The Sensory Bounce Therapy Blog:
Sensory Processing, Motor and Social Skills Resources
for Parents of Special Needs Children

My Child Is Not a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Why we can’t take a “cookie cutter” approach to SPD therapy:

every child is different and needs a different strategy

Part 1 of 3: Your Goal


Looking again at the library: many types of SPD = many strategies needed 
If you refer back to our graphic of a Sensory Processing Disorder Library, you can see at a glance how many different types of processing disorders there are, each one with many different sets of behaviors and responses. So it makes perfect sense that there is no one single approach to therapy that will work for every child. Different strategies will calm, or stimulate, different children. What may be organizing for one child may be very disorganizing for another. This is why we have to be so careful about not taking a “cookie cutter” approach to therapy.

As we have discussed, some children are over-responsive (overly sensitive to sensory stimuli), and may overreact to their environment. They may become fearful, over-excited, restless, upset or shut down. They may not know what to focus on and what to filter out. Other children are under-responsive (under sensitive to sensory stimuli), and they may seek out intense sensory experiences to compensate. They may seem very tired, withdrawn, and may not pay attention to their surroundings. It is also possible to have a combination of responses depending on the type and intensity of sensory stimuli.  

Dysfunction in the sensory processing machine


Your goal
The goal of therapy is get each individual child to an “ideally balanced” emotional state. There are many therapeutic strategies that are effective in getting there, and the challenge is figuring out which strategies work best for each child, and when. Once you know that, you can use those strategies to help your child cope every day.

Looking ahead:
In the next post, we will make a plan for your process of discovery, how you will figure out which strategies work best for your son or daughter.

Have you encountered a ‘one size fits all’ approach to getting therapy for your child? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, let me know there or via email what topics you would like to discuss or hear more about.

Feel free to share or quote from this blog (with attribution, please, and if possible, a link), and to repost on social media.

I look forward to hearing from you!


All the best,

About Miriam:
Miriam Skydell MS, OTR/L is a pediatric OT with 30 years experience and a strong commitment to empowering every child and every family with the skills, confidence and emotional stability necessary for a meaningful, independent life. In addition to her Masters degree from NYU (1986) and membership in the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), Miriam is a licensed Interactive Metronome®,  HWT (Handwriting Without Tears®), and TLP (The Listening Program®) provider.

Miriam performs preschool screenings, contracts experienced OTs, PTs and STs to schools, helped implement the HWT curriculum, and lectures extensively for parent and support groups and at teacher conferences for public and private schools throughout New Jersey. Through her private practice in Fair Lawn, Miriam Skydell and Associates, established in 1995, Miriam has helped countless children with a wide range of diagnoses improve functional living skills, manage the impact of sensory processing dysfunction, and meet their individual potentials.