Promoting Inclusion for Children With Sensory Processing Disorders
Advocating for your child in educational and community settings can be a daunting task. It can be especially challenging for parents of children with sensory processing disorders (SPD), as these children may face unique challenges in school and other environments. However, advocating for your child and promoting inclusion for children with SPD is essential to ensure that they receive the support they need to thrive.
Here are some tips to help you become an effective advocate for your child:
Learn about your child's rights: Familiarize yourself with your child's legal rights and protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Understanding these laws will help you advocate effectively for your child and ensure that they receive the support and accommodations they need.
Build a support team: It's important to build a strong support team for your child. This may include teachers, therapists, counselors, and other professionals who work with your child. Having a team of professionals who understand your child's needs and can help advocate for them is essential.
Communicate with your child's school: Work with your child's school to develop an individualized education plan (IEP) or a 504 plan that outlines specific accommodations and modifications that your child needs to succeed in school. It's also important to communicate regularly with your child's teachers and other school staff to ensure that they understand your child's needs and can provide the necessary support.
Advocate for inclusive environments: Advocate for inclusive environments in your community, such as parks, libraries, and other public spaces. Encourage businesses to implement sensory-friendly practices, such as providing quiet areas or reducing bright lights and loud noises.
Educate others: Educate others about SPD and the unique challenges that children with SPD may face. This can help promote understanding and inclusion in your community and make it easier for your child to navigate different environments.
Practice self-care: Advocating for your child can be stressful, so it's important to practice self-care. Take breaks when you need them, prioritize self-care activities that help you recharge, and reach out to support groups or other resources for parents of children with SPD.
Advocating for your child with SPD can be challenging, but it's essential to ensure that they receive the support and accommodations they need to succeed. By building a strong support team, communicating with your child's school, advocating for inclusive environments, and practicing self-care, you can become an effective advocate for your child and promote inclusion for children with SPD in your community.
About The Author
Kimberly is an Occupational Therapist with a Master's in Teaching, and is Certified in Special Education. She is also a mom, avid traveler, and marathon runner