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Sensory Processing Disorder and Online Schooling

Sensory Processing Disorder and Online Schooling

Educating child with Sensory Processing Disorder

It is tough being a parent of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This is because a child with SPD can be easily misunderstood. SPD is difficult to diagnose and thus it can be frustrating for the parents to deal with relatives, teachers, doctors, and others who misinterpret your child.

It is difficult for a child with SPD to gel up in a school environment. The child may be reluctant to play games, doing activities like art and craft, or responding to multimedia
lessons. This may tag him/her as a “non-participator”. On the other hand, a child with SPD may also be tagged as “extreme” or “out of control” due to excess craving for stimuli.

But such behavior can’t conclude that a child with SPD will not be able to thrive in school. If the child with SPD is given proper care and the right tools, he/she can do well with schooling. Simplifying the sensory input like touch, sound, and movement can help the child with SPD.
A targeted online learning program may be an answer to the schooling of a child with SPD.
Let’s Read English is a comprehensive online learning program that can be used as an online schooling program, after-school program, or as summer school program. The program consists of both live sessions and recorded sessions making it more interactive and also self-paced at the same time. The program consists of multimedia sessions, graphics, and simple sounds that can help with the learning of a child with SPD. The program spans from PreK-12th grade and thus contains a comprehensive curriculum. As children with SPD are bright and special, parents can set the learning level of subjects independently to suit their child’s needs. This will motivate them to learn more.

Many parents with children having Sensory Processing Disorder have found Let’s Read English program to be highly beneficial for their kids.

Experience with Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing is how we perceive and react to our body and environment. We are continuously gathering information through our senses (see, smell, taste, hear, and touch) and reacting to those. For children with Sensory Processing Disorder, it becomes difficult for them to respond in a way other people would respond. They either need minimal stimulation or overstimulation to identify and respond to the sensation.
For most of us, we find it normal when we stand on a flat surface, hear sounds that don’t hurt, see colors that don’t feel bright, and feel clothes that don’t hurt our skin. Children with Sensory Processing Disorder don’t feel the same way. What is normal for us may not be normal for them. The stimulation they receive may not be enough for them to react and in other cases, it may be so extreme that they may not endure it. Thus, the information they gather from their surroundings and through senses may be jumbled, confusing, and painful.

Sensory Processing Disorder, once known as Sensory Integration Disorder, is a brain disorder that impairs the working of senses. The disorder is treatable but is often misdiagnosed. Constant misinterpretation of the senses can make it exhausting for the child to navigate through the day. It is easy to conclude that children with SPD are often misunderstood and tagged as too shy, too clumsy, or too aggressive. As stated earlier too, they are generally socially isolated and have trouble in school.

There can be many types of Sensory Processing Disorder. Each one may result in an abnormal behavioral pattern. 
One boy, age nine, who regularly cries over a simple haircut, describes the experience as “tiny toothpick knives hitting my face and the sound of the scissors hurts my ears and makes me sick inside.” This child relaxes after a stressful event by spinning very quickly around in a tire swing, or swinging in a hammock.

His sister, who also struggles with sensory problems, has opposite issues. At the age of twelve, she says her best way of receiving information about an object is to lick it, and she is constantly grabbing and touching everything she can, as well as running, jumping, hopping, and doing handstands around the house.

Their third sibling, about to enter high school only needs to smell something that “sets her off” and she begins to gag, and comes home exhausted at the end of the school day from what she calls “navigating the noise”.

The constant battle with the impaired senses can lead to behavioral problems, school problems, coordination issues, and other problems.

Experience with Sensory Processing Disorder

My name is Terri. We have been online schooling now for 5 years. My husband John and I have 2 beautiful girls. Our youngest is now 5 years old and was diagnosed with SPD at age 3. At age 4 she was diagnosed as gifted and with an expressive speech delay. There are so many online schooling options today, but I think that online schooling is a little more challenging for a child with SPD. My oldest child, now 11 years old, seemed to be a breeze but I have had such a time trying to just “grab” the youngest child’s attention and spark her interest in any way possible. I have spent many hours looking around trying to find something that would help me and my children so that we might attempt to get the best of both worlds.

We have started a program called Let’s Read English which we found online. It is online learning program that goes up to 8th grade. It has been absolutely wonderful. We are starting our 3rd week this week and both my children love it. Instead of fighting with the youngest to attempt to do anything at all, she asks first thing in the morning to do her “school work” and I have to make her take a break. It is so animated and tells the child what to do with each step. They have it set up so that as each lesson is finished the icon, which is a star, twirls as she has completed it. This has increased her self-esteem which had been lacking.

Our Methods – Add Ons

They had a 2 week trial period so I thought, “What the heck — it is worth a try.” We plan on keeping it because it has grabbed her attention and is keeping it. She is learning academically and her expressive speech has been improving as well. Her eye-hand coordination has gotten better from using the mouse and her listening skills have also improved because the program tells her what to do and then shows her how to do it.

I do stay near her so that I can see what she is doing and sometimes throw in my own stuff but it has helped me to not have so much scheduling, grading, and logging. I am really excited about the program and all that it entails. If I have a question and send them a quick email my question is answered relatively fast and they have even called me afterward to see if my issue was resolved. I am now finding more time to do some of those things that we always say we want to do in home school but never seem to find the time. I am also interested in how it might work for other children with SPD issues.

Some of the things I have set up for her while doing her lessons are simple to do: I allow her to swivel the chair back and forth and she always has a stress ball in her hand. As long as she fidgets she seems to do much better. They do sell “fidgets” at some of the online stores but I find that almost anything can be a fidget if you think about it.

Let’s Read English has helped thousands of children. Help your child today. Sign Up for Let’s Read English and get access to a variety of online material that will help in the end-to-end learning of your child.

Do you have questions? Ask other parents through our Parent’s Forum.

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