Developing an Attitude of Gratitude for Children with Sensory Disorders
Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.
Sometimes it feels like walking on pins and needles. You think you’ve got it figured out. No tags or tight clothing. You know the lists of foods that wig them out. You have game plans for social settings that stress out your sensory sensitive child. But it can sometimes feel like no matter what you do, your sweet angel has a meltdown anyway, and it’s over something that you never saw coming (like the time my daughter yelled at the birds outside the back door for chirping).
There are so many awesome ways to help overcome and manage Sensory Disorders, but it can still be stressful. It’s so easy to get swept away by the stress and planning that you forget to take a breath and appreciate your sensory child’s wonderful qualities and the moments of joy they bring to your life.
How to Build Appreciation
So with the approaching season, we felt it fitting to give some tips and activities that can remind you and your sensory child that you’re grateful for each other.
Activities They Love
My daughter lives for arts and crafts. They are the basis of her rewards system. She also uses these activities to calm down when she’s had a meltdown. Arts and crafts can be my saving grace, but many times I forget how much it means to her when I get down on her level and do these kinds of things with her instead of just supervising and helping out when she asks. You all know your kids. You know what they’re passionate about. One of the best ways you can show them they’re appreciated is to take an interest in what they love. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, but even a few minutes will feel like a big deal to them and taking the time to have fun together can remind you why you’re working so hard to keep their life running smoothly.
One of the therapy options for kids with Sensory Disorders is a weighted blanket. The added weight gives them a sense of security and helps calm their overactive systems. Well, you can do the same. Wrap them up in a blanket and hold them tight. It’s a good opportunity to watch a show they love, read a book, or just talk. Your presence can offer them added security and spending quality time with them is good for both of you.
Honestly, who doesn’t love a good fort? Forts or little spaces they can curl up in are also good therapy for Sensory kids. It’s once again about security, but it’s also about fun. This is one more fun activity you can do to get down on their level and show them that the things they love are important to you.
Talk To Them
Sometimes it’s hard for kids to put their feelings in to words, but if we pay attention, they’re usually pretty good at communicating their needs whether by flat out telling us, or more subtle cues. Either way, they can let you know what will help them feel appreciated. And the other side of this is for you to speak up. You don’t have to be subtle about your intentions. Tell them you love and appreciate them. Let them hear straight from your mouth that you’re glad they’re a part of your life and that no matter how rough things can be, you wouldn’t trade them for the world. I guarantee you they feel the stress that drags you down, so they need to hear and know that you think their worth it.
Relish in Their Successes
It doesn’t matter how small. When they achieve a goal or navigate their way through a meltdown, celebrate. Be their cheerleader. This not only shows them that you care, but it’s a great way to remind them that they can achieve and improve. It’s also a good way to remind yourself of the good they do and the progress they make even if they still have a long way to go.
Sensory Disorders and other learning and behavioral challenges can feel like trying to climb a sheer cliff face while dragging a reluctant child behind you. But if we get down on our children’s level, learn to enjoy the moment and make them our partner in their success, we can develop an attitude of gratitude and remember to love those kiddos, quirks and all.
Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo! Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
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