HOW DO WE KNOW?
Navigating parenting is never easy. Even less so when you're doing it for the first time, or are encountering behaviours in your children that are new to you, or difficult to explain. Advice may be coming in from every angle; teachers, doctors, parents, friends... But you know your child best. The decision about whether OT is right for you and your family is one only you can answer. Below are some indicators which, if present in your child's behaviour, mean OT could be beneficial.
SIGNS OF SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER
Sensitivity to sensory stimulation
This can include sensitivity to touch, texture, noise, taste, smell, and/or sight. Your child may fear loud noises or crowds, not like to be touched, or need to be touched constantly, or avoid certain foods, tastes, and textures.
Lack of confidence in movement
Your child is fearful or quick to react in situations in which they sense a lack of control. They may not like being upside down or playing on the playground.
Your child is not be able to sit still or follow a string of directions. They may have trouble keeping focused. This can be exhibited by stimming or fidgeting, and also by difficulty calming down and getting to sleep.
Your child gets easily overwhelmed, leading to lashing out or meltdowns. Calming down and returning to a neutral state is difficult for the child.
Trouble with fine and gross motor
Coordinating the body is difficult for the child. They could have trouble learning to write or string beads onto a thread, or have trouble kicking a ball or navigating stairs or obstacle courses.
Your child seems unaware of danger or pain. They put themselves in situations that could have bad consequences, and don't seem to react when they get hurt. They may even cause themselves harm intentionally (head banging, etc.)