Helping Kids with Anxiety or OCD and Sensory Processing Issues This episode is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the guidance of a qualified professional. Anxiety and OCD don’t live in a bubble. Often kids with anxiety and OCD have sensory processing issues as well. It can help to understand what is sensory, what is anxiety, what is OCD and what […]
How to Help a Child with Both Autism and OCD Many parents who are raising children with both Autism and OCD find themselves in a no man’s land of sorts. Professionals treating Autism don’t always understand OCD and those treating OCD don’t always understand Autism. Ugh. What a struggle. That is why talking to Dr. Rebecca Sachs is like talking to a rare unicorn. Her […]
Helping Kids Understand Misophonia | Sound Rage “Just deal with it! No one likes the sound of his chewing.” That’s often how parents deal with Misophonia, a neurologically based disorder where auditory stimuli is misinterpreted in the central nervous system. When parents misunderstand Misophonia it leaves kids feeling overwhelmed and guilty. They might wonder, why can’t I tolerate certain sounds like everyone else? In this […]
Dealing with extreme picky eating can be a lonely journey. Barely anyone gets it. People will tell you all sorts of things. Some to lift you up and some to tear you down, but neither wind up being helpful.
Bumpy socks, lumpy food, loud noises, large crowds, startling automatic toilet flushers… are just a few things that can completely overwhelm some of our anxious kids. But don’t make the mistake of putting them in the same category with all your child’s other anxiety issues.
In my home I have become somewhat of a detective. When my kids are angry, impulsive, hostile or defiant – there is also some pretty big anxiety or OCD hiding underneath. I have learned how to decode my child’s difficult behaviors in order to get to the heart of the matter.
It is not a coincidence that many kids with anxiety and OCD have sensory issues as well. Sensory struggles often go hand in hand with anxiety and OCD. Many of us have kids who can’t stand tags, have tantrums over socks and go running in the opposite direction to loud noises.
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Does your child have sensory issues? Sensory issues are a common companion to anxiety and OCD. That can make an already difficult situation that much more difficult!
Often parents have a reactive approach to Sensory Processing Disorder. They put out fires as they come and often meltdowns are par for the course.
Many of us don’t think about equipping our kids with skills to handle their own sensory struggles.
Anxiety and sensory issues are like peanut butter and Jelly. They exist alone, but where you find one, you’ll often find the other. Unfortunately, anxiety can increase sensory issues and sensory issues can increase anxiety. This can feel like a never-ending vicious cycle.
So how are you supposed to handle your child’s sensory struggles? What’s the best approach? What are the best resources? What are the best sensory toys? We spend most of our time talking about anxiety, but today it is all about the sensory processing struggles!
Your child is erasing and rewriting their homework…again. She is asking you over and over again if her answers sound right. She checks and rechecks that you understand what she is trying to tell you. Is she a perfectionist? Or could it be something more? Your son tightens one shoe and then the other. “No!” He shouts. The left one is not as tight as the right. He unties the shoes and begins again. Tying and tying. Over and over again. Does he have Sensory Processing Disorder or could it be something different? Just Right OCD is often missed. It can look like so many other issues.
So what is Just Right OCD and how do you help kids who have it? Let’s talk…
It’s dinner time. You prepare for battle. You put the spaghetti down and find yourself tensing up. It doesn’t take long. One slurp. One fork scraping teeth. The screaming begins. The doors get slammed. Dinner is over. This happens every night. But, it’s not just dinner. There are many other sounds that cause your child to rage out of control. Misophonia has been destroying the peace in your house. Misophonia triggers are everywhere.
Misophonia triggers aren’t about noises being perceived as too loud (hyperacusis), it is about pattern-based noises triggering the limbic system, causing suffers to instantly feel rage, disgust and anxiety when exposed to certain noises.
It started about a month ago. My daughter came home from school and wanted a “fidget spinner.” She thought it might help with her anxiety. I had heard of fidget toys, but never a fidget spinner. As a child therapist I am normally ahead of the curve with kid crazes, but not this one.
In this episode I talk about the overlap between sensory processing issues and child anxiety. Many anxious children also have sensory issues as well.
If you scour the internet for seamless socks and buy multiple pairs of the same exact pants because your child will actually wear them, you are not alone. There are many of us out there, dealing with sensitive children who give us a long list of criteria for what they are willing to wear.