Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: deep in South Texas and ready to go home
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I have 3 kids with SPD. One of them is a hair-player/binky soother (doesn't self-regulate: he has high anxiety). What has helped is to offer his binky in a small bowl on the kitchen table along with pieces of gum. It puts *him* in control of making a choice of when he needs something to chew, which, surprisingly helps a lot. He no longer uses a binky (unfortunately, he's starting to chew 2 fingers, so am trying to figure out something to dissuade that), but maybe by offering it in an accessible way to him (instead of *you* providing the item of comfort), could help him in the long run. If that makes sense.
Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys!
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This may be more manipulative than some MDCers may care for...but one thing we did in conjunction with getting the "special bowl" was for the next couple of weeks I made a point when he was waking up to have a good plan along the lines of "hooray, it is popsicle time, where's binki go? yup, in the bowl, do you want an orange or a grape popsicle?" So, I just slipped that into the routine and on to happier things. If you present it right the special place for the pacifiers can be a respectful thing where he's in control of putting binki to rest in the bowl and he's keeping it safe by doing that.
I'm also wondering if your son might respond to having a chill out zone. We made one of these with our preschooler and he really liked it. We had some sensory stuff like a weighted pillow, teddy bear, books and so forth. Just stuff that helped him relax. Because so many people use time out in icky punitive ways sometimes it is easy to forget that learning to take a break can really help. For a kid who is sort of generally out of sorts it can help to have this kind of place as a distinct separate thing from the rest of life so he can start to hopefully recognize when he wants to take a break before he gets upset and to learn he can relax in ways that don't involve you too.
One more totally unrelated comment. If you haven't looked at supplements yet it might be worth a try. We found fish oil helped quite a bit with emotional regulation. You might want to make sure he's okay in terms of zinc and iron too.
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