If your child is having behavioral problems and seems to have difficulty in every day tasks, you may first want to assess if your child has sensory problems. Many counselors may first require your child to have a complete physical evaluation to rule-out certain physiological and neurological problems. There are self-reporting tests, based on your child’s behavior, which you can take to determine if your child meets one or more criteria of an SPD. EEGs and other brain imaging tests holds promise for making a diagnosis—especially of an auditory processing disorder.
If your child does have an SPD and does require occupational therapy, you will want to be actively involved in the exercises and play. An hour or two per week of therapy will not be as effective as your continuing these learned activities throughout the week with your child. Also, an OT can help you change the environment so that your child can better manage stimuli within your home.
SPDs are often associated with other disorders and disabilities, so other professionals may need to be involved. It is not uncommon for children with SPDs to have other delays and may need to be treated by speech pathologists and other specialists.
Children with SPDs can be helped with therapy. However, they also may have brains that are “wired” differently—whether genetically or through their early life experiences. Although a nurturing environment can have a positive impact on such children, there may be children who do not experience a complete neurological change or make just limited progress through sensory integrative therapy. Yet as in the Gospel account of the man who was blind from birth, a child’s SPD can bring glory to God, and the child can reach the potential for which God created the child.
Learn more about early intervention programs and other resources for children with special needs.
Sensory Processing Disorder Resource Center
The Out of Sync Child: Has Fun, by Carol Stock Kranowitz
The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, by Carol Stock Kranowitz
Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Integration Issues, by Lindsey Biel
Relationship of Learning Problems and Classroom Performance to Sensory Integration: Sensory Integration and the Child, by Jean Ayres
The Sensory Sensitive Child: Practical Solutions for Out-of-Bounds Behavior, by Karen A. Smith and Karen R. Gouze
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