5 Love Languages of Parents For Children with SPD

  • 4 min read

5 Love Languages of Parents For Children with SPD


5 Love Languages of Parents For Children with SPD

There can’t be many people who haven’t heard of St. Valentine, the Third-Century Roman martyr, because he has his very own day, but how many people also know that he is the Patron Saint of beekeepers (along with a few other things, too)? Even if you didn’t know that fun fact, you’ll know that Valentine’s Day is very much a celebration of love, but that word “love” has to cover a lot of bases in the English language. The ancient Greeks tried to avoid confusion by having one word for romantic love (eros), and seven others to cover things like love of the self (philautia), and love for everyone (agape). We like their word “storge”—meaning love for family members and also “pragma” — which is long-standing love.


As a sensory parent, those are the two you practice all the time — not just once a year. You show your long-standing familial love to your sensory child every single day, and it’s something that you demonstrate through your actions even though it can be difficult. Valentine’s Day may focus on romance, but we think you deserve some recognition for the kind of enduring love you feel and show. In this post, we want to remind you about everything you do, and encourage you to be creative as you celebrate the day.


Words of affirmation


Words hold so much power, but some children with autism struggle to effectively process auditory information. Even though they may not respond to what you say out loud you can still “speak” to a more visual learner using things like pictures and videos. We keep so many photos on our phones these days that putting together a photo book would be one way of giving them a delightful, meaningful novelty. Something that works as a reminder, but also as an ongoing project. You can fill it with memories and descriptions of every fun trip you take, reminding you as much as them of all the ways you express your love.

Physical touch


Touch can say a lot, often more than words. Sometimes it can be unwelcome and sometimes desperately needed. Sensory seekers and sensory avoiders have their own unique ‘rules’, and finding the right way to connect with them can feel like chasing a moving target, but when you get it right, that fleeting touch or deep, deep hug can earn you the biggest smile or laugh, and then it all seems worthwhile.


Touch doesn’t always have to come from you though. We created the Cozy Cocoon to help diffuse the challenges of sensory overload with all-over pressure. We think you’ll find that it’s the second-best thing next to one of your hugs. (You don’t have to do all of the hugging, all of the time!)

Quality time


This is when you are present and aware, paying attention to your child and facing the challenges of their day-to-day experiences right alongside them. You may not be able to feel the same overwhelming rush of sensations that they sometimes do, but you put yourself in their shoes anyway. This is the ‘quality’ part. You are attentive. You try to imagine what it must be like for them when sounds are too loud, fabrics too irritating or colors too vivid, and even though you sometimes wonder whether you’re making a difference, they know that you are, because your undivided attention tells them just how much they mean to you. 

Receiving gifts


As a parent of a child with autism and other Sensory Processing Disorders, you’re already a detective who’s doggedly pursuing your toughest case: what makes your child happy? Is it simply giving them their favorite toy, dancing around the house with them to goofy music, laughing at cat videos together, or flying colorful kites on a blustery hilltop? 


Gifts can be experiences or they can be things. There are so many of both to try, and as a happiness detective, you’re always open to going wherever your child’s “case” may take you. 

Acts of service

Actions speak louder than words, and acts of service are the ones that you do day in, day out, probably to little or no fanfare! If we could turn up outside your door every day to serenade you for your service then we would, but things being what they are, we hope you’ll be satisfied with our thanks. Your nearest and dearest may not always notice, because managing meltdowns, getting up in the night, and the million little ways that you are always on duty are things you do on autopilot, but we are sure that when they stop to think, they marvel at your big heart and endless stamina, just as we do.

Conclusion


We know how challenging it can be to express your love for your sensory child, but know that you are not alone. We encourage you to let your creativity soar this Valentine’s Day. Express the love you feel for your sensory child and all the other important people in your life!

EXPRESS YOUR LOVE WITH THESE SENSORY SOLUTIONS

My son absolutely loves his 'cocoon'. He wants to put it on as soon as we get home everyday! I’ve never seen him more excited or attached to something. He has sensory issues and ADHD, and this helps him feel safe and happy! It also helps him fall asleep quicker. I will definitely be purchasing more!"

- Brittany B.



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