The Emotional Needs of a Child with a Sensory Processing Disorder

Emotional Needs

Does your child have a sensory processing disorder? Does your child have constant temper tantrums? According to Theresa Ellam, PhD, “Children with SPD can become overwhelmed more often, more intensely and more easily than typically developing children.”

I recently read an interesting article titled “The Emotional Needs of Children with Sensory Processing Issues” in this month’s issue of Sensory Focus Magazine and wanted to discuss these tips with my readers. Theresa Ellam, PhD discusses various ways to help deal with the intense emotions of  a child with a sensory processing disorder. She is the author of The Parent Survival Guide: From Chaos to Harmony in Ten Weeks or Less. Here are some tips that she discusses in her article that you might find helpful.

1. Try to see a situation through your child’s eyes. Let your child know that you understand why they might feel a certain way. For example, if your child is upset about a particular situation, tell them why you understand the feeling they are having instead of telling them they shouldn’t feel that way.
2. According to Theresa Ellam, a parent should “Correct the behavior, Not the feeling“. Instead of avoiding any situations that might make your child upset, focus on changing their behavior when the situation occurs and your child gets overwhelmed. Focus on using an “ACT Limit Settting“. ACT stands for “Acknowledge the Feeling”, “Communicate the limit” and “Target the alternative”.
3. Use Mindfulness Strategies. There are many mindfulness exercises discussed in this article that can help your child calm down including breathing tips, sitting quietly, and focusing on the moment.

To read this full article and access all of the information, click here. To learn more about the Sensory Focus Magazine and about subscribing, click here.

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