HOW CAN I HELP MY HYPERACTIVE CHILD WITH SPD

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My child can be impulsive and highly active.  He is a hands on and very physical boy.  And when I ask him to “stop,” sometimes the behavior even escalates.  Is he disobeying?  How can I help him just calm down?!  Sound familiar?  Or should I be asking how can he use up his energy?  His body is craving to move!!  His reaction to his vestibular system is hypersensitive.  And he needs to constantly over-stimulate his proprioceptive system.  How can I positively help my child with his sensory output?

Over 20+ Tools to help my Hyperactive Child from Wildflower Ramblings

IMPULSIVE, HYPERACTIVE BOY

There are times during the day when John is, quite literally, bouncing off the walls.  Or the couch, or his sister.  He likes to swing his arms or a broom or a stick around.  There are times when he crashes into things {well, every day}, there is the occasional impulsive hitting, and not being able to sit still.  After turning four, he has become less inclined to purposely push or hit his sister, but he still will bump or crash into her during moments of hyperactivity.  I see that he is not trying to hurt his sister, or the furniture, or himself, but we live in a small home, so accidents definitely do happen.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

“Boys will be boys.”  But what if there is more going on here?

“He just needs a little discipline.”  Uh, no, he has energy that needs to be respected, and used in a positive way.

John has this energy that cannot be “stopped” just by my just asking.  He is not “disobeying” when I ask him to stop, his body simply cannot stop. It is in GO! mode.

THESE ARE MY AIMS FOR HELPING MY OVER-ACTIVE CHILD:

  • I want my child to be safe.
  • I want others around him to be safe too.
  • I want our property and home respected.
  • I want my son to thrive and feel comfortable in his own home.

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HOW CAN I HELP MY SON DURING OVER-ACTIVE PERIODS IN THE DAY?

When I see that my son is about to begin crashing into furniture, begin running around, not sitting still at the table, I give him an alternative plan :

“How about we ____ instead?”

Always giving him an option, a re-direction.  Simply saying, “stop doing that!” will not make him stop.  And him not listening will just make me upset about my parenting skills {though the situation has nothing to do with my parenting}.  And a “STOP!” type of statement will make him feel even more frustrated and usually the behavior will escalate.  But since most of his rambunctious behavior is unsafe, and he may hurt himself, or his sister, I want to be able to help him choose better.

I have often demanded him to “stop right now” :

  • Put your feet on the ground.
  • Sit in your seat now.
  • Don’t swing your arms, you’ll hit your sister.
  • Stop running in the house.
  • Don’t slam onto the couch again.

Well aren’t most of my commands, “DON’T DON’T DON’T”.  I am not showing my son what he CAN do, what he is WELCOME to do in his own home.

RE-DIRECTING MY CHILD WITH ANOTHER SAFE, ACTIVE CHOICE

So, just now, while writing this, my son took one of our Fort Magic rods and was hitting the floor {near his sister}.  I asked him, “let’s hit your mattress or this pillow instead of the floor?”  This gave him an IMMEDIATE option for what he could do alternatively to the activity his body had unconsciously chosen.  Then I can explain to him “the why” I asked him to switch what he was hitting.

“Thanks for listening, hitting your mattress or a pillow is much more appropriate because it won’t hurt yourself or others or the furniture!  Doesn’t that make a cool sound?”

Quietly and calming EXPLAINING the why can help John make a better choice next time, perhaps even on his own, when he is faced with needing to move his muscles.  I also pointed out a simple simple positive to why this new choice is just as cool, nothing is lost from now hitting the floor, i.e. it did make a neat percussion noise, so why not start hitting what mom suggested….

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