Do you get a sinking feeling in your stomach, a gut instinct deep down that tells you something isn’t quite right with your child’s behavior?
There have been little clues and symptoms that there might be a sensory issue at play but you’re just not sure what to do with your suspicions.
Scroll to the bottom for a VIDEO of me discussing this important topic!
I remember that helpless feeling. I will always remember the moment I was finally convinced my son’s struggles went beyond the scope of “normal” and I needed to do something about it.
We had had months of battles over every little moment of life. From the moment he woke up until he finally fell asleep at night (and all the wake ups in between) nothing was done without a fight.
I tried to justify it.
Terrible twos, new baby brother, a major move, poor parenting (do you know the crushing guilt I’m talking about?). I wanted to believe this was a phase, something that would magically disappear.
But then he wouldn’t leave the house for ice cream. Ice cream, his absolute favorite treat, brought on a full fledged meltdown for one solid hour. I couldn’t pass this off as bad behavior or toddler crankiness.
My son was miserable and so was I.
My mom’s pleading words came back to me with force. “You need to get him evaluated for sensory processing disorder.“
She’s an Occupational Therapist Assistant and had worked with tons of kids with sensory needs. She knew that when his sensory preferences were interfering with his ability to function, that professional advice was warranted.
Function. THAT is the key.
When you read through any list of symptoms of sensory issues, you’ll be convinced that every kid in the world has SPD.
That’s because everyone has sensory needs. It’s when those needs interfere with everyday life that you’ve got a problem like sensory processing disorder going on.
Only a medical professional can diagnosis sensory issues.
BUT there are things you as a parent should do to solve the mystery of your child’s baffling behavior and get them the help they need.
Here’s where to start.
1) Download this FREE printable list of sensory symptoms.
2) Keep track of incidents
This is huge.
If you don’t write down the behavior, I guarantee things will be more fuzzy, you’ll miss patterns, and you’ll be less convincing to medical professionals.
If you don’t want your doctor to brush you off when you describe your child’s meltdowns over food, write it down. You’ll have much better luck if you’ve documented how few foods they eat, how severe, frequent and lengthy the meltdowns were and so on. (Or whatever the suspicious behavior is.) Numbers don’t lie.
Sensory Parenting 101 has a really helpful printable for you to keep track of behaviors and bring with you to your pediatrician or evaluation.
The course also has information on the steps to take to get a diagnosis, how to get family on board, how to educate yourself, and activities you can do at home to help your child thrive.
It’s everything a sensory parent needs to be confident in their new role. Check out Sensory Parenting 101 HERE.