Homeschooling a Sensory Kid – Part 1

Let me start this by saying that I am not an expert, in fact I am the furthest thing from that. Everyday I learn something new, everyday I have to find new ways to parent and teach my sensory kiddo. This is only part 1 of this series, as I learn and as Bubby grows I’ll post new strategies and information we learn. So, let’s start with the basics.

What does it mean when I say I have a sensory kid? Bubby, our 6 year old, was diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder in Spring of 2016. He was 3 1/2 years old and we had known for a while that something was up. There’s nothing wrong with him, he just does things a little differently than most kids. Bubby is sensory seeker, so he needs everything to be louder, more intense, rough… he has to jump and move constantly, he stems with his hands when he is craving sensory input. It’s intense and crazy and loud most days, so we are learning how to not only raise him and help him with day to day life, but I’m also having to learn the best way to teach him.

It hasn’t been easy, he’s a tough kid to figure out. We’ve been out of occupational therapy for over a year now and waiting to be re-evaluated by a new facility here in NC. As sensory kiddos age, you find that their sensory needs change and that you need new ways to help them. That’s our biggest struggle right now, most days I have no idea what to do to help him.

My main goal right now is to help Bubby with focusing and learning to read, he wants SO badly to read like his big sister. However, he struggles with focusing and doesn’t like to work on something for very long periods of time. I have to keep things short and sweet, so my strategies that I used with Boogie do not work for Bubby.

We are trying some new curriculum in the next few months, I’m going to try some active games and tasks to help him with sight words and phonics. We are moving away from The Good & the Beautiful curriculum, and I may post more about that another time. I’m looking into going more towards Masterbooks and possibly trying All About Reading with him as well, but the price of that one isn’t my favorite!

What strategies and tips do you have to share? I’d love to hear what worked for your sensory kids! Leave a comment below!

Validated

I was planning on writing a fun post about our Disney vacation before I wrote any other personal posts, but I think this one needs to be written first. You may have noticed that my blog has been missing a lot of personal posts this past year, year and a half. I’ve written a few here and there, but there was so much going on in our lives that I chose to not post what I really wanted to post.

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Almost 2 years ago we started noticing that Bubby’s behavior was very unlike his older sister’s at his age. We brushed it off because they’re not the same person, they are two very different people and all kids are different! Then, as time went on it just got worse and worse. Screaming fits that would not stop, meltdowns that could last for hours, his loud outbursts, and more…. no one really believed me. No one thought anything was off, everyone said, “Oh, he’s just being a toddler! He’ll outgrow it!”

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Fast forward a bit… this past year we’ve seen more behaviors that confirmed in my mind that something was not right. Bubby was completely potty trained, but going into a public bathroom was (and still is) a nightmare. All the noises of the automatic flushers, the hand dryers…. all of that overstimulated him and he would throw himself on the floor, cover his ears and scream. He would go into these meltdowns over the smallest things at home, and there was nothing I could do to help him, I would sit in the floor and wrap my arms around him and just hold him until his tiny body relaxed into mine…. but even then it could take an hour or more for him to fully calm down. There’s a lot more than that, but if I continued listing the things that we were noticing I might not ever stop writing.

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My fears and concerns were validated this month, Bubby has a sensory processing disorder. A hypersensitivity disorder to be exact. I thought I would be more prepared for an official confirmation of this, but I wasn’t. I knew something was wrong, and I was proven right…. because let’s get real, mom’s know. They just know. Processing all of this is hard, my sweet boy struggles with things that other kids don’t. He has to work harder at coping with emotions and things around him than other kids do, and I hate that. I hate that so much.

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When you learn something is different about your child, I won’t say wrong, because there’s nothing wrong with him, your heart breaks. You can’t fix it, you can help them cope with it, but you can’t fix it. You question if you did something wrong, if there was something you could have done differently during your pregnancy or in his infant months that could have prevented this. You question God, you ask Him why He would allow your child to face a hardship like this. But I’m also thankful. I’m thankful that it’s not something that will take his life, I’m thankful that he is healthy and thriving. I’m thankful that we know now what he is going through and that there are things to help him deal with everything.

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So, if you’ve wondered why I’ve not posted very much… this is why. Please pray for us, please pray that during these next few months I can help him cope with this big move, that I can help him learn to handle everything around him and that I can show patience and understanding on the hard days.