Inside you’ll find get answers to the question, “Can a child grow out of sensory processing disorder?”
It’s a surreal experience; telling friends and family that something is wrong with your child.
When my oldest was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, I’d give people my typical spiel.
I’d tell them everyone has sensory needs, but my son’s brain doesn’t process that input the way most other people do, so he finds himself “flying blind” on occasion, desperate for some feedback from the outside world. His special needs affect everyday life more than you could ever imagine.
There’d be a long, awkward pause, and then, the eventual question,
“Well, will he outgrow it?”
As a sensory parent, I’m sure you’ve wondered the same. What does the future hold for your child?
As much as I’d like to give you a definite answer, the truth is, I don’t know.
But here’s what I do know.
Communication will Increase
Obviously a five year old has a larger vocabulary than a two year old. Just image how well an adult will be able to articulate and describe their needs to others. When my son was a toddler, the only way he knew to express himself was screaming, crying and yelling. Now, at the ripe old age of five, while his first instict is still to blubber, he can now be coaxed to verbalize what he’s feeling and usually what caused the meltdown in the first place. This window into his world has been a game changer in helping calm him and prevent incidents.
Coping Methods will Mature
When sensory kids need extra input, they often get desperate and resort to unacceptable habits. They might flap their hands, start literally bouncing off walls, chew their fingers till they bleed. With time, most kids will replace this input methods with more socially acceptable ones like chewing gum, going to the gym, or tapping their foot. Depending on severity, adults may still struggle with compulsive desires to get input in “annoying” ways.
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The key is to help your children as their growing up to replace one bad habit with a slightly better one. My son is a chewer. Biting his nails until there was blood running down his forearms was unacceptable. So we got him a chewie. Now he’s learned to get those needs met via chewy waterbottles, gum, carrots; whatever gets his jaw working hard.
Understanding of Their Needs will Grow
In the beginning, you as the parent have to become the SPD expert. Your child is being inundated with input that they just can’t handle. They’re overwhelmed with unknowns and you’re the one trying to bring order to their chaos. But with time and training, you’ll begin to educate your kids about their own needs.
They’ll be able to see and recognize when they’re getting a little “off”, way before you ever will. They’ll no longer be perplexed by the world around them and how their body reacts to it. They’ll be equipped to help themselves.
I don’t want to be dismissive of your worries. I have them too, and they make my breath catch in my throat daily.
My son is not an adult. He’s barely a grade-schooler. I don’t know how this will all turn out. But I have seen him change for the better and I pray it will continue.
I have personal adult friends who have SPD. Some you’d never be able to tell. Others are clearly fighting to fit this world’s crazy mold. It’s given me great insight into my own parenting.
I’m not saying they won’t have SPD. But I am saying they will thrive.
Because they had you for a parent.
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