Monday, September 27, 2010

Sensory Needs

One of the interesting points Dr. Purvis made was that many, many kids who have early trauma have sensory processing issues. When a child has an interruption in the normal development, the sensory system takes a hit. She believes in treating children holistically. "Holistic" is one of those words that can mean something different to everybody. Dr. Purvis defines it as treating the whole person - body, soul and spirit. (Not treating each diagnosis or issue as a separate entity in itself, but treating the whole child). Once a child is taken care of, feels safe, loved and lovable, the sensory issues will be diminished. She recommends a book, "The Out of Synch Child" by Carol Kranowitz for parents to explore the issue, and "The Out of Synch Child Has Fun" if you find your child does has special sensory needs.

Just from my own limited knowledge, these are some hints that a child has sensory processing difficulties. A child can either feel things too intensely (sensory avoidant) or not intensely enough (sensory seeking), and sometimes both.

If your child:
  • often complains about tags, tight, or scratchy clothing
  • is picky about eating certain textures
  • covers ears at moderately loud noises
  • is LOUD
  • hugs really hard
  • plays too rough
  • refuses to touch slimy, wet, or messy substances
A couple of people asked about wall-pushing. She did not elaborate, but she showed a picture of kids pushing against a wall with all their might (kind of like stretching before you exercise). I guess the wall can take whatever the kid can dish out. :-)

Dr. Purvis had statistics about the incidence of sensory issues in adopted children versus birth children. Of course, I can't find those now, ;-) but it was significantly higher for adopted children. My point in posting this is that adoptive parents need to be aware of this and be willing to look into it, if they want to see real healing in their children. I am just becoming aware of this possibility and hope to begin studying this subject in the near future.

My friend, Lisa, over at A Bushel and A Peck has done quite a bit of research on this in her quest to help one of her children. She is a hero of mine and I highly recommend her as a great resource for parenting/adoption wisdom, as well as a "sensory mom".

Blessings to you,

1 comment:

Kim said...

LOVE your new photo!!!