challenging for the youngster to participate in social, emotional, and educational activities if his sensory needs are severe and persistent. This will have long-term consequences for the future.
Play-Doh, for example, may not be a favorite of your youngster. The act of manipulating squishy items helps toddlers develop the muscles and coordination they’ll need in the future, even if it seems trivial at the time. These early years are critical for the development of a child’s hand-eye coordination.
Multisensory exercises, such as swinging while throwing beanbags at a target, challenge one or more sensory systems at the same time. It is the purpose of this program to assist in the development of neural connections that will allow a child’s brain to respond appropriately to sensory input.
Although it’s tedious and requires a lot of repetition, this is essential. Nerve fibers that fire in unison form a network. When you practice anything, you strengthen the neural connections in your brain, making it easier for you to do it without thinking.
Deep pressure is applied to the skin of a child by a professional therapist using a soft plastic-bristled surgical brush. Despite its widespread use, there is no scientific evidence to support this method’s efficacy. Many of these behaviors are common among children with SPD.
The following things are intolerable to them.
- Noises that startle her, dirt on her hands, the cutting of her hair or nails, or an unexpected hug; barefootedness in the grass or sand
- Afraid of physical feelings, such as heat, cold, or hunger, and chooses inactive activities over ones that require movement.
- When holding a pencil or tapping someone’s arm, he uses either too much or too little force.
- Doesn’t follow directions well and is a bit hesitant to react
- Anxious about transitions or unexpected changes; avoids group activities; is overly cautious.
- Excessive desire to swing or spin; high level of risk-taking and movement during the game
- Is prone to mishaps and struggles with basic physical abilities, such as riding a bike or catching a baseball.
Your child should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team that includes his or her pediatrician, as well as a psychologist and an occupational therapist who is trained in sensory difficulties, if you have any concerns about their well-being.
Click on “Discover Services,” then check the box for an occupational therapist, then type in your location to find therapists in your area. Advanced training in SPD is indicated by the “SPDF” emblem next to the name of a practitioner.