Nowadays, numerous parenting styles are employed by parents in order to provide their children with a balanced environment for self-growth and discipline; However, despite many studies on rearing and parenting. Any average parents would still encounter moments of doubts and anxiety about their parenting styles and if they are disciplining their children accordingly.
Tantrums and excessive quirkiness on likes and dislikes are said to be a norm occurrence especially if you have toddlers and early preschoolers. When these behaviors are often experienced, it is best to seek advice from professionals since they behaviors are an indication of sensory processing disorders.
What Is Sensory Processing Disorder?
It is defined as a condition wherein the brain has a problem receiving and processing stimuli experience through one’s senses. This is condition is also formerly called sensory integration dysfunction. Sensory processing disorder is commonly diagnosed in children but there’s also some incidence in adults.
The symptoms may vary depending on the area of sensitivity and degree of sensitivity. The most common symptoms include for hypersensitivity to sensory input:
- Loud, high-pitched and sudden noises e.g. clanking of spoons and forks, sound of vacuum cleaner, flushing the toilets
- Avoids surprise touches such as hugs and cuddles even from family members and friends
- Shuns crowds and crowded events; maintains a physical distance from others
- Extreme fear of climbing or falling
- Clumsy/shows poor balance
Individuals with hyposensitive responses to a sensory stimulus may exhibit these symptoms:
- No understanding of personal space
- Uncoordinated bodily movements
- Usually, injures pets and playmates during playtime; unable to differentiate rough play and gentle play.
- Thrives in movement-based activities like jumping, spinning, dancing, etc.
- Extremely high threshold for pain
- Adventure seeker and may opt for dangerous options
Many would agree upon noticing that your child may possibly have sensory processing disorders; parents will scramble in finding in-depth articles about the disorder or probably search the best therapy for the child’s condition.
What To Do When You Have An Inkling That Your Child May Have Sensory Processing Disorder?
- Do not fret- You and your child are not alone. Based on a study in 2009, it suggested that 1 in every 6 children has sensory problems that affect their daily learning and functioning.
- Consult with your child’s pediatrician- Share with him/her your child’s habits and symptoms that may seem unusual. Oftentimes, the doctor might recommend a comprehensive assessment. Also, they may also refer your child for a screening done by a specialist. It extremely important to rule of ADHD and Autism spectrum disorder because oftentimes, these children show sensory processing issues as well. However, not all cases of sensory processing disorder have ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- No medications are needed in order to manage the sensory processing issues but there are therapies and practical modifications needed in order to provide the more bearable environment.
Who Can Help You In Making Sure That Your Child Is Given The Best Environment To Thrive?
- Occupational therapist
They are trained specialists who handle kids with these issues. The child may be referred to an OT clinic or to an OT at his school. OTs provide fine and gross motor exercises designated to regulate their sensory input
Some changes may be done in the classroom setting and sitting arrangement in order to provide a conducive environment for the child.
- Caregiver, Family Members & You
Many changes and a large dose of understanding will be warranted from the immediate caregiver and everybody in the family to support the condition of the child.