I cannot count the times I have asked myself, “Is there something wrong with my child?” Between my expectations and the expectations of others, I have seriously wondered.
Now, let me explain. The other day, I walked into the living room and found my 7-year-old trying to climb the walls. Then, the next day, I walked down to the basement to do laundry, and my nine-year-old was hanging upside down (using his hands) from a chain that was once used for a punching bag. So, when I say that I have questioned whether they are normal or not, I mean it.
If your child is constantly chewing on things, hates wearing certain fabrics, and complains about strange sounds, to the point of having a meltdown, then there may be a reason why your child does not behave normally. First things first, normal is overrated. Every child is unique and different. so, if you want to help them, accept them. Allow them to be their weirdest self, it’s okay. Secondly, kids are more sensitive to overstimulation and their senses. They can easily get overwhelmed. So, let us begin to understand the truth behind the myths.
1. If my child is always climbing and jumping, something isn’t right.
In response to uncomfortable sensory issues, a child can be under or over-responsive. One response is to feel an increased need for movement, which allows them to try to fix an unmet need.
2. Their overreaction is ‘bad kid’ behavior.
When children display their emotions overtly, we tend to call them bad. However, when children are overwhelmed or more sensitive to noises and other senses, they are likely to respond by facing it head-on or by retreating.
3. They are picky or just eat too much.
Some children love to eat a lot, while others may feel uncomfortable with certain foods that stimulate their mouths uncomfortably. In turn, they may try to avoid certain textures and tastes which can make mealtimes a struggle.
4. Their meltdowns are ‘bad kid’ behavior.
If your child is having a meltdown over small things, it could very well be a normal response for them. What I mean, is that if your child is having a meltdown because heir clothes feel weird, it is very likely that the sensory stimulation is too much.
5. Your child doesn’t understand boundaries.
If your child is crawling all over people and constantly in others’ space, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad or don’t understand boundaries. Instead, it could be a sign that they are struggling with body awareness. While they need proprioceptive input or they might seem unresponsive when told they are in other’s spaces, it could be that they don’t realize they are too close.
6. Your child willfully refuses to look at things or people.
If your child is covering their eyes or squinting, it isn’t always that they or just don’t want to look because they are trying to ignore you. Instead, they may be overstimulated and have a hard time focusing. By covering their eyes, they are limiting sensory input, to allow themselves some sense of calm.