A parent recently asked about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD ) and Sensory Integration challenges in her son. Some of these boys are shy, while others get overwhelmed in play groups and become aggressive. Here’s what I think helps.
SPD is such a tricky diagnosis to make accurately and many professionals question what’s the best way to help these kids (who are usually boys)..
OT folks are great, and working to desensitize to sounds, textures, etc is important.
I think parents have to also keep an eye on not letting the diagnosis change your (or his) world. Watch how much you sanitize or try to control things. A little is ok, too much is detrimental.
Some of these boys do best in highly structured small play group/activities with less competitive play tasks, and led by someone with behavior management skills. The goal would be to introduce play times to him that are successful (shorter in duration), to increase the positives. Otherwise, if it goes too long or he’s unsuccessful too often (e.g., gets disciplined or leaves angry or hurt), it only reinforces he’s not able to join and play. And that only leads to more of the same. Remember, a short good play time with one or two kids beats longer negative play times with lots of kids any day.
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