Sensory Processing Disorder and Success with a Home-Based Listening Protocol
This is a detailed story of a mother and three children (two of whom experienced success with Galvin Therapy Center). In the mother’s own words:
I am the mother of three children. Brendan is in the fifth grade, Joey is in fourth grade, and Rebecca is in kindergarten. Joey has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). Rebecca also has SPD. Sensory integration is the ability to utilize and organize sensory information in an adaptive functional way.
The smiles on Rebecca’s and Joey’s faces are priceless.Jacquelyn
Initial Issues Observed in Joey and Rebecca
Joey presented with multiple issues including:
- Severe behavior problems
- Hyperactivity with impulsivity
- Poor planning
- Poor organizational skills
- Poor motivation
- Inability to get along with his sister and brother
- Very poor frustration tolerance
Rebecca presented with:
- Verbal perseveration
- Sudden changes in mood
- Poor attention to tasks
- Difficulty following directions
- Aggressive behaviors
- Loud talking,
- Over-sensitivity to sound and touch – covering her ears and complaining about her clothes and how they feel
Joey received occupational therapy for almost two years and Rebecca is still receiving occupational therapy. Their therapy is designed to help them organize adaptive responses to their environment and aid in the development of fine motor and visual motor skills.
At home we provide a specially designed sensory “diet” through skin stimulation, joint compression and equilibrium challenging activities using large muscles of the body. Swinging Rebecca and wrestling Joey are their favorites.
When it Became Very Difficult
Although some improvements were noted, problems in our home were at a boiling point. I was close to a nervous breakdown. Joey and Rebecca were constantly fighting. If Joey accidentally brushed past Rebecca, she would hit him and then he would hit her back.
A five-minute car ride, to take my oldest to football practice this past fall, turned into chaos. Rebecca would tell her brothers that they were talking too loud and then Joey would yell, “I am not talking too loud!” Then she would hit him and he would hit back. By this time Rebecca would be in tears.
Joey had to be nagged constantly to start homework and to complete his homework. This usually took anywhere from two to four hours. By about this time my patience was shot and I would start to yell. This would further upset Rebecca.
Neither Joey nor Rebecca would ever compromise. This would make playing with friends difficult for both of them. Lack of compromising ruined many a family outing. Unfortunately my son Brendan had to be punished also.
Mornings were terrible as Joey usually started the day in a bad mood. He would become very demanding and if I did not give in to his demands, such as making a warm breakfast, he would become angry and scream and yell. If Rebecca did not get enough sleep she would start the day in sensory overload. Those days were dreadful (my kids are out the door every school day at 7:10am).
Now the Good News!
Since November, Joey and Rebecca have been doing a 5-day-a-week Listening Protocol home program, utilizing specifically designed CD’s. Our occupational therapist designed this 6-month program to help improve auditory processing (listening skills), hypersensitivity to sound and self-regulation. We are having excellent results.
Joey has initiated his homework on his own since mid-December. He even did a book report, complete with a diorama, summary and an outline all on his own. This was the first time he ever organized and planned out a project on his own. He just received his third-quarter report card and it averaged out to a B+/A-. In the past his average was around C+/B-.
Demonstrated Improvements in Joey
In addition, Joey has demonstrated:
- Improved attention,
- Decreased hyperactivity
- Decreased impulsivity
- Less frustration
- More affectionate behavior
Joey used to yell that he hates me and now he tells me frequently that he loves me. His motivation has increased and he has a strong desire to succeed. Most importantly, he is now treating his sister with respect and kindness.
All of these results have snowballed. The day after he received his report card he actually asked to go to school as he had some work to do.
Demonstrated Improvements in Rebecca
Rebecca has improved in her ability to self-regulate. She used to cry every afternoon when she reached overload. Now she only cries once or twice a month.
She is happy now and is able to play with her friends with appropriate social skills. Her attention span is better and she appears eager to learn. She too, is getting along better with Joey and she no longer tells her friends that Joey is her mean brother.
She even does what she is told the first time she is asked. She told Joey that she missed him one day when he came home from school as she hugged him.
Thankful and Grateful Mother
I am so thankful for this special Samonas program. My children willingly complete their listening time. This intervention has had a remarkably integrating and adaptive effect on both Joey and Rebecca. It has brought peace, harmony, and unity to our home for the first time in eight years.
The smiles on Rebecca’s and Joey’s faces are priceless.