Sensory seeker eating nicely - concentrating on the positives when having a bad day

Bad days with Sensory Processing Disorder

Bad days with Sensory Processing Disorder unfortunately happen to lots of people. Sometimes a bad day happens and it is amplified by the fact that it isn’t just a bad day, it is another bad day, with yet another meltdown. That if you have any time and energy left after fighting the bad day to look for help that you are met with either a brick wall or blame. It seems that this blame seems to occur more when there do not seem to be any answers – instead of just saying sorry we sympathise but we do not know what to do. Throwing In the towel of despair will not help anyone so trying to find the positives will help a lot.

Sensory Temperature Issues and Possible Solutions

What Might Be The Triggers for the Bad Days

I try to think about what may be causing the bad days. Then to consider what could make things easier in the future.

Is it a change in routine – such as a new school, Christmas (is a big one), Easter, school holidays, a new baby, a change of house.  For me, the easiest ways to deal with them are to tell myself that they will not last forever. Actually once the routine returns things will be easier. It helps by trying to make things as normal and routine as possible. I simply found over the holidays that keeping busy was enough to distract him from feeling anxious.

Are their needs being met? –have they moved about enough that day, do their clothes feel right, is it too noisy, not bright enough. If not is there anything that can be done to help meet their needs.

Sensory seeker eating a picnic concentrating on the positive

Staying Positive Through the Bad Days

Focus on their achievements – try to at least focus on something positive each week. When days are hard I can just remind myself about how far they have come. Maybe their language development, how they are now getting themselves dressed, putting on their own shoes, learning to listen, wait, eating better and try to empathise with others.

Think about others. Could your situation be worse? Sometimes thinking about how things aren’t actually that bad do help. Maybe looking back and asking yourself if this is your worst day. Then maybe if the answer is yes then tomorrow could be a better day. Remember you probably aren’t alone and there are many other parents in a similar situation. This is especially useful if it has been suggested that you “attend a parenting course,” which is something I hear of a lot.

Make time for yourself – don’t forget that you are important too. Whether that is looking after your health – not skipping on breakfast, to getting some quiet time to read a book, have a bath.

A Situation that Happened to Us

Our son was angry at school yesterday and he locked himself in the toilet (by standing behind the door). His one to one managed to get him to come out and I am proud to say that he apologised – what an achievement that is. He is back in group swimming lessons now, and he is doing so well that I am able to take my other two children into the main pool and swim at the same time.

What about you? How do you handle a bad day? Are there any strategies that help the child? What about ways to help you deal with the day?

16 thoughts on “Bad days with Sensory Processing Disorder

  1. Focusing on the achievements, no matter how small really helps me deal with the bad days too! When you think about how far your child has progressed, it is truly astounding! Deep breaths, and an inner smile also help.
    Trying not to compare with other kids is crucial too, although easier said than done-I am nearly always deflated after Mini’s dance class as the other kids seem to be so much farther ahead of her, and she is one of the oldest there. I have to remember her endless hugs to other parents and beaming smile that charms everyone. She may not be top of the class but she is truly unique and a joy to be around as I’m sure your kids are.

    1. Thank you for your reply. Yes I need to not compare to other children – it is hard when the children 2 years younger than him pass by in some areas, I try to remind myself he is doing better in other areas too

  2. popping by from the #SSAmazingAchievements linky. You give very good advice. I think I forget to make time for myself. The best thing I have found to do when having a bad day is just sit down and stop for a minute, take a breather if you will. You have a great attitude towards things!!

  3. What a great post and so timely for me. Yesterday I had a humdinger of a bad day (am going to blog about it later to get it off my chest) but suffice it to say it ended with me, minutes before starting the last bit of the bedtime routine, walking out of the house saying I couldn’t cope and needed time alone. Their Dad was here, I hasten to add. I was only gone for 5 minutes but I feel awful about it today.

    The thing I’m realising is that my #parentingfail, as I called it on Twitter, wasn’t walking out, as I originally thought, but letting stuff build up to the point where after 2 of the most difficult weeks I’ve had in a while I felt I had to our I would scream the house down.

    I guess what I’m saying is that you’re right. You have to try to work out why things have gone wrong or are particularly tough. But sometimes there are no obvious answers, or things are so complicated they can’t be sorted out easily. So all you can do is look after yourself in the hopes you can cope more effectively with the difficulty. I am rubbish at this, partly because the only time I have on my own is when the kids are in bed and at the moment, I am working every evening to catch up with time spent in appointments in the day (I’m typing this in a waiting room).

    I hope others offer good suggestions. I could use them. But maybe it’s just enough for me to print off your blog post and pin it in the kitchen!


    1. You didn’t fail at all, try not to beat yourself up. Going out for a walk was good – parentingfail would have been to never come back.
      I wish I had some answers for you. Sometimes I end up in bed before the kids (with my husband home) and then get up in the middle of the night. I just know it will get easier as he gets older, and I will, one day, have too much time and empty nest syndrome.

      Thank you for your comment about printing out the post – possibly the nicest thing ever said about any of my writing ever x

  4. I think we all tend to forget that sometimes bad days can be down to something as simple as a change in routine and then we worry ourselves about why it looks like its come out the blue. Nice little reminder for all I think!

  5. I will never forget someone telling me the phrase “This too will pass” – which is a lifesaver, all phases will pass and change, morph into something else. You are doing an amazing job x

  6. Popping over from #ssamazingachievements linky. Some great advice….wish I could remember (and implement) advice to stop and take a breath more often! I do find old saying “remember there will always be somebody better off than you,and somebody worse off” a consolation at times though!

  7. Great advice, hard to remember sometimes, but worth reminding ourselves of every so often. On bad days, as soon as my husband gets home, I say ‘they’re yours!’ and take 20 mins on my own in our room, just to breath, relax and recharge. Most days, that’s enough… 🙂 Really good post xx #SSAmazing Achievments

  8. This is a fantastic post and I’m glad that my linky is not only helping myself but also helping others. I feel that there are lots of highs and lows on this path and looking at all of the recent achievements helps to pick me up, even if that achievement only happened once. I also find that it is best not to compare and to remember we are all different, it would be boring if we were all the same, right?!

    Must remember to make for myself.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

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