Sensory Processing Challenges
Sensory processing difficulties can impact a child’s functioning as much as any other diagnosable issue. Sensory processing challenges often exist with other conditions. Children with ADHD, Anxiety, ASD, and other mood disorders often experience additional difficulties with sensory processing. With such conditions, children experience additional taxing on their neurological systems, and it can be difficult to detect where the primary challenge exists. Creative Sky can help with ideas to support or provide accommodations to children with challenges with their sensory systems. When a child has an extreme response to the environment, such as aversion to smells, noises, light, food textures, temperatures, touch, individuals may act in dysfunctional ways and have a behavioural response. This can look like crying, aggression, additional irritability or anxiety. Creative Sky helps children and supportive adults understand the sensory system, recognize the clues, and learn how to manage the responses. There are many clues that children are having a sensory challenge or meltdown, however it can present as a behavioural “episode” or a mental health issue and easily get missed. Often times, it all exists together and can be difficult to piece out. For example, when a child becomes anxious, their body will respond to the anxious thoughts and in this moment a minor sensory sensitivity can present as a big challenge. Their window of tolerance or ability to cope will be much lower in this particular moment. This can be confusing for parents or supportive adults who see the child as able to cope with something minor in one moment, yet have an explosion in the next. This is also why punishment and reward systems often do not work. Children want to be good, however when they cannot meet the expectations, things can become quite challenging for everyone involved. Creative Sky Psychology specializes in “behavioural investigative work”. This involves going under the surface to discover the primary challenge(s).
What is Body Regulation?
Body Regulation is linked to a child’s sensory system, their energy level, emotions, or anything else that may be impacting their ability to experience the environment in an adaptive way. Children with body regulation challenges may move their bodies excessively and run or jump around at inappropriate times. Safety may also be a concern. Some children have very little energy and may need energizing activities that they are willing to try. Body Regulation activities should be appropriate to a child’s developmental level and interests. Body regulation strategies often require a trial and error approach as individuals vary in their responses to calming and energizing strategies. Environmental modification can be an important part of intervention for children with regulation challenges. For example a child who is impacted by loud noises may have difficulties with coping emotionally or learning in the classroom as their window of tolerance becomes smaller. Some children also have difficulties with low or bright lights, food textures, clothing or tactile preferences, and sensitivity or aversion to touch. It is important to learn about your child’s sensory preferences as they play an important role in how your child interacts with their environment. Minor sensitivities over the day can add up to one big meltdown at night. Something as simple as the wrong socks can impact a child’s ability to have a good day at school. This can seem confusing to parents or teachers who aren’t aware of the role that the sensory system plays in our well-being. Creative Sky Psychology supports children and teens who need regulation support by examining the challenges, creating a sensory profile, and implementing ideas for well-being.