There are many ways to be a good parent these days, but being an ex-avid reader of parenting books and blogs I thought it might help others if I share some of the things that have resonated with me. These tips can also apply to anyone who just wants better relationships in their life.
The “what every parent needs to know pdf” is a book that provides information on what parents need to know when it comes to food. The book is written by the American Dietetic Association.
There is a strong link between ADHD and sensory difficulties that is sometimes overlooked by parents, but which may have a significant influence on sensory overload, social relationships, and attention!
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is most often diagnosed in children. Adults, too, may be given the diagnosis!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 10% of youngsters had ADHD in 2016.
That’s a significant amount.
I’ve dealt with a number of kids with ADHD as an occupational therapist. Many of them were also experiencing sensory difficulties.
Some of the frequent indications of ADHD might be disregarded on the surface as a consequence of the diagnosis. However, as an occupational therapist, I was able to link huge emotional reactions, social interaction problems, and/or impulsive conduct in children with ADHD to sensory processing issues.
That implies that the correct sensory exercises, sensory integration therapy, or a sensory-based treatment plan might have a huge influence on those issues, as well as others in their daily lives.
The link between sensory processing disorders and ADHD is much stronger, since many children with ADHD have texture concerns, loudness sensitivity, or clothing sensory issues, to mention a few.
What Exactly Are Sensory Issues?
Sensory difficulties are caused by the brain’s inability to comprehend the sensory information it receives. The brain is continually receiving sensory input from all of our eight senses (plus the “hidden” senses of proprioception, vestibular, and interoception).
Sensory difficulties occur when the brain over- or under-processes sensory inputs, or when the information is lost in route.
Because sensory difficulties emerge as a consequence of this under, over, or lost processing (also known as low registration) for any or all of the 8 senses, a kid might exhibit a wide range of symptoms.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of knowledge and training in sensory processing, many health care professionals, including some pediatricians, fail to recognize that their child’s strange, quirky, or frustrating behaviors can be explained by the way their brain processes the large number of sensory stimuli it receives on a constant basis.
Alternatively, that specific sensory activities may help with poor sensory processing!
Sensory Symptoms of ADHD in Children
Sensory difficulties may affect children with ADHD in a variety of ways, but the majority likely fall into one of two categories:
- Sensitivity to the senses (this is when the brain over processes sensory input)
- The search for sensory information (this is when the brain under processes sensory input)
Sensory sensitive children may react negatively to or avoid specific sorts of sensory stimulation, such as:
When children seek sensory stimulation, they often strive to gain more and more of a specific experience. They’re often regarded as rambunctious, inattentive, and incapable of following instructions.
Does this ring a bell? These are also typical ADHD symptoms. I’ll get to it in a minute.
To be more exact, sensory seekers may include:
- Climbing dangerously high furniture
- circling in circles
- They may roughhouse with other children, siblings, or adults in their lives.
- cram into confined spaces
- (Although there are other probable causes for these actions) strike, bite, or shove
- All the time, jump up and down
- lick the whole room
- everything should be smelled
- everything should be touched
- Observe gleaming or whirling things
To be honest, this list might go on forever. Whether you’re not sure if it’s connected to their sensory processing, let us know in the comments section.
Sensory Overload and ADHD…
All of these sensory concerns, or sensory requirements as I like to call them, may build up to the point of sensory overload in a kid with ADHD.
Sensory overload may occur fast, particularly in children who aren’t communicative or have limited communication abilities.
It’s usually triggered when a child’s brain is overloaded with sensory information and they can’t handle it any longer.
When a youngster is overstimulated, they may become unresponsive, difficult to interact with, and even harm himself or others.
Sensory overload may sometimes result in a sensory meltdown, which is NOT the same as a tantrum, despite the similarities in appearance. A sensory meltdown may cause a youngster to become explosive, angry, scream, scratch, punch, bite, or flee.
Their sensory system has been overloaded, and they are unable to reason during a sensory meltdown; instead, they respond, frequently bewildered and overwhelmed.
When kids with ADHD aren’t permitted to move or are forced to stay motionless for too long, they may have a sensory meltdown, especially if they fall into sensory seeking.
Do Sensory Issues Play a Role in ADHD?
The big question at this point is… Do Sensory Issues Play a Role in ADHD?
Here’s what we know: a lot of kids, whether they have ADHD or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have sensory difficulties. However, it seems that a high percentage of children with ADHD also have sensory difficulties.
According to the Star Institute, 40% of children with ADHD are also likely to have SPD. While there are some similarities in the symptoms of ADHD and sensory processing disorder, the causes seem to be distinct.
ADHD seems to be tied to malfunctioning neurotransmitters, whereas SPD appears to be linked to white matter levels in the brain.
However, many more children with ADHD may have sensory issues that may have an effect on their everyday lives but will not be diagnosed with SPD.
Sensory exercises that are known to relax and concentrate in general will certainly assist the children who do not have substantial variances in their sensory processing.
Take a look at the diagram below for an overview of how sensory difficulties or Sensory Processing Disorder might impact a kid with ADHD:
It’s also worth noting that youngsters with ADHD, anxiety, or oppositional defiant disorder are more likely to have significant sensory difficulties, according to one research.
In any of these cases, it seems (and I think) that the great majority, if not all, children with ADHD need or benefit from sensory methods and activities, as well as a tailored sensory diet.
Can Sensory Issues Be Caused by ADHD?
You could also be questioning whether your child’s sensory difficulties are the result of his or her ADHD. The answer is no, since CT scans demonstrate that ADHD and SPD are caused by separate factors.
However, even if a kid with ADHD does not have any sensory difficulties, sensory activities and tools may be extremely helpful in calming and focusing them.
**We’re about to launch our first-ever FREE Thriving with Sensory 7-Day Challenge, which will teach parents how to support and even improve their children’s sensory difficulties! Although registration is not yet open, you may join the waitlist here to ensure a seat. **
Is it possible for my child to have both Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD?
To be clear, a kid may be diagnosed with both ADHD and SPD. Sensory Processing Disorder, on the other hand, has yet to be incorporated to the DSM-V, the diagnostic handbook used by physicians and other professionals. It has also not been included in the ICD-10 numbers required for insurance billing.
Of fact, even though SPD isn’t a “official” diagnosis, many professionals, including physicians, are aware of it.
In certain cases, this might make it difficult to obtain therapies like occupational therapy for sensory disorders funded by insurance.
Occupational therapists assess children for sensory processing issues and, if necessary, provide the “unofficial” SPD diagnosis. Whether or not a kid has ADHD should have no influence on whether or not they are diagnosed with SPD.
The occupational therapist is looking at things from a new perspective and should do a comprehensive examination to see if there are any sensory processing issues that need to be addressed.
Is it possible that my kid was misdiagnosed with ADHD?
You may be wondering whether your kid was misdiagnosed at this stage. Is it possible that they have Sensory Processing Disorder rather than ADHD?
That’s a wonderful question to ask yourself, as well as your kid’s doctor and any other experts with whom your child interacts. If you feel that your child’s troubles might be explained only by an SPD diagnosis, I’d consider scheduling a comprehensive sensory processing evaluation with an expert occupational therapist.
Make sure you check with your insurance carrier to see whether you’re covered.
Keep in mind, however, that these two diagnoses may coexist. It’s completely conceivable that a youngster suffers from both ADHD and SPD and was misdiagnosed.
And, since sensory exercises may enhance brain connections, you can observe a lot of changes in a child’s behavior when you treat the sensory processing disorder side of their issues. That implies that over time, you’ll notice a reduction in sensory sensitivity or sensory seeking behaviors.
Steps to Take Next for Children with ADHD and Sensory Issues
As an occupational therapist, I’m really enthusiastic about parents recognizing and then assisting their children with ADHD with sensory processing issues. I believe they’re so easy to overlook since so many sensory symptoms may also be explained by ADHD.
When the sensory indications are addressed, however, incredible improvements and development may occur for a youngster.
This has happened to me with a variety of kids, including those with ADHD. When the correct therapy for sensory activities comes together, it’s amazing and nearly magical.
That’s why, in our RISE with Sensory course, I teach parents how to identify and treat their children’s individual needs.
In addition, you might look for sensory integration treatment in your neighborhood.
In any case, don’t forget to print off this useful free printable…
Get our 21 Sensory Red Flags Checklist for Free.
We went over some of the major sensory red flags in this post, but don’t forget to print out this list of 21 sensory red flags you could be overlooking . Parents are often startled to learn that some of the behaviors on this list are also caused by sensory processing issues, especially if they are aware of some of their child’s sensory issues.
To get a free copy of the checklist, please click here.
Additional Information on Sensory Processing
37 Sensory Toys for Kids to Help Them Learn, Communicate, and Relax
3 Ways to Determine Whether Your Child Is Over or Under Processing Sensory Information
3 Myths About Sensory Issues in Children That Aren’t True!
60 Sensory Diet Cards for Kids to Thrive 60 Printable Sensory Diet Cards for Kids to Thrive
Have you pinned this? (Click here to save it to your computer so you can locate it later!)
Respectful parenting is the key to raising a happy, well-adjusted child. Respectful parents are aware of their children’s needs and provide for them accordingly. Reference: respectful parenting.
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