Question:

Several years ago, I took your advanced Sensory AND Behavior course and loved it! I have used it A LOT in my practice! I am working with a teenaged boy with a diagnosis of SPD. His mom wants to know how to tell if it’s sensory or behavior. Where can I find a simple sensory symptoms checklist for this parent on your website? If possible, a quick reply would be appreciated because the family is in crisis mode at the moment, so a favor of a quick reply would be greatly appreciated. I know you’re busy and probably inundated with similar requests!

Answer:

We offer free Sensory Symptoms Checklists in several versions. Click on Free Resources in the main menu then look under the Free Printable Forms heading:

  • Parent Version
  • Birth to Three
  • School Version
  • Spanish
  • Chinese

Our Sensory Behavioral Analysis and Plan is on the same page under the Forms for Course Participants heading.

Here’s an example of my process for a teen who is becoming aggressive at times:

  • Track: Parents track antecedent-behavior-consequences (ABC) data on aggressive actions for 1 week.
  • Checklist: Parents complete the Sensory Symptoms Checklist.
  • Antecedents: OT sees that being asked to engage in nonpreferred activities, such as tooth brushing and showering are common antecedents.
  • Behavior: OT notes that most often parents give up to avoid a physical altercation.
  • Checklist: OT notes the Sensory Symptoms Checklist indicates over-responsive to tactile input.
  • Conclusion: OT may deduce that it is difficult for him to tolerate tooth brushing and showering from a sensory standpoint and that aggression gets him out of having to do these tasks. Therefore the issue is both sensory AND behavioral.
  • Plan: In the OT intervention plan, we will use sensory strategies proactively (deep pressure before tasks), cognitive strategies throughout (sensory-based visual schedule, social story), and behavioral strategies reactively (token economy).

I hope that helps! Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Best wishes for this family!
Gwen