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Stand Behind Your Child

A child with problems in sensory processing needs extra support. The best way to give him that support is to stand behind him literally and figuratively.

This is very important for a child that is prone to come into conflict situations. Especially when you correct him or forbid something, you should not stand opposite him, but next to or behind him. By doing so you give him the feeling that you support him, even if he does something you do not approve of.

Of course you can put your arms on his shoulders for a moment and put some pressure on him from behind. There is another group of children for whom it is important that you stand behind them. These are the children that are in fact too affectionate. They do not seem to have the ability to defend themselves yet. They often sit on your lap or cling to you with their face towards you. Sometimes they literally jump on your lap and cling to your neck. It is unwise to forbid this altogether. But when they sit on your lap, position them in such a way that their back is towards you. In this way you give them support but they can focus their attention on the environment.

The best place to give them support is at the hips, so that they can sit up straight and do not lean against you too much. After a while you could try to move them from your lap gently, so that they can undertake an activity themselves.

Printed with Permission from Els Rengenhart Ergotherapeut (Therapist in Groningen, The Netherlands) specializing in Occupational therapy for Children with Sensory Processing Disorders.

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