how to parent

by Kristin
(Bismarck, ND )

Hello! Our 3 yr old daughter was recently diagnosed with SPD. We have just recently begun our OT and other services but everyone I ask this question of just brushes me off, so I am hoping that someone will be able to give me a bit of advice or at least point me in the right direction to fully help her.

I have no idea how to parent this child...We want to parent each of our 4 children the same, but it seems like our SPD child will do the time (meaning time out) and go right back to the behavior that got her in trouble in the first place. And she is just so ..... difficult.

I am sure that part of this is personality, but as a parent I am lost. Like I told my husband, the one time I am looking for parenting advice I can't get it.

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May 14, 2009
by: Anonymous

I think whatever method you choose will be ok because your child has you and that is the most important thing. That being said I think you have to treat the underlying cause of the the behavior first. Discipline and behavior will get easier as the child progresses and matures. When they are older then you can expect them to have some control even when their sensory system is out of whack. When you are early in therapy or the child is young it is best to concentrate on the sensory diet - you can also teach- You can't hit mommy but you can punch this beanbag, etc.

If they are trying to meet a sensory need then always try to replace the inappropriate behavior with an appropriate one (most of the behaviors come from trying to meet their own sensory needs. Limits, consistency, and consequences are important too but for this "difficult" child it helps to focus on only a few behaviors at a time, try to prioritize the most important behaviors you want to work on (look at the difficult child book). My child had many negative seeking behaviors so we went to sticker reward chart which helped.

You might want to sit down with your other children and explain the situation so that they don't feel you are giving this child special treatment. It gets better, hang in there.

Mar 10, 2009
parenting spd children
by: marlene


I have a 9 1/2 year old son with SPD, I have always described raising him as, "difficult" I also said raising him was like raising a bull in a china store, we constantly had to rein him in and keep on top of things with him. What really helped me and the rest of the family was to remember he wasn't really disobeying on purpose, his brain was not processing correctly what we would tell him to do. OT has been very very helpful, and we do alot of therapy with him at home too. Another book that is good is "Raising a Sensory Smart Child" by Nancy Peske (mom of a SPD child and Lindsey Biel (pediatric OT). Nancy Peske also has a blog which is helpful. I hope this helps you.

Mar 05, 2009
difficult to answer
by: Anonymous

I think parenting in general is difficult. I didn't know about my son's SPD issues until he was 5 (last year). When he was 3, my DS was a biter. Boy was that troublesome. He too would do the time, but still he would still revert to this misbehavior.

If you haven't already, please read the books: The Out-of-Sync Child, How Does Your Engine Run, and others on this website. Others that I would suggest would be anything on Waldorf Education and how they discipline; I also heard good things about 1-2-3 Magic.

As for myself, I try to stay consistent as possible, tell him my expectations, and am really focusing on the Waldorf manner of discipline. The biggest help has been the engine book. Using some of the techniques have really helped with transitions and helping get at the right level. Every once in a great while, he will bite instead of using words. I hope that this helps.

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