Dealing with SPD-induced tantrums

Parents of children with autism may face the harsh reality of meltdowns. This is common knowledge. But children with SPD also may have emotional problems leading to tantrums, and this topic is not as much explored as that of meltdowns, even if as many as 15% of children are diagnosed with SPD every year. So, what are the tantrums and what can you do to prevent them?

Overstimulation and understimulation

SPD means sensory processing disorder. Children who have this disorder have difficulty processing sensory input. This means that even normal daily situations can cause a lot of stress and emotional overwhelming. For example, your child may be oversensitive to noises. Any normal day at school, with children laughing and shouting at every break, can be very stressful for your child. And the resources which every person has for dealing with stress, are finite.

So, at the end of a school day. Your child may be cranky, or even throw a regular tantrum over a seemingly innocent thing, for example, the TV being on too loud. Your child may even not be able to tell you what has caused the tantrum. That is why it’s so important to diagnose SPD early so that you’ll be able to look at the signs and recognize when your child is overwhelmed.

Anger leads to anger

Very often parents of children with SPD will feel helpless and irritated by their children emotional sensitivity. But getting the right diagnosis changes the game: now you’ll be able to anticipate the tantrums and adjust your conditions at home to help your child relax and calm down.