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Starting the Journey-Sensory Processing Disorder.
In The Beginning.
We start off with the diagnosis, my Chloe has SPD(sensory processing disorder). She is largely in the category for "sensory seeker", meaning she needs more stimulation then other children to get her senses really working good. When we first got the information, I'm the type of parent that dives in full bore to the issue. I want all the information I can get and fast. I read "The Out-Of-Sync child by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A. in record time. I stayed up late at night looking through information on websites and support groups. Joined the Facebook page for Sensory Processing Disorder and reached out for help and more information on this diagnosis. I can tell you that for me I wanted to do what was best for Chloe and spent the first few weeks working myself to the bone. I just was thirsty for knowledge and ways to help Chloe, however, everything can be overdone and for me I just wanted to get started right away and in the back of my head I was thinking that therapy would start and right away we would see a difference. Parents who are reading this, that are new, therapy takes time and it is good to have a lot of information but as I have come to realize therapy, although great, is a process.
Therapy for my child is vastly different then therapy for every child. My goal is to document our experiences in hopes that it can help another family that may be dealing with a similar situation. As I said above, Chloe is a sensory seeker, however there are different categories for sensory children. First, would be an over responsive child, children that are over responsive have an aversion to many things, for example clothing, food, certain textures, unexpected touches, or light touches, covers ear for loud noises. You may notice they also avoid playground activity or appear rigid or uncoordinated. Second, would be a under responsive child, these children seem to have more of a go with the flow feeling about them. Signs, for the under responsive child would be doesn't notice objects, or being moved, seems lethargic, seems more alert after doing physical activity, responds slowly to objects coming toward them. Third, would be sensory seeker, things to look for would be; loves to dump out all their toys and rummage through them, loves to spin, jump, bounce and doesn't seem to get dizzy. Craves more physical contact, bear hugs, pillow fights, likes objects that are shiny or spinning, lick or taste inedible objects. You can, also, have a combination of these in your child and that is where it can get tricky. This is just a really basic list of signs/symptoms but if you notice some of them it would be a good idea to take a quiz which I have have attached to this hub. It is easy to do and it may help identify some possible issues that you can speak to your doctor about at your next appointment. I would really stress the importance of documentation. In children with SPD, unlocking your child and finding what is going to work for you and for them can all be done with writing down good times and bad times. For example, if your child starts to have a fit or meltdown, try and think about what was going on right before, even if you don't think it is important it could be more then you know. I also, suggest listening to your child. I know when you are a parent and you have kids, they seem to have a melt down every other moment but sometimes it is more meaningful then you think. I began jotting notes down for Chloe and it unlocked several things for us. One being, Chloe would have a fit if we went somewhere too fast. We now realize that we have to take 1-2 hours of prep time before getting her out the door. That made a huge difference getting her to preschool and not having a meltdown all the way there and for at least 20 minutes after we arrived. I know it seems like a lot but I would rather get up earlier then have her be stressed and have a whole day of unhappiness. That way we can start working on a plan to shorten that time maybe just a couple of minutes and just keep working so her transition time will be better. I would suggest getting some of those composition notebooks and take notes, this will also be a big help to your doctor and your therapist.
Sensory Processing Disorder Self Checklist
- Attachment Disorder Therapy - Center for Family Development
Attachment Disorder Center evaluating and treating adopted and foster children and teens with reactive attachment disorder and adoption related issues. We treat US and Internationally adopted children.