Help With A Sensory Issue

291b0f1c8b1d20566808abad4f5c425aI have a sensory question for the mama’s out there. Cooper has started doing this new thing that is making me CRAZY. And I need help.

Here is the scenario.

In the corner of our living room I have a little play area set up. There is a mini toy box and 3 or 4 bigger push toddler toys. Cooper will be playing in his area and then all of a sudden he will get really silly. He’ll start kicking the toys and thrashing. It’s like a rave. Lights are flashing, firetrucks are going off, dogs are barking, cows are mooing, etc.

And if Sawyer is there he usually get’s hurt from the kicking and thrashing. Cooper will do this for 30 seconds or so and then move on. I can’t tell what brings it on. And in the 30 seconds the room is trashed and Sawyer is crying.

So, do I ignore it?

He will do this in other areas too.

For example, I have a pretty stocked changing table in Sawyer’s room. Lots of diapers, wipes, blankets, etc. Cooper will be reading books next to the changing table and then all of a sudden he is ripping every single item off the changing table.

I know this is totally a sensory thing. But, what do I do? Not only is it destructive it’s messy and frustrating. Should I do a ‘time-out’ every single time? Honestly, I usually can’t catch him during the 30 seconds because he is moving so fast.

HELP PLEASE!

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3 thoughts on “Help With A Sensory Issue

  1. One thing that I started doing with my son is figuring out what the function of the behavior was. I look at what happened right before the behavior happened. What was the particular behavior and what was the consequence. I learned alot about Antecedent/behavior/consequence a year ago and it really has helped figure some of the really bizarre behaviors, and helped us find a way to change them. I found some really good websites that can help with finding out the function of the behavior – one important thing is to start collecting data about when he does it, how often, etc. They have some charts that you can use that I have found really helpful. Here they are:
    http://www.escambia.k12.fl.us/pbis/fbadata/
    http://www.ped.state.nm.us/RtI/behavior/4.fba.11.28.pdf
    http://wwwstatic.kern.org/gems/specialEd/2HourTrainingBehaviorStrateg.pdf

    Also, something that I noticed with my son was that he was really particular about how things were organized. I found a great book called “The Sensory Child Gets Organized” by Carolyn Dalgliesh. Really helped with some of his meltdowns. I posted a bit about this on my blog, if you want to check it out:
    http://dailycoloringoutsidethelines.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/organizing-for-our-sensory-sensitive-family/
    http://dailycoloringoutsidethelines.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place/

    Lastly, I wouldn’t give him time outs. There is a real reason why he is behaving in that manner. I’ve learned that redirection is really key, and as you find alternative ways for Cooper to express whatever he is trying to express the behavior will become positive in nature. Sometimes my son needs space to calm down, and when he becomes disruptive I take him to his calm down spot – but in that area are things that are calming. We have a hammock that he can swing himself to regulate himself. He is into punching and hitting things so I am remaking our old toddler mattress into an area where he can either read on the mattress, or when he needs to push and kick and punch he can do it on the mattress.) Good luck. I hope I have helped a little and feel free to ask more questions.

  2. You may have already looked into this so I apologize if this is old news – but my nephew who has some sensory issues wears a weighted vest to help him sit still & feel calm and it has really helped. He’s 4 now but started using it between 2 & 3. Just something to check on if you haven’t already.

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