With a typical kid you can read parenting magazines and books. You can look up tips on how to deal with X, Y, and Z. One of the most difficult (and at the same time most wonderful) things about our Sensational kids is that they are so unique. You really have to follow your instincts and let them guide you. Being the mom of a child with SPD I have learned to ditch traditional advice and parent my son in a way as unique as he is.
When I first decided to ditch the milestone checklists and advice column mumbo jumbo it was freeing. I felt empowered listening to my own instincts. When my son misbehaved I couldn’t follow the traditional advice of putting him in time-out, because that only intensified the behavior. To calm down he needs physical sensory input, so instead of a “time out” we do a “time in”, where he sits on my lap and gets that deep pressure he needs to calm down. The same thing goes when he tantrums. Instead of ignoring the tantrum, which is the typical advice you’d read about, I will hug him or give him joint compressions to calm him down. Figuring out his different needs made me feel triumphant.
However, I’ve come to the point where my mommy instincts are failing me. Trevor is getting bigger and stronger. Add in the fact that I’m pregnant and giving deep pressure to a flailing, kicking child just isn’t safe. Plus he’ll be heading off to developmental preschool in September and I won’t be there to help calm him down. I can’t give him the sensory input he needs if I’m not around. So now I’m at a loss. I know he needs deep pressure to calm down, but how do you teach an almost 3-year-old to give himself that input? What techniques can I teach him to soothe himself? I need help and would love to hear from other SPD parents how you deal with discipline and teaching self-soothing techniques to your kids.