October is National Sensory Processing Awareness month. Parents, therapists, and other caregivers help kids deal with this disorder every day, but few people actually know what Sensory Processing Disorder is, or what it means for the kids who live with it.
What Is Sensory Processing Disorder?
So, what is Sensory Processing Disorder? It is a disorder that affects how some people see, hear, feel, smell, and/or taste things. Our bodies perceive the things around us using our five senses. Some of us have certain senses that are a bit stronger or weaker than others, but we are able to manage and compensate for the differences. Individuals with sensory processing disorder don’t have the ability to cope in the same ways that most people do. If they receive too much stimulation, they become overwhelmed quickly. If someone with sensory processing disorder doesn’t feel that they are getting enough stimulation, they will seek out more. This often manifests in the form of humming or rocking back and forth.
Sensory processing disorder can make regular daily activities very difficult. Fortunately, there are ways we can help these special kids live fulfilling lives.
Kids with SPD need to know what to expect. It helps them cope with situations much better than just going right into it. Even for a regular day that’s just wake up, get ready, school, homework, dinner, and so on, it is extremely beneficial to them to know exactly what should be happening and when. Put everything in writing, use pictures if your child has difficulty reading or has not yet learned to read. A magnetic dry erase board works well for this.
Find a Support Group
Whether you find a group local or somewhere online, a support network is vital, both for you and your child. There are going to be good days and bad days and all kinds of meltdowns. No matter how supportive your family members are, they probably won’t know what you’re going through like another parent with a special needs child does. It really helps to know that you are not alone. A support group can also give you plenty of suggestions on helping your child through each day. If you are going through something with your child, chances are high that somewhere out there there’s someone who has gone through something similar or exactly the same that can help you get through your situation.
Welcome to Family Service Foundation, Inc.!
Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about Sensory Processing Disorder or other developmental disabilities, visit here.