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Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Jun 3, 2021

Episode 92: Sensory Processing Disorder With Guest Candice Curtis

In this episode, we discuss sensory processing disorder, meltdowns, and making it all work. Guest Candice Curtis’s, OT, oldest son is autistic. Throughout her training, she began to gravitate toward occupational therapy and sensory processing disorder. There are 8 different sensory systems. Our brains have to organize all of the sensory inputs, decide if it is important or not important, and make all of it available for us to use when we are trying to do different activities and tasks. A disorder happens when our brain can’t do that effectively or easily and it impacts one’s ability to be able to participate in activities.

Try to see things through the mind of your child. This will help you figure out what to do to help your child. Her biggest recommendation for sensory strategies is to get your children outside in nature more often. Nature has a huge regulating quality, as it is slower and calmer. Set up a playroom or play areas in your house. Ideas for it include a beanbag chair, swing, trampoline, rocking chair, weighted blankets, and/or lycra blankets. Take your child’s lead to play. Slow down and take your time. Play with them and interact with them. Join in with whatever they are doing. Use rhythmic vestibular activities.

During COVID, Candice decided to homeschool her children. She needed to get better at self-care, step back, give herself grace, meal plan, delegate where she could, omit tasks when she could, give herself more credit for all the tasks that she did, think about progress over perfection, write down her routines and do what she was also ready doing but in a different way to make things more efficient, use music and headphones for her son, start her son’s day with sensory strategies, listen to meditations at night, use sensory strategies right before bed, schedule some time buffers into her time, and schedule time in just to sit and exist with her children. For self-care, she recommends shifting your perspective, examining your self-talk, creating a joy list, making an effort to make joy moments part of your every day, paying attention to self-talk, joining book clubs, planning out your week ahead and blocking everything out, and figuring out what to prioritize or simplify.

A meltdown occurs when the child is way too overwhelmed. Practice strategies with the child when they are calm, so they have the skills when they need them. Be proactive and use sensory strategies with the child throughout the day. Keep in mind that they are reacting to stress and they can’t help it. It is your job is to keep them calm, find out what could have caused the meltdown, and figure out how to help them through it.




The Autism and Sensory Parenting Podcast

Sensory Integration and The Child

Balanced and Barefoot



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Show Music:

Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (


Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple


Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2021 Jessica Temple