SPD and behavioral problems

by Della
(Michigan)

My main problem is educating the teachers in my son's school regarding SPD. My son was diagnosed with lt hemiplegia cerebral palsy and sensory processing disorder. He has hypersensitivity to touch, hyposensivity to oral input, and emotional problems. It has been a difficult road for my family trying to understand and meet his needs.


I am a substitute teacher and finished my masters in special education several years ago. The main reason was to help meet my childs needs at home and at school. I have tried on many occasions to explain that unstructured times in the school setting is what may cause my child to behave inappropriately and this should be taken into consideration and intervention is what needs to be done in order for my child to have positive experiences in school.

We had an incident in school today where another students took something away from my son. He had a pencil in his hand and reached toward the other student to retrieve his toy. during this time, the other student was poked with the pencil, and my son was suspended from school for three days. This happened during snack time (unstructured time) and a new substitute teacher was in the classroom. this teacher had no knowledge of my son and what to look for to prevent an incident like this from occurring. So he was suspended and it is on his record that he assaulted this other student. I am upset, my son is upset and does not understand why he is being suspended. I believe my son, but I don't know how to handle this problem. Do you have any suggestions.

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Dec 15, 2011
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by: Anonymous

there are all kinds of great resources even just online if you were to google things like sensory accommodations list for classroom, etc. might be worth it to you to research some of those lists and then put together one that is tailored to your son's needs and then give that to his teacher as some suggestions to keep in mind and to try. :)

Dec 15, 2011
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by: Anonymous

my son also has spd and some emotion challenges. how old is your son? is he in mainstream public school? this can be such a difficult, exhausting, overwhelming journey, kudos to you for reaching out and trying to help your son. he's luck to have you. :)

the classroom can be so difficult for these kiddos to navigate and even harder for other children to understand and that goes for teachers too. teachers have a difficult time thinking outside the 'normal' parameters some times. it's our job, just as you have been, to educate them and to advocate for our children in these situations.

how does the primary teacher in your sons class handle him and these types of situations? has the teacher new to education system or a long timer? i would probably go address this incident with the primary teacher first and see where that leads. if you are not satisfied, i would take it further.

as far as helping your son understand the incident, that's tough especially with differing abilities. maybe in all of it, you could turn it into a positive thing and help your son write an apology note to the student (depending on age appropriateness). sounds like your son might have been the target, which some times is the case with our children who have these issues. :(

if you think that his teacher needs more help in understanding your son, i would look to the many many resources available. there are some great books, websites and other classroom tools available. we have also benefited from working with and occupational therapist who have been a wealth of ideas/knowledge for us. nice to be able to bounce things off of her like this incident and get her input on how to handle, change, or improve things. might want to look into that option as well. good luck. stay strong. you aren't alone! you're doing great!

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