Have you ever been told that your child is frequently “off-task” at school or appears to be “not listening”? When you talk to your child about this, he/she responds by saying “I hate school” “I don’t want to go” or “It was Joey’s fault.” Reward and motivation charts don’t seem to work and the teacher is looking to you for suggestions or recommending use of additional behavioral strategies. You have tried everything you can think of. You know that something else is going on but you can’t figure out what.
While children all develop at their own pace, your child may have deficits in sensory processing. This makes it difficult for them to take in and make sense of the world around them as well as respond appropriately to the demands of their environment. Children may not feel confident in their abilities, feel safe in the world, or be able to engage in activities that seem “easy” for their peers.
Children with sensory processing disorders are often very intelligent but have a mismatch between what they want to do and what they are able to achieve. This awareness results in frustration and a feeling that something is “wrong” with them. Therefore, many children develop coping strategies and avoidance behaviors such as being the class clown or refusing to participate in activities where they are not “in charge” to minimize the demands placed on them.
Children who are hypersensitive to sound or touch may have the desire and ability to do things in quiet environments but then seem completely overwhelmed in busy environments, affecting their ability to participate in group learning, engage in team sports, go to birthday parties, and participate in family outings.
We also see sensory processing disorders co-existing with other diagnoses such as ADD/ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Autism, Dyslexia and other learning disabilities, and children with medical complications or environments devoid of sensory experiences critical to foundational neurological development. This is part of the reason why it has been so difficult to establish the existence of sensory processing disorders as a distinct diagnostic category.
Sensory processing disorders ARE REAL and treating them can dramatically improve quality of life for both families and their children. Check out the article below to see the latest in sensory integration research to support the existence of sensory processing disorders separate from other diagnoses .
If you have personal success stories with sensory integrative treatment to share, please let us know! Sensational Achievements is committed to educating other about the benefits of sensory integration and giving families the support they need to help their child experience success!