Often when a parent starts to discover that their child might have sensory problems and possibly, a Sensory Processing Disorder, it can be difficult for them to know what to do next. It’s unfortunate when this parent tries to talk to their child’s doctor about these concerns and the doctor doesn’t take them seriously. If you have had this experience or you are hesitant about talking to your child’s doctor, here are some tips about having this important discussion.
Think of Examples
It is much trickier to get your doctor to understand what you and your child are going through at home when they only see them once every few months. Many times if you suggest that your child is showing signs of sensory issues or even autism, doctors are hesitant to take such a big step towards a diagnosis, and they might instead say that your child is just going through a phase. Before you speak with the doctor, try to remember exact incidences where your child reacted to something in an unusual way. Bringing examples to your discussion will help paint a picture of what is going on. You can even bring a literal picture or video to show your doctor that you are serious about your concerns.
Having examples is a great start, and the more specific you can get with the details the better. If you can, try to give the doctor the dates or time frame of when you started noticing your child’s behavior. You should also add any actions you took to try to help and what was and wasn’t helpful in the end. Doctors are looking for details because they need the criteria to determine whether they can refer your child for an occupational therapy evaluation.
Do Some Research
Sometimes it’s best to do a quick internet search before you talk to the doctor. There are many helpful websites on topics like sensory processing and occupational therapy that can help answer some of your immediate questions. For example, an occupational therapist typically has a list of the main areas that they help with, such as social skills and daily living activities. You can compare these lists with a basic symptom overview to see where your child is struggling. While the internet won’t necessarily tell you how to diagnose your child, it’s more likely that your doctor will respect your concerns when they see that you have done the research.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.