Visitors are a trigger

by Allon Bruckenstein
(Jerusalem, Israel)

We have an eight year old boy who was diagnosed with SPD at age 5. He received occupational therapy and we have been doing the suggestions that they gave us. Mostly he did not do well with unexpected changes in his schedule and boundaries. He seems to get a thrill out of annoying his sisters, but the real issue is having visitors over. We tried to prepare him, he knows who they are, and he even likes them. But for some reason he is bothering everyone the most when guests come over. Maybe he feels like its taking away his time or space, I dont know. What I would like to know is what can be done to help him. The OT did a wonderful job on all the other areas, and he's a different child today. But this one issue remains unresolved.

Can you give me some guidance?

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Jan 26, 2012
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Have a responsibility?
by: Anonymous

Try giving him a job, such as helping everyone with drinks. I can see my 7 year old doing the same thing at times, though maybe not as much. She loves attention and will do anything for it....be annoying if she is not getting it. Is there a friend he can have over while your guests are there?

Jan 22, 2012
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response
by: Allon

No he can't explain why it bothers him, we've tried discussing it many times. Also he doesn't want to be in a different part of the house, he seems to want the attention. It seems to me that he feels that others are taking away his attention. The number of people is irrelevant. I don't think it's a phobia. He wants to be a part of the "action." Usually he will bother / annoy the person who is visiting. It's not vicious, but it's annoying. It seems to me that everything he does is done to get a rise out of people. For example, he will come over to me and pretend he sees something, like a bug, and shout, "Look! A bug!" Is that part of SPD? Could it be that the feeling of getting people to react is part of his need for stimulation?

Jan 22, 2012
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RE
by: Anonymous

is he able to verbalize to you why he is not comfortable with visitors? what happens if he retreats to another part of the house while they visit? does that help?

wonder if he feels like he's lost control? maybe there is some tactic that you could use to help him feel more control when visitors come or to distract him? could it be how many people visit? is there a difference if it's one visitor or 5? does he have social anxiety/phobia? how does he react when visitors are present?

this website is a great resources. hope you find some tools, good luck.

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