SPD and emotional regulation - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 7 Old 09-08-2008, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My four year old DS is being evaluated for SPD. We haven't got the official evaluation yet, but the OT suspects problems in the tactile, auditory, and vestibular system. He also has some language delays. He talks at about an early three level. My question has to do with emotional self regulation though. Did OT help your sensory kid become more able to regulate emotions, and say not have a tantrum over the simplest things. An example might be not getting the chair he wanted during snack at preschool, or being asked to share a toy. Small disappointments seem to be a major trigger right now. Maybe it is the age, but his reactions just seem so out of the norm to me. I think a lot of it has to do with his need for control in certain situations, and I am guessing his need for control has to do with SPD and feeling out of control. I second guess myself sometimes, and was really just wondering if once your child started to feel more in control of their body if they started to gain more control of their emotions as well.
Thanks!
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#2 of 7 Old 09-08-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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IMo that is the root of the problem with DD. Her OT suggested it and really I think this is dead on. SHe feel way out of controll, we keep asking her to gain controll (something which she knows nothing about) therefore she is just on edge all the time and meltsdown in an instant. I was seeing more improvement with this and then school started and she is way out of controll again. So back to square one we are hading,but hopefully not for long.

My sensory seeker will behave better after some certain tricks. From what I can understand this maybe different for every kid.
- hard work exercises- pulling a loaded wagon, pushing the wall or solid/unmoveable something (like when in line somewhere she hates to wait in line)
brushing therepy, massaging her almost with the brush not really following the pattern per say.

drinking through a straw sippy- milk is her fav

listening to her music- lol Phish, drumming music, lullabyes ect

being restrained- She will calm when I put her in her carseat and turn on her tunes- not becuase she has to but becuase the pressure of being strapped in and the calming effect music can have on her. It seems to her that she can't do any more harm to herself whatever and she can get a lil bit of controll back. So I strap her in and depending on her mood I will talk her down by counting and breathing or just step away from her as she doesnt wanna interact at all atm. This only hapens when out. I can't see getting in the car everytime she meltsdwon,but when out I really have no choice sometimes and I know it will work quickly. Most times we need to just call it a day then though. This is not a punishment btw quite the opposite as she is not happy when shes lost her cool.
Deep pressure- I hug her tightly or roll her up in a towell and squash her with a pillow. Playing playdough.

All of these are prolly right before you as these are things Sierra like to do.

The one thing that really has helped leson the fits was taking back the controll. We had no clue,but she felt so far out of controll in her body that she needed controll everwhere else she could. So if playing playdough we all had to do what she did ect ect. She would be ,for lack of a better/nicer term- difficult about everything. So we had to not give her an inch at all ever. If she didnt want to get brushed we have to say "lets brush your body 1x instead of 10x" that way we still won. Sounds alot like a compromise,but it is not put to he rthat way at all. It all about the tone used. We just say matter of factly this is what we need to do, after we are done you may go about XYZ activity" whatever it's not "well honey I tell ya what how about we do this?" This is all really against my AP ways and all but I have to remember that being AP is following what the child needs. This is what my child needed. It is working and we still have some work to do such as being able to roll with the changes of life.

i hope this helps. I am a relative NOOb to all of this. Hopefully we both can get more info. Sorry if I rambled on

Sarah
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#3 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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In short - yes. And it didn't take long with the right therapist. My DS is two and doesn't have SPD but does have some sensory issues and recieves OT twice a week for 45 minutes. I also work with him twice a day at home. All the issues that your dc seems to have and proprioceptive too.
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#4 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses. I'm really hoping OT helps with this. I think I get frustrated because for a living I do counseling and play therapy with kids, and I've worked on feeling identification with my son and so on, but it just doesn't seem to help. It really seems like their is a biological basis for his meltdowns so to speak.
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#5 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katsam View Post
I've worked on feeling identification with my son and so on, but it just doesn't seem to help. It really seems like their is a biological basis for his meltdowns so to speak.
Our son with SPD had definite issues with self regulation. His response when overwhelmed is to 'freeze', so it's not as noticeable. I was worried about him for some time because he couldn't (wouldn't?) identify feelings at all. I even got some 'emotions' cards when he was 5 because I could tell he was weak on identifying emotions. It was a little scary to have him refuse to tell me what emotion the child on the card was exhibiting and his then 2 year old sister was rattling them off. (It may not be a fair comparison because as I joke with dh, she seems to have inherited his family's "social worker genes" and is particularly precocious in this area.)

Age (he's now 7) and 2 years of OT have really helped that. He's able to identify emotions, express emotions, and mostly regulate emotions as long as his sensory needs are met (so if he's overtired or overhungry, he can't, but then most kids can't under those circumstances either!). He will come to me and say "I need more mommy time" or "I'm feeling nervous and excited about starting school." Last year for Halloween it was his idea to make jackolanterns with different expressions on their faces - and he helped decide which emotion I'd created (I'm not the best artist, so "angry" turned out to be more like "scared".)

You may also want to look at some things by Stanley Greenspan - that's the approach to emotional development our OT used, and I love his work. It focuses on connection as the basis for emotional development, and he's written a lot about kids like this.

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#6 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katsam View Post
Thanks for the responses. I'm really hoping OT helps with this. I think I get frustrated because for a living I do counseling and play therapy with kids, and I've worked on feeling identification with my son and so on, but it just doesn't seem to help. It really seems like their is a biological basis for his meltdowns so to speak.
Even with your extra skills it makes a difference when someone else works with your child. As the mama it can be hard to take a step back and try something new/different. Outsiders have a great ability to see things from a different pov. I hope OT is helpful for all of your family!
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#7 of 7 Old 09-09-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post
Even with your extra skills it makes a difference when someone else works with your child. As the mama it can be hard to take a step back and try something new/different. Outsiders have a great ability to see things from a different pov. I hope OT is helpful for all of your family!
Yes, I know. It is really hard to be objective with your own child!
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