Sensory Processing Disorder: Finding Relief at Home

Since learning that our entire family has Sensory Processing Disorder, I have been researching everywhere I possibly can online, through books, and finding personal stories from others online about how to treat our condition.

Whether it’s asking questions at our never-ending doctor’s appointments or finding friends and friends of family (that have shared so much with us that we couldn’t thank them enough for it), it feels like I spend my whole day in this state of mind. Part of this comes from the neverending challenge of finding my kids the therapies they need – specifically, occupational therapy.

The journey of seeking out occupational therapy for my kids has been extremely frustrating.

One occupational therapist I spoke to said my son was functioning “too well” to qualify for her services. If my son saw significant impacts to his day-to-day life, only then would he qualify to receive these services. Another private practice said we would have to be put on a waiting list for months in order to get our first appointments. It felt like nothing but obstacles existed at every turn.

I couldn’t help but wonder: is it this hard for everyone with this condition to find treatment? My heart goes out to all the other moms like me, who spend day in and day out just fighting for their kids to have a chance at a “normal” life.

Sensory Processing Disorder: Finding Relief at HomeWhen you have kids with special needs, sometimes all you can do is try new things at home.

This led me to wonder: what can I do at home to help my family? I read a book called The Out of Sync Child Has Fun and found great ideas for simple activities to benefit my children.

This then led me to other products that might help us. One of the best purchases I made was a simple weighted lap blanket. Wearing that while sitting on the couch makes us so relaxed, it’s almost funny. It even makes us feel tired–just one example of how our brains work slightly differently than most others. I’ve even started wearing mine as a passenger during car rides and my anxiety is simply nonexistent now!

Another item I purchased seems to bring such joy to my son in particular.

It’s called a sensory swing. It’s made of the right kind of material to provide compression when the child sits or lays in it. My son still needs help to get inside of it, but when we do his face lights up with joy and happiness. He even giggles with glee while he’s sitting in there.

I love seeing my kid’s reactions when I can tell I’ve bought them something so beneficial for them. Even though I can’t get my kids all the therapies they need right away, I am so comforted that we have been able to find some new solutions from the comfort of our own home.

This makes me feel like all the time I spent reading on the subject, finding others’ stories, asking the doctors my questions – it’s all so, so worth it.

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Samantha is a stay-at-home mom to Lily and Isaac. She is originally from San Antonio, Texas but moved to Iowa when she started attending the University of Northern Iowa. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Special Education, and loves the opportunity to mentor other parents in the special needs community. She enjoys knitting, reading, and baking in her free time.

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