Sensory Processing Disorder: Joshua’s Story and the STAR Center’s Treament
posted by: Guest Blogger
“I felt helpless because I couldn’t tell other people (including the school) what to do to help Joshua because I didn’t know myself. It is heartbreaking to find out that your child has SPD and not have any idea what to do about it. Very quickly I went from wondering if I was just a bad parent to knowing that I was completely inadequate to deal with the new reality and not knowing where to look to find the answers.”
Joshua was withdrawn, prone to outbursts of anger, reluctant to try new things and had communication challenges. Joshua’s mom searched online and found the STAR Center whose therapy program was pioneered as an intensive model… so kids progress faster.
What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
Sensory Processing Disorder affects 1 in 20 children, which is approximately one child in every classroom. Sadly, misdiagnosis is common because many health care professionals are not trained to recognize sensory issues.
The symptoms of SPD vary greatly depending upon the sense that is affected, how that sense is affected, and the severity of the condition. People with SPD misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound, and movement. They may feel bombarded by information, they may seek out intense sensory experiences, or they may be unaware of sensations that others feel. They may have feeding and weight/growth difficulties. They may also have sensory-motor symptoms such as a weak body, clumsiness or awkwardness or delayed motor skills.
The therapist at the STAR Center spent a lot of time pushing Joshua’s social limits. She engaged him in a lot of play that forced him to learn to negotiate, listen to other people’s ideas and compromise. She also worked on helping him translate his thoughts into more articulate language so that he would be able to communicate better with others. She didn’t punish Joshua for his misbehavior. She mentored him and tried to help him analytically understand the different outcomes of his behavior. This usually led him to self-correction and it was amazing to watch him grow through this process.
“I have seen Joshua emerge socially in his awareness of his surroundings (no more talking in front of him because he actually listens and responds now). It seems like his intellect has also been unlocked and he is chatty and interested in everything. He seems confident about going to school. He is more articulate in his speech (ie. he is able to tell me what he wants or thinks) and doesn’t seem so reluctant to try new things. And he is fun!!! He hasn’t been that in a while. Before therapy, I would have never known what to do and I certainly would have gone to bed feeling like a complete failure as a parent. Thank you for giving me the tools to overcome all of that. It was an absolutely incredible experience! ”
STAR Center, a Colorado 501(c)(3), is the premier treatment center for children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder, feeding disorders, and other sensory issues associated with other conditions such as ADHD, autism, and a wide variety of additional developmental disorders. Mile High Mamas has partnered with Star Center on this promotion. www.spdstar.org | 303.221.7827