Parenting is hard enough without getting unwanted advice others. Parenting kids with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and getting unwanted advice and suggestions from others is downright maddening.
Sometimes these comments are made because others don’t understand SPD. Sometimes they are made because someone is really trying to offer some comfort. And sometimes others think that what they have to say might actually help you and your child.
Every parent of a child with SPD has heard some suggestion that they hate to hear. We struggle EVERYDAY to help our child. We have read every parenting book, we have tried every parenting technique. Most of us have sought advice from medical professionals at some point. And we have all questioned our parenting skills. So when a stranger, teacher, friend, or family offers their advice, it can send us spiraling.
Some of us will simply smile and ignore these comments. Some of us are clever enough to come up with a witty remark. And some of us express our anger towards the individuals that offer us advice.
Below is a list of things that have actually been said to parents of kids with SPD that they hated to hear.
- He won’t starve himself. She’ll eat when she’s hungry. Make him eat what everyone else is eating.
- My kid doesn’t listen to me either. My kids were the same way at that age.
- He needs more attention. You should spend more time with her.
- A good spanking will fix that.
- It’s because you don’t discipline. You need to be more consistent with discipline.
- It’s just a phase, she’ll be fine. He’ll grow out of it. This is just kids being kids.
- When they say nothing and stare at you and your child.
- It’s a habit.
- You really think she has that?
- He is just spoiled, there is nothing wrong with him.
- She’s so smart. Your mistaking manipulation for behavior.
- There’s nothing wrong. He’s not autistic. (FYI…SPD and ASD are not the same things and one does not directly relate to the other)
- Your child needs to wear…certain shoes, a winter jacket, matching clothes, etc.
- I did this with my kid and it fixed their problem so it’ll work for your child too.
- I just took the diaper away and that fixed the problem with potty training.
- She doesn’t act like that with me.
- He’s been fine all day, no signs of stress at all (from those who find it hard to believe the meltdowns your child has at home).
- You’re so patient. I wouldn’t tolerate that nonsense.
- I don’t believe in that (SPD). It didn’t exist in my day.
- She’s just enthusiastic. He’s just strong-willed.
- Why don’t you just put her shoes on and go?
- He has to get used to it.
- It’s all your fault, you are doing this to her, it’s because of you that she is this way. You shouldn’t cater to him, that’s why he’s like that.
- She looks healthy/doesn’t look different.
- Everybody has sensory issues.
- Have you tried a sticker/reward chart?
- Your just bad parents.
- He needs meds.
- She needs consequences.
- He’s choosing to be difficult.
- She just needs more exercise.
- But he’s so smart.
- You shouldn’t have let it get this bad.
- You’re just using her issues as an excuse.
- Give him to me for a week, I’ll get him straightened out.
- They will sleep eventually.
- That’s not safe (when our seekers are seeking).
- You need to get him around more kids his age.
- You’re lucky she doesn’t talk, someday you’ll wish she’d shut up.
- There’s nothing wrong with him, it’s just behavioral.
To the parents of the kids with SPD, remember, that regardless of the intent of the comment, you are a wonderful parent and you are trying EVERYDAY to help your child. No one knows your child better than you. And to those that are making the comments, please stop. If you aren’t familiar with SPD or have a child of your own that has sensory issues, you won’t understand. Offer us an ear, a shoulder, time to ourself, but please don’t make us feel worse about ourselves as parents.
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