Working From Home with SPD Kids
I’m shifting gears here, to see how many moms out there would be interested in content related to working from home with SPD kids, and sensory processing disorder in general. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, mainly because I have been dealing with a big move and some new SPD challenges with my boys. And with all of the new changes, it seems appropriate to include this in my blog now, since sensory processing disorder has such a huge impact on my everyday life.
My SPD Kids
For the record, my boys are now 20 months and 34 months old. They both have sensory processing disorder and share many of the same symptoms. It has made working from home both a challenge and a blessing; a challenge, because they require so much attention and accommodation, but a blessing because I am flexible enough to provide it. So let me share with you some of the things that have made working from home with SPD kids possible.
Set Up Sensory Stations
A Crash Pad Area
Sensory stations are a great way to give your kids the sensory experiences they need while working from home. Start with a crash pad. This gives your little ones a safe place to jump and roll, throw themselves around, and burn some energy. (It also makes a good place to settle meltdowns!)
You can buy a ready-made crash pad like this one, or you can make your own. The cheaper option(and better, in my opinion) is to make your own crash pad. I love this memory foam mattress topper! You can stack two of these, lay a comforter over the top, and use a fitted sheet to hold it all together. It makes a huge safe play area for sensory seekers. It is definitely my boys’ favorite place in the house!
Another favorite in our house is the mini indoor trampoline. Of course you could set up one in your back yard too, but it’s nice to have one inside for the days that a too hot, too cold, or rainy. This one is the perfect size for my toddlers, and it doesn’t take up too much space. My neighbor has this trampoline in their side yard, and my boys love to visit just to play on it! Either way, it’s good to have a small jumping area for those sensory seekers.
A Swinging Area
You don’t even need a yard to have a swing set. If your kids enjoy swinging, you can get one of these indoor toddler swings. It goes into a doorway for easy installation. There are plenty of options for older kids as well. This is the big kid version of the doorway swing. These stylish swinging pods are also pretty amazing, and work for kids of most ages. Sensory seeking teens can use this hands-free swinging hammock chair to get their homework done or read a book while in motion.
A Sensory Table
Another great indoor activity for kids with sensory processing disorder is a sensory bin table. My boys explore their sensory bins regularly, and it is a way to help them learn while keeping them entertained for at least 30-60 minutes.
This is my favorite sensory table blog post, with a dozen different ways to make a sensory table at home. I made the PVC pipe one for outdoor use, and my boys go nuts over it! But I have been meaning to make the Ruby’s Mud Pie Kitchen table because of the added storage underneath…that’s probably going to be an upcoming project.
Not sure what to do with a sensory table? Check out THIS blog post with over 200 different sensory bin ideas. Just be sure to include items that are safe for your child’s age group.
Make a Schedule
Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder thrive with a schedule. My boys typically wake around 5:30 each morning, and the fun begins. We pack play time, meal time, learning time, nap time, and excursions into each day, and maintain a set weekly schedule.
Most work from home jobs are very flexible, but it helps to pencil in blocks of work time during the weekly schedule, so you can prepare for setbacks. Having a schedule will make working from home possible for moms of kids with sensory processing disorder.
That’s a Wrap
I have heard so many moms say that they don’t think they can work from home with their special needs children. The meltdowns, the special accommodations, and required attention are too much to fit work into the schedule. But I’ve been working from home for the last 3 years, since I was pregnant with my first SPD kid. It hasn’t been easy by any means, but it is certainly possible.
I just want to encourage moms who are considering working from home, that you really can do it! It takes some extra work, and you’ll lose some of your sleep, but nothing feels better than being able to support your family AND be there for your kids. Let me know if you have any specific questions about working from home with SPD kids, and I will be glad to help!
You will be seeing more posts about Sensory Processing Disorder here now. I apologize for changing topics, but this is something near and dear to my heart. It’s been quite a journey with my boys thus far, and I remember how hard it was when I first learned they had SPD. I want to share all of the info I have, and what has worked for us, to help other moms like me make the most of their life with their kids. Subscribe if you want to stay up to date on my most recent posts, and feel free to email me with questions!
Also, check out my post on the top 10 toys for kids with sensory processing disorder HERE.