Shifting with the Seasons……….

Many parents I work with talk describe a seasonal shift in their “sensory” kids that happens right around Halloween and Daylight Savings Time.  The common descriptions of changes include: more on edge, inflexible and/or explosive, more easily frustrated, and harder time managing the demands of the day and homework.  There could be many reasons why this is happening – impact of less daylight, the novelty of a new school year has worn off, the core academic work and tougher homework expectations begin to kick in, and/or social challenges begin to show up as social groups are formed. Of course, recognizing the trigger to these change is an important part of supporting our “sensory” kids.  However, there are a few things you can do during this shift that support your child regardless of the trigger:

  • Adjust the “homework as soon as you get home” rule to allow for playing outside during the little daylight that’s available.
  • Do not over-schedule your child – downtime to chill-out is imperative especially as they move into phases where they are navigating more overwhelming situations.
  • To the above point, if you are going to sign your child up for an activity, make sure it taps into something they love – a real interest or fascination.  They are working very hard everyday and should have one thing a week they REALLY look forward to!
  • Homework – Map it out and build-in frequent breaks.  Because they are going to be more prone to frustration and inflexibility, have a visual plan in place for homework and be ready to make adjustments to the plan as needed.  Giving your “sensory” child some choices and control over the homework/break process will ease their anxiety and frustration.

This time of year can be a stressful time for all of us and this is especially true for our rigid, anxious, or distracted kids.  Moving into this phase with some tools on hand can help you support yourself, your family, and your “sensory” child.

Here’s to simple “sensory” solutions for more peaceful days at home!