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Sensory Processing Help

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    #16
    Re: Sensory Processing Help

    A few thoughts/discussion on Sensory/Executive Function issues

    1) In reflection, I'm wondering if I had not supported my son more, if there would have been less resistance? When you think about the whole process of getting dressed, it is actually an extremely multi-task item. To get dressed, here are the steps I can think of involved: 1) leave the spot you are in and get to your bedroom. 2) take off the clothes you are wearing 3) put the clothes where they belong 4) get a shirt 5) get some bottoms 6) put on shirt 7) put on pants.

    That is actually a complex task! Even though the child might be physically able to complete the task, they are basically, emotionally not able. They literally can not do it. I definitely find myself struggling with this. How much do I support the child vs "giving in". When is it a battle of the wills and when do they just really need more support?

    So, in the case of the "morning routine" to ask my son to get dressed, make his bed, and brush his teeth may have been ridiculous to begin with. We probably would have completed the routine at the same time, but with less frustration on all our parts if I would have considered offering more support. I could have gone with him to his room and either 1) direct him what to do and in what order 2) physically help with small parts and gradually move to him doing it more himself. The making bed might have to wait. "Can you help me make your bed?" "Ok, we are done, let's go brush your teeth now." After several weeks of supporting him getting dressed, you try sending them to do it on their own...then add make bed, etc.

    I think when we are schooling these are also things we need to consider. Last year, my son could not color a page by himself. He didn't need me to physically do anything, but he needed me physically sitting there to say, "Wow, you colored the bear's nose brown", let's color this flower next". We did actually do this, and eventually, I was able to leave for short periods gradually working up to longer periods and finally, "assigning" it. Is it a battle of the wills, or did he just need support? Again, serious questions here. It's the whole when to push and when to support challenge.

    Lastly, I have heard to consider for many tasks what a child 2 years younger might be expected/able to do. This seems to be about right on when I think of even the two above tasks. The child was physically able to 1) get dressed, make a bed and brush teeth, but was not emotionally (is that the right word?) ready. The child could physically color, but looking at a big open page was overwhelming. I coached him through to get it done.
    Christine

    (2019/2020)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

    Comment


      #17
      Re: Sensory Processing Help

      Totally agreeing with Christine here. I definitely have caught myself over-assigning things. Like brush your teeth. He'd get all flummoxed at choosing his toothbrush, there were so many to choose from at the sink. My girls have started brushing their faces...seriously. luckily, no toothpaste was involved. Ha!

      Definitely work on one thing at a time. A whole morning routine would be overwhelming to my 9 year. He's got the get dressed part, but make bed is what we're working on. He changed his own sheets today and just could not figure out how to get that blasted fitted sheet on the mattress. He would get a corner tucked and it would come off when he moved to the next corner. We finally got it wrestled into place, luckily no tears were shed.
      Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

      DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
      DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
      DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

      Comment


        #18
        Re: Sensory Processing Help

        I think you have a great point Christine. It is a very fine line. When is a tantrum a character thing and when is it a sign of overload or being asked to do something they're not developmentally ready for. I think the 2 years younger is a good guideline. It's helpful to keep in mind.

        When my kids are doing their morning/bedtime routine, I'm either right along side with them, or I'm available to help.

        In the case of our morning routine, for a long time we've been telling A to go get dressed and brush his teeth and he does it just fine. So in my example of the 1.5 hour stand off - it really was just that. I was having him do something out of his preferred order and that was hard for him. In that situation I chose to hold firm because I knew I was asking him to do something he was capable of. With G, I'm doing the morning routine right next to him. Okay G, lets look at your chart, what's first and so on. With the older two, I need to just ask them, have you done XYZ? A still needs help making his bed, likely will for quite a while. C is the only one who can do the whole thing independently.

        Now for school tasks -- In my planning, I thought I'd be able to assign his math work, phonics pages, and some other things independently. Turns out I can't. For now, he needs me right there next to him giving direction. I think as the school year progresses we will be able to move towards doing more independently, but not right now. It really is a tricky thing to discern.
        Susan

        2018-2019
        A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
        C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
        G (5) - Simply Classical C

        Comment


          #19
          Re: Sensory Processing Help

          Originally posted by sfhargett View Post
          I think you have a great point Christine. It is a very fine line. When is a tantrum a character thing and when is it a sign of overload or being asked to do something they're not developmentally ready for. I think the 2 years younger is a good guideline. It's helpful to keep in mind.

          When my kids are doing their morning/bedtime routine, I'm either right along side with them, or I'm available to help.

          In the case of our morning routine, for a long time we've been telling A to go get dressed and brush his teeth and he does it just fine. So in my example of the 1.5 hour stand off - it really was just that. I was having him do something out of his preferred order and that was hard for him. In that situation I chose to hold firm because I knew I was asking him to do something he was capable of. With G, I'm doing the morning routine right next to him. Okay G, lets look at your chart, what's first and so on. With the older two, I need to just ask them, have you done XYZ? A still needs help making his bed, likely will for quite a while. C is the only one who can do the whole thing independently.

          Now for school tasks -- In my planning, I thought I'd be able to assign his math work, phonics pages, and some other things independently. Turns out I can't. For now, he needs me right there next to him giving direction. I think as the school year progresses we will be able to move towards doing more independently, but not right now. It really is a tricky thing to discern.
          My son has figured out a way to circumvent part of the morning routine! He's been sleeping ONTOP of his covers, so he doesn't have to make his bed! HAHAHA. It's going to be a cold winter! (HE said, no, I just use my blanket (half the size of himself) and put the big pillow on top if I am cold). He has actually chosen himself now to get up and first thing get dressed. He said "then all I have left is to brush my teeth after breakfast". HE broke it all up for himself!
          Christine

          (2019/2020)
          DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
          DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
          DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

          Previous Years
          DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
          DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
          DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

          Comment


            #20
            Re: Sensory Processing Help

            Wow! Reading through this thread has been so helpful! Though my daughter has not been diagnosed, I know she has sensory issues. She also really likes routines, but has a hard time staying focused. During school last year she needed me nearby cheering her on or she would lose focus and not get anything done. Now I have some ideas on how to help her.
            --Amanda

            DD #1 - 3rd
            DD #2 - K

            Comment


              #21
              Re: Sensory Processing Help

              Ok so we are two weeks into implementing the new parts of our routine and for my JrK son things are going pretty well. Thank you for the suggestions! The daily picture chart, the new week chart and all has helped tremendously. BUT his angry outbursts (often violent) towards others have increased. Instead of just handing out consequences, I've been taking the time to try to understand the cause behind them. For the most part, he blows up when something isn't "fair" according to his rules. If his sister hits him, then the "fair" thing to do is hit her back. I'm really at a loss as how to correct this line of thinking. Should I call the developmental ped? Are there picture books that help explain this? I've been reading the Out of Sync Child but I haven't come across this yet. Is there another resource available? Am I expecting results too quickly?

              Here are things we have tried:
              1. Time outs
              2. Time in the room to calm down (this does work for when he gets overwhelmed but not in preventing the outburst)
              3. Role playing
              4. Repetitive strategies to handle anger (ask for help, come to mom immediately, etc)
              5. Loss of consequences


              Heidi
              Heidi

              2018-19
              dd- 3m
              ds- SC 1
              dd- SC B

              Comment


                #22
                Re: Sensory Processing Help

                Originally posted by VAmom View Post
                Ok so we are two weeks into implementing the new parts of our routine and for my JrK son things are going pretty well. Thank you for the suggestions! The daily picture chart, the new week chart and all has helped tremendously. BUT his angry outbursts (often violent) towards others have increased. Instead of just handing out consequences, I've been taking the time to try to understand the cause behind them. For the most part, he blows up when something isn't "fair" according to his rules. If his sister hits him, then the "fair" thing to do is hit her back. I'm really at a loss as how to correct this line of thinking. Should I call the developmental ped? Are there picture books that help explain this? I've been reading the Out of Sync Child but I haven't come across this yet. Is there another resource available? Am I expecting results too quickly?

                Here are things we have tried:
                1. Time outs
                2. Time in the room to calm down (this does work for when he gets overwhelmed but not in preventing the outburst)
                3. Role playing
                4. Repetitive strategies to handle anger (ask for help, come to mom immediately, etc)
                5. Loss of consequences


                Heidi
                How busy are you? I mean, what are your days like? Are you out of the house a lot? Do you have more routine days or more non routine days? My son goes off the chain when we are busy, or he has a lot of outside stimulation. We are the odd family that two hours at a park means the rest of the day is meltdown mode. We can do an hour and only an hour. We did a jump park, also figured out 1 hour was enough... swimming, we can do two hours and I actually have three relatively calm children..... My son is also similar and if things are not fair, melts down!
                Christine

                (2019/2020)
                DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                Previous Years
                DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                Comment


                  #23
                  Re: Sensory Processing Help

                  Originally posted by VAmom View Post
                  Ok so we are two weeks into implementing the new parts of our routine and for my JrK son things are going pretty well. Thank you for the suggestions! The daily picture chart, the new week chart and all has helped tremendously. BUT his angry outbursts (often violent) towards others have increased. Instead of just handing out consequences, I've been taking the time to try to understand the cause behind them. For the most part, he blows up when something isn't "fair" according to his rules. If his sister hits him, then the "fair" thing to do is hit her back. I'm really at a loss as how to correct this line of thinking. Should I call the developmental ped? Are there picture books that help explain this? I've been reading the Out of Sync Child but I haven't come across this yet. Is there another resource available? Am I expecting results too quickly?

                  Here are things we have tried:
                  1. Time outs
                  2. Time in the room to calm down (this does work for when he gets overwhelmed but not in preventing the outburst)
                  3. Role playing
                  4. Repetitive strategies to handle anger (ask for help, come to mom immediately, etc)
                  5. Loss of consequences


                  Heidi
                  I don't have much advice, but you are not alone. My oldest often has angry outbursts. Sometimes it's because he's overstimulated/tired. But he also has a really tough time with getting an idea out of his head. He can get stuck on something for hours. Like "Why did C lay down on the sofa when I wanted to sit down?" His speech and OT are using Social Thinking materials with him. It's too early to tell for sure, but it is promising. https://www.socialthinking.com/

                  I have heard good things about The Explosive Child, but haven't read it myself.

                  I think you are on the right path.
                  Susan

                  2018-2019
                  A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
                  C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
                  G (5) - Simply Classical C

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Re: Sensory Processing Help

                    Good morning, Heidi.

                    Developmental ped? Yes, it could be a good idea to mention your concern. He/she may have good suggestions and, at least, can document the difficulties.

                    Picture book? Yes, you may find Cheri Meiner's books compatible with the approach we take in SC resources. See "Cool Down and Work Through Anger" on Amazon.

                    Other tips:
                    -- Nip the "fair" argument in the bud. You can do this several ways. First, plan to address it when not still in the explosive moment. Second, conduct a lesson on what is "fair" but shift his thinking to what is (morally) "right" and "good." By nature we all want what we want/demand, but this is not how we approach decisions in our lives. Appeal to the big boy/man he wants to become. Ask if it is "fair" that Dad goes to work even when 1) he is very tired and 2) does not feel like it and 3) other people in the house get to sleep in or stay home? Dad does not decide what to do by what is "fair" but by what is right and good to do.

                    -Similarly, (if you can do it without a martyr tone), discuss your roles in a single morning. List objectively the various tasks you do for the family that no one else does. Is this "fair"? No, but you do these things because they are good and right to do. Most importantly, you do these things because you love your husband and you love your children.

                    -We strive to treat each other well from love. This (not "fair") is our highest standard.

                    -Yes, this takes time -- years -- to model, teach, and convey to your children. But this does not mean you settle for faulty thinking or hurtful behavior in the meantime.

                    -Be sure that the other offender (sister who hit him) is not favored but also receives a firm consequence. No favorites. However, do not point this out or in any other way perpetuate his argument of fair by comparison. In other words, you want to BE fair, but you do not want to overtly encourage him to view things as "tit for tat" or "an eye fir an eye" in his defending his own wrongdoing.


                    I think back to my son at that age and know that your perseverance now will be worth its weight in gold in the end.

                    More than anything, rather than "me, me, me --fair, fair, fair" we want from the earliest days for the child to hear and know "love one another, as you are loved." When that becomes his new internal standard, things change.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Re: Sensory Processing Help

                      "It's not fair" was a daily mantra in our house for a long time. When looking into what I could do, I found this gem: "Fair does not mean equal". I explained to the kids that fair means each person has what they need. This ties into what Cheryl was saying. It's fair to the family for Dad to go to work because it gives them the food they need. It's fair to your son that you teach him daily because it gives him what he needs to live a beautiful life. It's fair to your son for his sister to treat him kindly and it's fair to his sister for him to treat her kindly.

                      I'm not surprised that his outbursts have increased though. I'm currently bracing for two weeks of tantrums from my 5 year old as we get ready to start our school year. She loves school, but she can't handle changes in our routine or changes in our approach to things. Your son is most likely reacting to your change in approach. It usually takes my daughter two weeks, from the time she starts reacting, to acclimate to a change. Your son may take less time, or more, as each child is unique.

                      Also, one of my children definitely has an Old Testament sense of justice. While the "fair" concept is more rightly understood now, the "eye for an eye" is still a problem. This isn't something that you will be able to change overnight. My child is older so I have been more pointed (perhaps too much so if I was really frustrated!) in my remarks about how the Our Father asks God to forgive us as we forgive others (for others reading: I wouldn't recommend pointing that out to a child who deals with moral anxiety/scrupulosity). I also told them about Jesus telling us to "turn the other cheek". I did this a few times and then let it be. I will still mention things from time to time, but I don't harp on it as that can make children with "black and white thinking" double down on their ideas. We can, and must, point the way and discipline them when they act on their faulty ideas, but God is the only one who can change the heart.
                      Jennifer
                      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                      2019-2020 Plans:

                      DS16
                      MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
                      MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

                      DS15
                      As above, plus:
                      MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
                      MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

                      DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

                      DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

                      DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                      DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

                      DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Re: Sensory Processing Help

                        Yes, all good points. And, as Christine mentioned, watch over-busy-ness. We "learned" the hard way over too many episodes that less was more for us.

                        Even today, my 22yo son works only 3 days a week. He knows he needs that downtime or he becomes irritable, moody, and agitated. Before work days, he has learned to shower early and head to his room by 7 pm to have enough time to listen to music or audio books before falling asleep. Had we understood his need for down time about two decades ago, we could have saved him much distress.


                        All of the things you mentioned, Heidi, are good, as is everyone's help here. Everything works together.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Re: Sensory Processing Help

                          Such a wealth of goodness! Thank you!

                          I will order the book and give him some more time to work through some of this. I will also begin to document how many outbursts to be able to give the developmental ped some clear info.

                          To the question of busy-ness: we spent the summer free of any commitments (other than morning chores and such) so I am sure the school rhythm does feel busy to him. I hadn't thought about it that way. We have been careful about adding in extra curriculars. His only extra is soccer which hasn't started yet.

                          To the fairness issue: I had wrongly assumed he understood that when his sister hits him that her consequence of a time out is making it "fair." I think more direct teaching is necessary to define fairness and how it isn't how we want to live. As I thought about it, the humbling and critical part is this concept has eternal implications. A fair world is a world without love and grace; a world where all of us as sinners receive the punishment we deserve. Realizing that spurred me on even more!

                          Thank you for the support and encouragement! I can't tell you how much it means to know I'm not alone in these experiences!

                          Heidi
                          Heidi

                          2018-19
                          dd- 3m
                          ds- SC 1
                          dd- SC B

                          Comment

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