Daughter Wants Explanations

by Nicki
(Wexford, PA)

My daughter is very angry about having sensory problems. She doesn't understand why she has it. She feels she's the only one with this problem and I want to be able to answer her questions, give her an 8 year old's level of what sensory processing is. I can't seem to find any age appropriate definitions or explanations. Can someone please help me help her understand. Any advice on how to make her feel less isolated and confused would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thank You!

Hi Nicki,
I have three suggestions for you.

The first, please read my newsletter entitled How To Explain SPD To Your Child. If you haven't already, this should help a lot.

Next, get your hands on a book written by Carol Kranowitz,specifically for 8-12 year olds, that helps them understand SPD... The Goodenoughs Get In Sync. EXCELLENT book for that age!!

Third, join the online support group SID-DSI_AllAboutKids; there are over 1200 other patents in there; MANY of whom have struggled with this and can give you some additional advice.

Take good care and thanks for wanting to help her understand this... it is so important she know the why and how of SPD for her specifically, or self-esteem will suffer. Put a positive spin on it!! Your body is so good at... that it can... You are lucky because it means you can... The newsletter will help.

Let us know if these suggestions help!

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I have an 8 y/o girl too
by: mom2spinner

I let my daughter read the "Goodenoughs" book and she enjoyed that. I also told her that inside our bodies there are wires just like a computer and sometimes the wires get crossed and don't work properly. Most importantly, we told her that we love her and this is part of what makes her special.

She has the hyposensitive kind of SPD (doesn't realize her face is messy, hair is undone, etc.), and is also a sensory seeker (vestibular, proprioceptive). Last year's teachers said she always fell, tripped, and was into other kids' space. She still chews on straws when drinking juice.

We went to weekly OT sessions for about 6 months and also did things at home, including The Listening Program. She happens to be very intelligent and creative, and I have found out that there are a lot of gifted children who have sensory issues. She really enjoyed going to OT and was quite sad when she got discharged about a month ago. We are still continuing with the listening program 2x/day which she doesn't mind because she can draw or play with the headphones on.

She has always enjoyed ice skating & amazingly can balance herself and do spins and jumps because of the momentum and feedback the speed gives her. It almost makes me cry that my "out of sync" (on level ground that is) child is actually skating on a synchronized figure skating team! I consider this twice weekly activity a big part of her maintenance "therapy".

We also let her jump on a trampoline and hang upside down on a trapeze at our swingset if she wants to. I keep a small pack of bubble gum and pop rocks in the car to give her a little "pick me up" in the afternoons.

I don't think the SPD completely goes away, but what I hope for her is that as she gets older she can become more aware of what her body needs and know what to do about it.

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