WT 134: Understanding Sensory Based Behavior with Occupational Therapist Christy Bennett

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Lucy the Lapdog

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Mother and occupational therapist Christy Bennett joins Sunny and Karen in this episode to dive into sensory based behavior. We discuss what sensory behaviors are and how to provide the sensory stimulus (or lack thereof) that your child is craving. Christy also answers your questions on how to talk to teachers about your child's specific needs and how parents can advocate for their child in the school system and in situations with other adults (coaches, church leaders, etc.) 

Question 1: How do I know if my child has sensory issues? Is there a particular age this comes up? What are some of the signs?

Question 2: Any tips on best before and after school activities/ routine for a child that is sensory seeking? We do outside as much as possible but sometimes it rains.

Question 3: My son currently works with an OT once a week: How can I prepare my son for Kindergarten (one year from now) knowing he has sensory processing challenges? My worries are that he will have a teacher with lack of education and understanding of sensory processing. I want to set him up for success as well as establish open communication with the teacher so we can support each other and my child’s needs.

Question 4: My kindergartener was recently diagnosed with dyspraxia, among other sensory processing issues. His symptoms are mild enough that they were overlooked by his pediatrician and preschool teachers. My debate is whether or not to share his diagnosis with his new teacher? We’re worried that if we tell the teacher, he will carry this label at school. We don’t want special allowances for him; we know he will have to work harder than others in some areas, but we think that is necessary to make him strong and successful. However, I wonder if the information would be helpful to his teacher, and I don’t want to treat it like a shameful secret. Any suggestions?

Question 5: My 4.5 year old boy seems to chew on everything, especially when he is idle. Is this normal?

Question 6: My six-year-old has sensory processing and motor development issues; on top of this, he has a RED temperament. The combination can make him a bit challenging to parent. On the flip side, his brother is a typically developing, laid-back child - a green temperament through and through. How do I balance the two? More specifically, how do I give my little guy the attention he deserves when my oldest demands so much time and energy, while also making sure my oldest doesn’t feel like a “problem child” compared to his easy-going brother?

Question 7: My son is going on 7 and has an off and on tick where he cocks his head back randomly, several times a day. It seems to be worse during the school year. He is a very healthy kid, but would love to know if there is something I should be doing to support him thru this?

Question 8: What are the best things to do with a vestibular kiddo?

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