Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Hey Friends. We have been talking about sensory processing for a few days. This is by far the most prevalent reason for undesirable behaviors in children that I see in my therapy sessions . So often I’ll get calls from parents ,usually moms, who are at their wits end with kids that are running around uncontrollably, knocking things over, displaying poor impulse control, etc .
The good news is that There are sooo many ways to help a child who is struggling with SP issues to feel more organized and in touch with their environment. Imagine if you thought the sound of one person talking was like an auditorium full of people , if one touch felt like a cement block being dropped on you , if you want a cookie so badly but you honestly cannot sit still and wait for your mom to get it for you .. these are all characteristics of a sensory processing issue . Very common, especially in boys, as their sensory systems tend to take longer to mature.
The goal of helping our sensory systems is to help our internal engines to run at a steady 50 mph on a straight flat road. No dips , speed ups or slow downs just a steady , crisp 50 on a beautiful straight highway . This is the analogy I use all The time with the clients I see. When our engines are running properly we are able to process our environment and in turn have meaningful output which means our days run smoothly. We can participate effectively in activities and feel calm and organized.
Sensory diets are one way we teach kids the tools they need for self regulation . These diets may consist of specific times and activities for input based on your child’s exact needs during a day. A quick example would be running or lifting heavy books or blocks , maybe a brushing program , drinking from a straw, chewing gum , a weighted vest etc .
To help formulate a sensory diet, I always recommend my clients speak to their pediatrician and seek a prescription for an occupational therapist (OT) who is versed in sensory processing disorders . Not all OT's are created equal when dealing with sensory processing so be sure to get one versed in SP.
Remember the goal here is to gave your child’s engine run in that great 50 mph range , not too fast , not too slow . With the help of a great OT your child will learn the tools to put in their tool box so self regulation becomes second nature .
Join us for our live chat times and ask specific questions about your child and their struggles . I am happy to share specific strategies to help your child .