Do you find parenting a child with sensory differences challenging? Are you and your baby struggling after NICU discharge? Do you find yourself avoiding social situations because of your child’s challenges? Are family and friends questioning your parenting approach and offering advice that does not work for your child? Parent coaching can help.
Parenting is a difficult task and parenting a child with sensory differences presents its own set of unique challenges. Will you be able to get through the grocery store without your child becoming upset? Will you be able to attend a family gathering without a meltdown? Will you ever be able to host a holiday dinner? These are questions that families of children with sensory differences face on a regular basis.
Parent coaching related to a child’s sensory processing can help families to better understand their child’s sensory processing differences, learn how to handle sensory meltdowns in a manner that is least stressful for the child and parent, educate family members and friends on a child’s needs as it relates to sensory processing, build a repertoire of proactive and reactive sensory strategies, and understand the importance of co-regulation in the parent-child relationship.
Saratoga Sensory is now offering sensory-focused parent coaching sessions. These sessions are designed to determine a family’s greatest area of need related to their child’s sensory dysregulation and address each area with concrete sensory-based strategies. These strategies are determined based on each child’s unique sensory profile, their likes and dislikes, and the environments where the challenges occur, along with parent input related to what sensory-based supports have worked in the past.
Parent coaching is available to caregivers of children of all ages, including adult children, with developmentally appropriate recommendations provided. These parent coaching sessions are scheduled based on the needs of a family, either a one-time session, sessions as needed by the family, or sessions occurring on a regular basis. Prior to the first parent coaching session, a Sensory Profile will be completed to provide basic information regarding the child’s sensory processing. Coaching may involve the use of simple sensory strategies to be used as needed, or it may be used as an opportunity to design a customized Zones of Regulation program. A coaching session could focus on something as specific, such as decreasing distress during bathing or planning a family vacation with a child’s sensory needs in mind, while it could also focus on strategies and supports to improve overall sensory and self-regulation. Parent coaching sessions are available in-person or virtually, with an option for hour or half-hour long sessions, depending on what each family feels they need. It is recommended that the first session be one hour, though this is not required. Parent coaching may be covered by self-direction funds.