Taking care of childhood development and mental health is never easy, but it’s particularly challenging if your children are neurodiverse. As your children enter middle school and high school and have to deal with cyberbullying, your job gets even harder.
Resources To Promote Childhood Development
Thankfully, there are many different tools available to help you assess childhood development and get the aid they need. Here are the top three.
Sensory Processing Measures
Many children on the autism spectrum have sensory processing disorder, which makes them react strongly to stimuli that many people do not mind. A child who has tactile SPD often resists hugs, and a child who has auditory SPD usually does not like loud noises at concerts or fireworks displays.
To assess your children’s sensory processing levels, you and your support team should use the Sensory Processing Measure, which is suitable for all neurodiverse individuals older than four months.
Occupational Therapy Assessments
Most children with SPD attend occupational therapy to help them overcome their aversion to unavoidable stimuli. For example, it’s hard for your children to go through life without going into crowded areas. So occupational therapy helps them get accustomed to crowds in a safe and gradual manner. To check whether your children’s occupational therapy sessions are working, you or their counselors should use an Occupational Therapy Assessment.
What is Childhood Development
If your children’s assessment scores decrease drastically, that could be a sign of traumas such as cyberbullying, particularly if the assessment was on your children’s comfort with technology or social situations. Talk to your children about their experiences online, and make sure you’re aware of the apps and websites they use. The most popular apps amongst children are opportunities for cyberbullying, which then makes neurodiverse children more vulnerable to attack. Teaching them how to properly use the apps and websites to gather evidence of cyberbullying will help to equip them for future incidents.
Equip Them With Proper Tools
In many cases, traumatic events like cyberbullying may happen when parents, counselors, and teachers are not present. While kids are increasingly becoming more tech-savvy, their familiarity with apps makes them more vulnerable to attack. Helping children understand the apps they’re using, how to report bullying, how to take a screenshot, and bring the evidence to an adult is the best way to equip them for potential attacks.
The first step would be to get to know the child in question and how much they can handle. From there, roleplaying scenarios will assist them in practicing for the real thing and preparing them for an appropriate response.