At first, I believed it was my 6-year-old’s habit to defiantly refuse to get dressed in the winter. But finally, my daughter’s tantrums due to her sensory processing disorder was diagnosed. What I’m doing for her is outlined here.
Getting ready for the day is a struggle for one of my three children compared to the others. Weighted feelings accompany every transition from bed to breakfast to teeth brushing. My 6-year-old kid has a hard time staying focused. While getting dressed can be challenging, finding the correct position that will assist my daughter can be difficult.
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a condition that affects 5 to 16 percent of school-aged children, and the clothing on their bodies can be too much for them to handle. It’s even worse in the winter when she frequently refuses to dress for the weather. Shorts and a T-shirt were her attire of choice just a few days ago.
We also have two more senses—proprioception and vestibular—giving us a sense of body or spatial awareness and coordination or balance. SPD is characterized by excessive or insufficient stimulation of one or more of the five senses. As a result, a gentle touch may feel like a punch, while a whisper may sound like an outburst.
Helping your child who suffers from SPD
As a result, I wasn’t always the best comforter when my daughter refused to wear a coat or mittens in the cold. I didn’t realize that her temper outbursts were more about her inability to control her emotions than her stubbornness and defiance. Some of the clothing was either too hot, too tight or simply not suited for the weather. The socks were uncomfortable. The jacket was too cumbersome for me to move around comfortably in. When she didn’t comply, I yelled at her. When she was crying and lying on the ground, I put them on for her.
Her body was in overdrive, and I couldn’t do anything. It might be difficult to tell if a youngster is merely asserting their will or if they are overwhelmed by sensory input. Many different techniques must be taken by parents to find out which one is causing their child’s problems before they can develop a viable solution.
When allowed to select among a variety of shirts, most children can do so. If a child is unable to put on any clothing, there may be more to the issue. Be on the lookout for complaints regarding how clothing feels, how loud sounds are, or the amount of contact that is made as well. In addition, some children may overreact to visual and aural stimuli, while others may not respond at all. That, too, maybe an indication.
His son’s sensory processing disorder has taught Ethan Fechter-Leggett, the parent of a child with the condition, how not to care about what his child wears to school. For him, it’s sufficient if it gets them out of the house without them shouting at each other.
As a mother, I’ve also learned to put less emphasis on what my child wears. For my daughter’s comfort, I no longer force her to wear weather-appropriate clothing. Helping my kid pick out the clothes she likes, removing tags, and finding shirts with broad collars help. Also, I’ve learned to be more forgiving with myself when I introduce new clothing. When a youngster is well-fed, well-rested, and reasonably tired from exercise, it is much easier to deal with them. Avoid trying out a new jacket on a child with SPD during the morning rush; wait until they are in peak mental and physical condition.
Parents can develop a schedule that works for them to help their children get through their morning ritual. When it comes to cold weather, youngsters who are sensitive to having extra clothing on their bodies find it difficult to cope. Be sure to seek out professional assistance as well. Assisting yourself with the aid of an occupational therapist can be highly beneficial. If prescribed for your child, techniques like skin brushing and joint compression may help alleviate sensory issues.