My Child Has Sensory Processing Disorder, Now What?

3. UNDERSTAND CO-OCCURRENCE

SPD usually comes hand-in-hand with other learning and behavioral disorders. Many children with SPD are also diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s, and autism. Your child may also exhibit both sensory seeking and sensory avoiding behaviors. They may be hyper active one minute and then overwhelmed why the amount of stimulation the next.

4. TAKE NOTES

Keep a journal of your child’s behavior for the next few weeks. Which textures, sounds, and situations trigger sensory meltdowns? What seems to calm your child?

This journal will help you explain your child’s situation to their pediatrician. It will also help you identify when a sensory meltdown is approaching and how to sooth it.

5. SPEAK WITH YOUR CHILD’S PEDIATRICIAN

There is a growing awareness of SPD, but it is still does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This is guide used by doctors and therapists to diagnose learning, behavior and attention disorders. If your child’s doctor does not believe in SPD, find another doctor.

Bring your journal to your child’s pediatrician. Explain your child’s sensory behaviors and what triggers a meltdown. Your child’s pediatrician will then give you a referral to an occupational therapist (OT) for an initial evaluation.

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