Editor’s Note: This week’s post in Mike Berry’s column is by Jennifer Summers.
When you’re parenting a sensory-seeking child, you are often exhausted and at your wit’s end. Before you give up hope, tune into today’s podcast episode. By the end of the show, you will have a brand new perspective…
We are welcoming our good friend, and fellow foster and adoptive parent, Carrie Blaske to The Honestly Adoption Podcast today. This is an awesome interview! We’re talking about a huge topic when it comes to the foster and adoptive journey: how to create a blueprint for helping your sensory-seeking child.
Notes and Quotes:
Sensory processing disorder (SPD; also known as sensory integration dysfunction) is a condition that exists when multisensory integration is not adequately processed in order to provide appropriate responses to the demands of the environment. (Wikipedia)
Our 5 external senses must be combined with our two internal senses in order to function properly in everyday life.
What can a parent do when their child seems to have SPD or out of control behaviors?
- Be a good investigator of your child
- Make a list of what is going on with your child
- See your child in the bigger picture so you can see the sensory needs behind the behaviors
Blueprint to help children with SPD
- Pull up to a bigger picture
- Fill up with self-care so you have margin
- Don’t forget you have the ability to help your kids and not to just react
- Educate yourself and your family
- How do we see ourselves as parents? What sensory issues do we have?
- See beyond behaviors to the physiological impacts happening with your kids.
- See them as whole and not needing to be “fixed.”
- How did God make the human body? Understand the 7 senses well
- Make a plan
- Be prepared ahead of time for the unknowns
- Go slow to go fast: Teach your kids using all of their senses
- Do a sensory processing inventory
- Look at the transition times and markers for when your child struggles
Practical ways to help any child regulate
- Pay attention to a child’s body language and eyes
- Provide co-regulating activities (work at it together)
- Give outlets and input for them to feel safe and regulate while you are building your inventory
- See how hard they are working just to have their body feel regulated
- Start with yourself as the example
- Check out and try different tools (see Amazon list below and/or check out the Play Therapy Room at Refresh Seattle)
Resources and Links:
Sensory Processing Tools and Toys (coming soon!)
Carrie Blaske and her husband Dave have been married for 24 years and have 7 children: 2 from step parent adoption, 2 home grown, and 3 adopted from Ghana. She is passionate about helping build support with practical hands-on real life therapeutic connection and attachment practices with those around her. She has trained with Back2Back and ETC ministries.
Carrie is on the Refresh leadership team and will be hosting the Play Therapy Open House at the upcoming Refresh Seattle Gathering for foster and adoptive parents. Mike and Kristin Berry, our Honestly Adoption co-founders and hosts, will also be speaking at this conference. Don’t miss out and make sure to register now!
Question: We know parents are often the best experts! What tools have you found that help your children get the sensory input or output that they need? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Originally published on Confessions of an Adoptive Parent