SPD And "Burnout" By Midweek

by Shallyn
(Loveland, CO)

My son is in the 2nd grade and is doing really well the first part of the school week but come Thursday he is breaking down crying a lot, yelling at teachers, potty accidents, etc. Do you have any suggestions on how to help him thru this rough day?

The SPD Help Line Answers...

Ah, this is indeed an issue for many of our SPD kiddos, and adults! The school week and work week are just about 2 days too long aren't they? But, "society" dictates that 5 days is what must be done. So... how do we get through it and help our SPD'ers cope?

The first thing is to make sure we have our child in OT. As therapy progresses, so should their regulation and coping strategies. Is your son in OT? If so, is it through the school, a private clinic or hospital. If he is in OT, is he going at LEAST once per week. If he is, he may have to bump it up to twice a week. If he isn't, at least get him there once a week. Although it is another thing/activity to add to his schedule it is a beneficial one, not the same as school. It is needed and it is necessary.

The next thing is to make sure your son has and is following a good sensory diet at home (and school if possible), every day and very consistently. This will help him get the input he needs, keep him from being overloaded, and help him regulate his nervous system on a daily basis.. keeping it in check. If he doesn't do this consistently every day, then things are going to build up and get "out-of-sync" come midweek. Make sure your therapist has given him a good solid sensory diet to work with. If she hasn't? BEG for one... this should be standard treatment. If she still doesn't... RUN to another therapist who will help you with

such issues and programs.

If OT treatment is going well, is often enough, if a good sensory diet is in place, etc. and he is STILL having trouble... dare I say, homeshooling may be the better option at this point? It has been the ultimate solution for so many of our SPD parents! He truly may not be able to tolerate all the stimulation in school and the inconsistency. He may need more therapeutic interventions more often and having him in the public school for 30+ hours a week, may not be the best approach for him.

I do not know how you feel about homeschooling, or whether it is even a possibility for your family, but, my "partner" at the SPD Help Line is a homeschool mom of an SPD kiddo herself and she wrote a BEAUTIFUL story/article about it. You can read it here... Jumping Off A Cliff Into Homeschooling. You will also find hundreds of homeschool resources on this page too! Something to think about IF the other things don't seem to help.

Additionally, make sure you are vigilent about noticing signs of overload... his teachers too, and get him to decompress somewhere, somehow before it gets to this point. We can usually see it coming. Just curious... have you tried any weighted products to help him hold it together... a weighted vest at school and/or a weighted blanket at home? Deep pressure is often one of the best regulating activities! Other "therapies" that may help would be Therapeutic Listening or Interactive Metronome(see prior post for more on these).

Also, make sure he has some good decompression time when he comes home from school and is indeed getting enough sleep as the week progresses. Does he?

I hope these suggestions and resources help. If you have further questions don't hesitate to comment below and add more information so we can help you further. Anyone else have any suggestions or thoughts?

Take good care.
Michele Mitchell

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