Sensory Processing Disorder in Children, with Carol Kranowitz (The Out-of-Sync Child)
In this episode of the Tilt Parenting Podcast, I’m talking about sensory processing disorder in children with the fabulous Carol Kranowitz, the author of many books about SPD, including The Out-of-Sync Child and The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up. A former preschool teacher, Carol is passionate about informing people about sensory processing disorder in children and helping parents and educators understand how to recognize and support kids with sensory issues.
I read Carol’s book The Out-of-Sync Child when Asher was about four years old, and I immediately had that sense of YES . . . this is what’s going on, so it was a thrill and honor to get to chat with Carol about what sensory processing is, how to recognize it in kids, what it looks like at different ages, as well as to hear Carol’s thoughts on efforts to get SPD fully recognized as a disorder. This is a fascinating conversation with one of the world’s top voices on SPD—I hope you enjoy it!
About Carol Kranowitz
Carol Kranowitz was a music, movement, and drama teacher for 25 years, where she observed many out-of-sync preschoolers. To help them become more competent in their work and play, she began to study sensory processing and sensory integration (“SI”) theory. She learned to help identify her young students’ needs and to steer them into early intervention. In her writings and workshops, she explains to parents, educators, and other early childhood professionals how sensory issues play out – and provides enjoyable sensory-motor techniques for addressing them at home and school. She is best-known for her first book in the “Sync” series, The Out-of-Sync Child.
Things you’ll learn from this episode
- What sensory processing disorder in children is
- The 3 types of sensory processing issues: sensory modulation (most common), discrimination issues, and sensory based motor problems
- How parents can recognize if their child has sensory processing issues
- The connection between SPD and other neurodifferences such as autism, ADHD, and OCD
- What to expect for sensory processing disorder in children at different ages
Resources mentioned for sensory processing disorder in children
- The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz
- The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Kranowitz
- Uit de Pas by Carol Kranowitz
- Met Plezier Uit de Pas by Carol Kranowitz
- Star Institute (www.spdstar.org)
- Jean Ayres (Sensory Integration Global Network)
- Lucy Jane Miller (founder of the Star Institute)
- Helping People Accept That Your Child Has SPD (online course at Star Institute)
Carol Kranowitz 00:00
We have to remember the senses. The first job is to keep us alive. So when a child jumps back from grandma’s open arms, the way you and I might jump back from a burning tree that lands at our feet. That alarm that self protection of the child is his way of saying I don’t get it. I don’t get this, what this potential hug and kiss are going to do to me.
Debbie Reber 00:35
Welcome to the Tilt Parenting podcast, a podcast featuring interviews and conversations aimed at inspiring, informing and supporting parents raising differently wired kids. I’m your host Debbie Reber and today I’m super excited to be bringing to the show Carol Kranowitz. The author of many books on sensory processing disorder, including The Out-of-Sync Child and The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, as well as Carol’s most recent book, The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up. A former preschool teacher, Carol’s also a speaker and is passionate about informing people about sensory processing disorder, and helping parents and educators understand how to recognize and support kids with sensory issues. I will admit to being a bit of a fan geek Carol’s book, The Out-of-Sync Child was one of the first books I read when Asher was about four years old, where I finally had that sense of, yes, this is what’s going on. So it was a thrill and honored to get to chat with Carol about what sensory processing is, how to recognize it in kids, what it looks like at different ages, and to hear Carol’s thoughts on efforts to get SPD fully recognized as a disorder. I posted on the Facebook page that I’d be interviewing Carol, and based on the response from that post and the great questions so many of you shared with me. I know that for many of you, this is an interview you’re very excited about so I hope we get a lot out of our conversation. And before I get to the episode, did you know that some of the production costs for the podcast are being offset by generous donations from listeners like you. My goal is to eventually outsource all the post production for the show. If you’d like to help us reach our goal, please consider supporting us through our Patreon campaign. Patreon is a simple membership platform that allows listeners like you to make a small monthly contribution to fund our efforts. If you want to help us visit patreon.com/tiltparenting. And now I’ll get on with the show.
Debbie Reber 02:38
Hi, Carol, welcome to the podcast.
Carol Kranowitz 02:40
Hi, Debbie. Glad to be here.
Debbie Reber 02:42
This is one of those episodes that I am just so excited about. And I also know that my listeners are really excited about having you on the show. And before we even get started, I wanted to just share with you. You know, I have a 13 year old differently wired son, and sensory processing disorder was the first kind of the first answer maybe that we found along the way and our journey when he was for someone mentioned out of sync child to me. And I was like, Oh my gosh, that’s it. And I remember calling my husband and being like I figured it out. I know what’s so exciting when that happens. Yeah, it was I felt like it did connect the dots first, you know, so many things. And, of course, now we have more information. My child also has ADHD, and he also has autism. And he’s gifted and he’s a complicated person. But the sensory processing piece is a big part of it, as I know it is for many of our listeners. So we have a lot to talk about. So I would love to just start by hearing from you. You’ve written kind of the Bible for sensory processing disorder. Can you explain to us what exactly it is? How do you define it?
Carol Kranowitz 03:58
Yes, I will. I will. And it’s interesting when I hear myself described as someone who’s written a Bible because I am really a modest person. And I feel like I’m an interpreter of the great work of people like Jean Ayres, the OT who developed the whole theory of sensory processing, and all the OTS since then who’ve been her disciples and carried on her work and explored it. And so I’m not the Prophet myself, I’m just, I’m just the scribe, and I want people to know that. Alright, so SPD. Here’s a definition that I think works. This is the difficulty in how the nervous system takes in sensory information from our bodies and the environment around us and organizes this information for our daily use. The person who has SPD has difficulty interpreting and managing ordinary sensations, such as how things feel on her skin, how gravity affects her balance and movement, where her body parts are and what they’re doing. So SPD effect, the biggies, touching and being touched, moving and being moved.
Debbie Reber 05:20
That is such a succinct definition. And I also know that, and I would love to hear more from you about this that, like many other ways of being differently wired, there is no one way that this looks right. It can be a combination of different things, right?
Carol Kranowitz 05:37
Right. Children and adults tend toward a specialty, for instance, they might be particularly sensitive to touch sensations. So the person might be that way from childhood all through life. But there will be days when the kid, everything’s going well, the kid got a lot of rest, he’s had a lot of time to play outside, he did not have chocolate and eggs and cigarettes for breakfast. He had her you know, he had food that was good for his system, there might be a lot of things going well, and that child might have a perfectly fine day. And that, so that So for instance, if a person had started out with tactile sensitivity, a lot of the time, some days it might not manifest itself, which confuses parents and teachers and others. Well, you know, Billy did this finger painting fine on Tuesday, I don’t know what the problem is on Friday. So it takes a lot of explaining and a lot of detective work to figure out what the circumstances are leading up to a person’s discomfort in the sensory world.
Debbie Reber 06:59
So that’s so interesting to me. And as you were talking I it’s been a while since I read that book with Asher in mind. But I remember this idea of sensory seeking, and you know, kids who need a lot of sensory information and kids who are overwhelmed by too much information, are those kind of the two main buckets or…
Carol Kranowitz 07:21
Yeah, yeah, those are the two main buckets. The over responsive person is the one we’ll see the most. And that overresponsivity is called a sensory modulation difficulty. So well, sensory modulation problems can be over responsivity, under responsivity, or craving. And I can talk about those for a second.
Debbie Reber 07:47
Yeah, that would be awesome.
Carol Kranowitz 07:48
Okay, so sensory modulation problems are the most common kind of SPD difficulties. Over responsivity is where the nervous system says, whoa, whatever that is, it is way too much you are flooding me You’re crashing in over my threshold. I can’t bear the touch of it, the smell of it, the look of it. Let me live under the table or with the covers over my head and never let me get out of bed. So that we all feel that sometimes, but for some people, everything crashes in on them. And how they get through the day is they have many ways of trying to manage But mostly, they will pull back they will be what I call the avoider. Don’t touch me. Don’t assault me with that guitar. Don’t show me the pretty picture. I just don’t want any part of it. Then there is the under responder. I call this person the disregard. You might need dynamite to get this, this kid to understand what’s going on around him. So the teacher is calling all right. Children it’s taught to come in now from recess. And he is standing there under the tree in a kind of a self absorbed way. not noticing what’s going on around him and so the teacher gets mad. And then they disregard her as the child who doesn’t, doesn’t isn’t aware of perhaps an injury like a scrape or mosquito bite or even a broken collarbone. This child might not notice that he has crumbs all over his face or what a co teacher of mine called the green elevens which is not pouring out of the trash.
Debbie Reber 09:51
That’s a great image.
Carol Kranowitz 09:53
I mean the kid wouldn’t just notice it, would notice that he has to go to the bathroom or He has gone to the bathroom in his pants, he just doesn’t notice that kind of thing. That child is the one where he might be Einstein on the inside. But our job as observant, caring adults is to help kind of bring him to the table and coax him to get started. And once started, he might flourish. But getting started is hard for the unresponded. Another modulation problem is craving. And this is the child who is certainly aware of sensations, is not bothered by sensations and indeed, has to have them. He’s everywhere he is bumping and crashing, he’s climbing, he’s tipping things over, he’s swirling and spinning, he’s stuffing his mouth with popcorn, he’s pouring the juice, way past the full power point. It’s also interesting, and what happens when you dump the contents of the pitcher, into the cup and over the table. And more and more and more this child is insatiable. And, in fact, there’s anecdotal evidence that that child who has the sensory quaver grows up to be an addict. And that there’s a lot of interest in looking back at addicts’ childhoods to see what kind of kid they were. Never, there’s never I never know. So those are modulation problems. There are also discrimination problems. So the person with sensory discrimination, woes might not have an modulation problem. So sensations are fine, the person gets them, likes them, handles them, but gets confused by them. So the poor discriminator might have difficulty discriminating between and among sensations. So does the button go in this button hole or not? So does what he feels and does what he sees come together. getting dressed is a big problem for the person with discrimination issues. Most of us would be able to get dressed in a dark closet, if our clothes are right there for us. You know, you feel it, you figure out what a shirt is, or what pants are not the person with discrimination problems, he might need a mirror to get dressed, because he just can’t make sense of it. He might not chew his food sufficiently, he can’t discriminate in his mouth, whether that hamburger has been chewed enough, so he might swallow it before it’s ready. Eating is a big issue, because after you’ve swallowed a bite that’s been chewed a few times, you’re going to not want to eat it anymore. So children will just refuse to eat a lot of foods that they can’t discriminate in their mouth. You’ll get kids who can only discriminate things that are hard and crunchy. So we see kids who were on the crunchy diet, carrots, pretzels, bacon, crispy bacon, no applesauce, no yogurt, because they can’t discriminate it. Or we have kids who only eat the mushy foods. They’re mushy. Yeah, they can’t discriminate what a big chunk of peanut is in the crunchy peanut butter, they can’t figure it out. And so if you can’t figure it out, you get it. You know, I am Debbie, I grew up in New England and ate oysters and raw clams regularly. My family loved that kind of food. But I understand what it would be like if your first oyster comes to you when you’re 32 years old. Like you’re going to eat it. No. It’s so so you know, think of these cleanses having this kind of gag reflex right away with something that’s strange or unusual. Alright, if you got me started you.
Carol Kranowitz 14:22
I’ll just say one more thing about a third type of sensory processing, we’ve got modulation we’ve got discrimination. And then the third type, big type, is sensory based motor problems. And this is when tactile problems have to do with our touching things and being touched. vestibular problems that have to do with our moving and being moved, and propria receptive problems which have to do with our body parts, our muscles and our joints when those all conspire to confuse a person’s nervous system. And then the result is that the sensory based motor difficulties. So going through an obstacle course, a thing kids do all the time is awesome and awesomely difficult. tactically, vestibularly, proprioceptively, the child just can’t get his body to cooperate. Getting dressed again is difficult, doing a new recipe, putting on a seatbelt in a car that you haven’t been in before. Anything that requires some thinking and has some complicated sequential steps is going to do these people in. And that’s it in a nutshell.
Debbie Reber 15:49
It’s so fascinating. I really I really wrapped by everything you’re saying. And it’s just bringing me back to I didn’t know anything was going on with Asher at that level. What I was just seeing was frustration and intensity and, and that kind of thing. And then when I took him to an OT in Seattle, Washington, there’s a great out there who is kind of known in the region for her work. Yeah, Rosemary way, huh? Yeah, absolutely. And so suddenly, I discovered things, I had no idea that Asher even had tactile defensiveness. I remember, one day our therapist spread out, you know, a bunch of shaving cream on the floor and a rubber mat. And she just said to me, this is gonna be interesting. And I and I thought, why what and it could have been kryptonite, Asher was like not gonna touch that stuff. And, you know, I just kind of discovered all these little pieces, his proprioception and challenges and the way spinning kind of organized his mind his brain. And there were just all these pieces of information that I got, I would have had no idea because it was just showing up as this dysregulated kid a lot of the time. So one of the things that I know, listeners are going to want to know and that I think loops into this bigger question of sensory processing disorder not always being recognized as a legitimate or a real disorder, a difference that a lot of kids are struggling with a lot of people are struggling with, how are parents to know, when it’s kind of typical, and I’m using air quotes typical, you know, being a little defiant, are being a little sensitive, versus that there is something more significant going on that they would want to explore.
Carol Kranowitz 17:40
That’s a really great question. I think the biggies are the child’s unusual responses to touching things and being touched, and to move in his own little body and to being moved, when he’s not expecting it. So touch and movement are so critical to our humaneness, we have to touch, we have to move, we must we’re born, to touch and move. That’s how we exist, you know. So when these things are causing children to have unusual responses, let’s put on sensory goggles and look at kids through these sensory lenses and ask ourselves is this child trying to defend themselves and protect himself and that we have to remember the senses. The first job is to keep us alive. So when a child jumps back from grandma’s open arms, the way you and I might jump back from a burning tree that lands at our feet. That alarm that self protection of the child is his way of saying I don’t get it, I don’t get this, what this potential hug and kiss are going to do to me. So let’s think the senses are helping us survive. When we feel safe, then we can use our senses to learn. So there’s a defensive mode that we all have. And then we put down our defenses. Okay, we’re safe, grandma’s not going to kill me. Grandma’s going to tell me a story. And then when we relax, we can hear the story. We can hear the teacher and we can understand what’s going on around us. We’re using our senses for discrimination of what’s going on around us. We also use our senses for satisfaction and for doing stuff that makes us feel good. And then when we’re tired of doing that, like eating popcorn or jumping rope or swinging when we’ve had what our nervous system wants, we stop and go out to do other things. But we’ll see in kids with SPD they don’t start. They don’t stop. They avoid what is enjoyable or neutral to other kids. And they seek out behavior or certain things that some people might consider bizarre children with autism, for instance. And everyone with autism has SPD. By the way, not everyone not everyone with SPD has autism, but everyone with autism has a child with autism might spin for a long time. And I think he referred to Asher doing that. twirling a lot. That is organizing his vestibular system. The typical child will spin around for fun because it’s fun to get dizzy, as fun to fall down. And then he’s had it then he goes, he does something else. But maybe not a child like Asher does it and does it and does it until it gets to that satisfaction point in his brain.
Carol Kranowitz 21:08
I might be digressing. You asked what can we look at, what are ways that SPD shows up? So to keep it short, I went to this wonderful website that I want our listeners to write down. It’s www.spdstar.org. And there’s a list there that shows you things such classically show up. So it breaks it down into age ranges, infants and toddlers. You’ll see problems eating or sleeping. refusal to go to anyone but Mommy, irritability when dress being dressed, discomfort in clothes, disinterest in toys, arching away when held a resistance to cuddling. And this is one of the first things that we’ll see in infants, because of course, you want to cuddle your baby. And it affects bonding very much when the mommy mommy is all they’re all mom. She’s 100% Mommy, and the baby is 0% baby. And it’s just like saying I don’t want you terribly difficult. An infant and toddler with SPD will not be able to calm himself. And he may have a floppy body or a stiff body or motor delays. So this is, babies are really late in rolling over sitting up pulling himself to a stand. Crawling preschoolers look at things that we might be able to see in preschoolers with our sensory goggles on over sensitivity to touch, noise, smells, other people having difficulty making friends. And that’s huge, huge because preschool is the main thing for preschoolers is to make friends. The preschooler might have difficulty with sleeping, eating, toileting, long tantrums, very clumsy constantly in motion. Grades schoolers might have this over sensitivity to the world, difficulty making friends. They might be very distractible, they might have the fidgets, they might be aggressive. And that aggression, by the way, is again self protective. A little boy said to me, I am a tiger going war war war and having my claws out in front of my face all the time in other people’s faces. So I can be ready to get them before they can get me. Yeah. grade schoolers with SPD are easily overwhelmed. And then the tasks with handwriting and workbooks and motor activities. Just getting from one classroom to another, for instance, or PE classes, that kind of thing is going to be very difficult for them. And then adults and adolescents. Again, they might be over sensitive to the world. They might have poor self esteem, fear of failing new tasks, lethargy, they might be impulsive and distractible, and always on the go. So some might be with ajik. Some might be always on the go. The same person might be lethargic, one day and always on the go the next day, and the adult might seem unmotivated, joyless, no joie de vive and not be able to explain it either. So, you know, SPD is not well known so people can’t defend themselves and explain themselves. One final thing here are that one of the first clues is to think if my kid ate too much kid, a kid might, it might seem like the world is too much with him to paraphrase William Wordsworth, so the so responses to the world are as if the world is too much with me, or the kid is too much for the world. The flip side, this child is finger painting, his whole body and the table and the cute little girl sitting next to him, are yelling or making noise, because there is not enough noise in his world, we have to make more noise. So is your child the “too much kid?” Another way to look at him.
Debbie Reber 26:03
And it’s such a fascinating overview. Thank you for walking us through. It’s really so helpful. And listeners, I’ll make sure that the link is on the show notes page. So if you didn’t get a chance to write that down the spdstar.org. I will include links to that and to Carol’s book, which, by the way, it’s been translated, did you say 11 languages so far? Yes. So far, including for my Dutch listeners, it’s called Uit de Pas and Met Plezier Uit de Pas. that’s The Out-of-Sync Child and The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, right. So anyway, I will include links to all of this. One of the things that you touched upon is a question I got from a lot of our members of the tilled community. And I, I told you when we spoke earlier this week, I posted on the Facebook page that I was having you on, and everyone was like, asked her this, but one of the questions I got the most is how to differentiate between autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorder. And even you just saying that all kids with autism have sensory processing disorder? I don’t know that I knew that I did. I thought they might have been separate things. So can you talk a little bit about the overlap of those diagnoses? And is it important to separate them out? Or just your thoughts on that?
Carol Kranowitz 27:25
Yeah. With the caveat that our listeners understand, I’m not a therapist, myself. I am a preschool teacher by training. So I don’t at all have the last word on it, but I hang around with people who do have the last word. So SPD is a discrete neurological problem. And there’s some very exciting research going on now at the University of California in San Francisco, by Elysa Marco. And Dr. Marco uses measurements called diffusion tensor imaging to look into the brain. And what she sees is that children or anyone with SPD has differences in the weight matter in the brain. And it’s so exciting that nobody can be a naysayer anymore that SPD is some made up thing or you know a yuppie affliction because here it is. There’s really there’s evidence now that different parts of the brain light up or don’t light up in people who have SPD and when they’re challenged with sensory activity. So you might look into Elisa Marcos’ work. So what we need everyone to know is SPD is unique and discreet. You can’t jolly a person out of it. People with autism have it. And I’ve talked to Temple Grandin. And I asked her this specifically because there are different takes on it. Some people say oh, a lot of people with autism have SPD but Temple says absolutely everyone has it. And in fact, she says over sensitivity is the biggest issue among people with autism. They’re always trying to filter out sensations that bother them. She said it’s auditory problems are particularly hard for people with autism. She said it’s like living your life with your head inside an amplifier or clothes burn and scratch and seams are terrible and anything that isn’t cotton, or silk might really really bother, bother people. Okay, but again, diverting the discussion is SPD and other neuro differences. So there’s a great deal of interest in it, and people are studying it. Lucy J. Miller, who has been the primary investigator in the SPD for many years, and Lucy is one of Dr. Jean Ayres disciples in fact, Lucy and another therapist Roy Yan, on looked at kids who were who were taking a, an assessment test called the lighter are and they fat Lucy and ryanne found that in this sample, and it was a good number 32% of the children had ADHD only 28% had SPD only and 40% had ADHD and SPD. So they were finding that 40% of children who took this particular assessment test, 40% of them had both ADHD and SPD. So that’s a lot. That’s one one study that I have in front of me that I’m discussing. There are many others that talk about the overlap.
Debbie Reber 31:16
So just wondering how then do you support these kids? It seems like, you know, medication is a big issue. For kids with ADHD that is a solution for many families. And it seems to me that you would want to know if the symptoms are, are not ADHD related, but are in fact related to sensory processing disorder. Is there? Is there a problem with, in your opinion, in medicating kids who are displaying those inattentiveness symptoms or other things that might be confused with ADHD when in reality they’re sensory related …
Carol Kranowitz 31:53
Debbie, you’re absolutely right, that it’s definitely an issue, because children with SPD look like they have ADHD and I call it a lookalike. I’ve written a little article about it, which people can find on my website, which is out of sync child calm. No. Oh, well, yes, you can get to it that way. But try Carol stock graduates.com that’s my whole name. Carol stock. Quinn was calm. And you’ll write that down. Right? I absolutely. They’re covered. Okay, so children have SPD Yes, they may also have ADHD, but often they don’t. The study I just referred to show that 28% of the kids in this sample had SPD only and Okay, SPD looks like ADHD. The child is for instance fidgeting all day long, while he’s fidgeting that’s a red flag for ADHD. This child has inattentive red flag for ADHD. But wait, let’s put on those sensory goggles. And let’s look, why does that child fidgeting… he hasn’t had any recess today. This is a child more than other children who needs a great deal of movement. He has a high movement quota. And look at what schools are doing to our kids. Especially in America. I don’t know if this is true all over the world. But in America, kids get 15 minutes a day after they’ve wolfed down their PB and J. And that’s not enough children are supposed to be moving. So you’re fidgeting in your seat because you haven’t moved or you’re fidgeting because the fluorescent lights are flickering. And you can’t stand it or the kid sitting next to you at the table has a scratchy pencil and the sound of the pencil is really bothering you. There can be any number of sensory assaults coming into a child. So he’s not getting the sensory input he needs which is movement, and he’s getting sensory input that he can’t interpret or use. And you can see why the child is fidgety and inattentive listeners might know that doctors often go by this adage, when you hear hoofbeats look for horses, not zebras. SPD happens to be a zebra. And, we need doctors and teachers and of course parents to look at the kids behavior and say, wait a minute. This really isn’t ADHD. This is something else. And I just want to tell you one little anecdote. A friend of mine had heard me talk about my favorite topic and she said you know, I’m just wondering if this applies to my 10 year old son. He has just been diagnosed with OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder and the doctor wants to put him on some A heavy medicine that has not been tested well on children. And she said I didn’t want to do it and kill it. Tell me what you think of this. Well, this is what the doctor was basing the diagnosis on. Every morning before going to school, the child would run around the dining room table many times clockwise, and then many times counterclockwise. Then he’d go to the front door. And he would press really hard with his hands. And then he’d press his shoulders and hips and thighs against the door jams equally. And during the course of the day, he washed his hands many times. OCD, right? Wrong, wrong. He had a little tactel overresponsivity, or tactile defensiveness, and things bothered the skin on his hands, and he didn’t like it. So he’d wash his hands. But it was not ritualistic. He didn’t have any of that ritualistic thing. Like if I don’t wash my hands, something bad will happen. He ran around the table to rev up his vestibular system, he pressed his body parts into the door jamb to get proprioception that he needed to wake up his body parts. He was an SPD kid, a little overloaded tactically, a little underloaded, vestibular Lee and propria receptively. That was what he was doing. He had figured out some self therapy. He was cool. But, you know, Pat was a little worried because it was a little bizarre to run around the dining table. Okay, so let’s not rush to diagnose, let’s put those goggles on and look for the sensory issues.
Debbie Reber 36:52
It’s such helpful information. And I have one last question related to that. Actually, I have so many questions. But what I’m realizing I’d like to do is because a lot of listeners had very specific questions about, you know, how to address this or that behavior. I am actually, on my to do list is to reach out to Rosemary white, the OT we talked about and bring her on the show. So I’m gonna save those more practical strategy questions for her. But the one question I would like to ask you before we say goodbye, this is a comment I got on the Facebook page, someone was saying, you know, like me that the out of saying child was the book that finally confirmed what I knew about my kid for so long. After seven years of asking the pediatrician, all the why questions and getting the answer, he’ll grow out of it. They finally got occupational therapy, and she just wishes she’d read it earlier. And her question, and what a lot of us want to know is just in your opinion, what is it going to take to get Sensory Processing Disorder to be recognized as a valid disorder by health professionals to have it be more accepted in schools? We have so much education to do around this, it says right,
Carol Kranowitz 38:08
Yeah, that’s right. I think we just have to keep talking. And we have to keep explaining. And in fact, I just saw that at spdstar.org. There’s a course being offered on it’s called helping people except that your child has SPD. And this is a course by lorianne. on someone who does research with Lucy Miller. And this, helping people accept that your child has SPD will help parents understand what to say, especially when the listener is resistant, and when to walk away. And one of the points is we need to look at our kids with our sympathetic goggles on to ask ourselves, what is this child trying to get away from? That’s too much. What is this child trying to get that he’s not being deprived of, and that’s usually movement, and activity. And then when we can’t handle it at home, how to go get the best therapy, and the best therapy is occupational therapy, using a sensory integration approach. And that is the best thing. And the younger the child the better. But even adults can be helped with OT using SI approach, an SI approach. It’s never too late. And all I can hope for is I’m talking and writing as much as I can and you are Debbie, you’re doing your fabulous job of bringing this to your listeners. And we all need to be I guess apostles in a way and go out and talk up this gospel and get people to see It’s not scary. SPD is not scary when you are informed about it. Medicine isn’t going to help it, if you have ADHD medicine might help the ADHD part of you. But there’s no medicine yet. For SPD, what kids really need is focused activity, physical activity to get their nervous system touching and moving in more ordinary ways.
Debbie Reber 40:26
Yeah, and I will say, you know, Asher started going to ot when he was four, and he went for four years. And there are very little traces of the sensory processing challenges that he had, you know, in terms of what he would wear or a lot of tactile defensiveness, he had his proprioception, his body awareness, it’s so much better. So I wanted to know that that really can work, especially when their brains are so malleable, I guess they’re building those neurons. Yeah. And I’d love what you said. And it’s a nice way to kind of end the conversation, you know, just this idea that looking at our kids and trying to figure out what, what are they trying to tell us? I love that idea. It’s something I talk about a lot, that everything is information, our kids behavior, there’s always a reason for it. And I think so many of us are quick to, to blame something or to think that it is, you know, just a willful child or something else going on. So just remembering to be curious about what might really be going on here is a great reminder.
Carol Kranowitz 41:35
Yes, let’s be detectives, let’s be curious. We can make it so much better for our kids and for the world. So I really appreciate this opportunity so much to talk to your listeners. And I hope they can get more information from my website, read some of the articles I’ve written, and go to spdstar.org. And I am also available if people want to email me. I’m not too good with Facebook yet, but I answer all my emails, so they might want to try. Try that.
Debbie Reber 42:09
That’s fantastic. Thank you so much for coming on. And sharing. This has been just a fantastic conversation and so helpful for our listeners and very generous. I’m just really grateful that you did this for us today. So thank you.
Carol Kranowitz 42:22
My pleasure. My pleasure, Debbie.
Debbie Reber 42:27
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