Disciplining a child with Sensory Integration Disorder

by Kelly Edge
(Rocky Mount NC)

Our son has just recently been diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder and I'm at a loss as to what or how to discipline him. Nothing we say or do seems to matter to him. He has no sense of consequences if he does this or that or no sensreprocusions. I'm at a loss as to what needs to be done. Someone please help.

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Feb 28, 2012
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Thoughts on Discipline
by: Anonymous

Not that I have this all figured out by any means, but I've realized a few things in regard to discipline.
1. My daughter with SPD often gets her "wires crossed" (i.e. responds with bad behavior to something that is physically wrong with her at that moment). I have learned to constantly evaluate: is she hungry? tired? constipated? overstimulated? understimulated? etc. That way I can help get to the root of the issue rather than addressing the behavior. I'm hoping that this will help her learn to ask herself these questions as she gets older as well.
2. There is often no point in trying to discipline if she is in "meltdown mode." Being extrememly patient, kind, loving until she snaps out of it is the only thing that works for us (then we talk about the situation when she's calm).
3. Find the consequences that work best for your child as an individual. For us, it's removing dessert or TV privileges. However, we find that keeping things positive (lots of praise for good behavior and reward systems) works better than negative consequences for our SPD child.

Feb 24, 2012
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Disciplining Question
by: Erica B

I am having the same issues. I just found out that my almost 4 year old daughter has SPD, she is to begin working with an OT in March. We have always done time out in our house, but while she hates standing in time out, when she is done she is done with her 4 minutes in time out, she is usually sent right back to time out for acting out again. This is obviously frustrating, and not getting the response I hope for, so I'm at a loss. When I try to get to eye level with her and tell her something she won't look at me, and most of the time will try to talk over me to tell me about something that she sees or something she wants to do. It's like she doesn't understand that she's in trouble, and doesn't hear me...I'm lost. Plus, I don't know if I should be disciplining her for things that I would've regularly disciplined her for, if she is only doing certain things because of this disorder...I won't get a chance to speak with an OT until March 7th, please help. Thanks, Erica

Feb 15, 2012
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Discipline
by: Anonymous in VA

You didn't mention how old your son is, but ALL kids need consistency, consistency, consistency. And I think that is especially important to kids with special needs. So whatever rules you decide on, make sure you follow through EVERY time. Every child has SOMETHING that is important to them, you just have to find it! Don't be afraid to ask an OT or therapist for help/suggestions for age (and SPD) appropriate rules/consequences if you need to.

You might also try posting the "rules" and a behavior chart in writing and/or pictures. Some kids are more visual and need the visual reminder. Then you could also use the chart to say...look right here, you broke rule X, and there is the consequence. The behavior chart could post either checks for bad behavior, or stars good behavior (earning a reward), as you prefer. Not all kids respond to charts, but it might be worth trying.

It might also be a good idea to check with your OT/therapist/psychologist (whoever you're working with for the SPD) if there could be other medical issues (like ADD) that could be making it harder for your son to understand.

Last, be patient and don't give up! Keep trying different things until you find a system that works for your family! Hope this helps a bit. Take care.

Feb 14, 2012
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Discipline
by: Anonymous

I found this happened with my son follow through with all consequences they do not always believe you will and don't expect them to let you know it effects Latham.
Find the thing they like to do and use this for a time limit ie tv they might not remember why so explain and explain again when and why.

It could be there is some input he is missing. Ie if it is boisterous behaviour.
Hope this helps and doesn't patronise

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