Friday, 15 November 2019

The sketch that helped me understand my child

Photo of computer screen: Wendy Bertagnole webinar about sensory behaviour
Wendy Bertagnole webinar about difficult sensory behaviour

I have to share this here. There are definitely other parents who also struggle with the same. I wish I had know about this much earlier. I have felt in my gut that there is more to the behaviour, and that it is not a lack of discipline or a lack of respect. The reason for the continuing melt-downs! The better we understand our child, the better she will be able to understand herself. The better we will also be able to work on the skills necessary to handle her world.

An anecdote to understand: Usually she is very well behaved around other people and situations. But in her safe space (at home and with her parents), she has been known to explode dramatically. The following happened where there were other people around: It was a hot summer day and the children were running around at school with the annual cart races at school. She got hungry, and went to stand in a long queue for her favourite potato fries on a stick. When she got to the front, it was sold out. She stomped back to her dad, and threw the money at him. Very angry! We were judged, heavily. (We judged ourselves!)

Now I understand it much better! A couple of her sensory cups overflowed, or were not met!

I signed up to Wendy Bertagnole free workshop two weeks back, and it has been the most insightful three online webinars. She actually wants us to sign up to her full course. I was so hoping in learning more about how to teach them better skills, but now we don't have the budget! I will have to save, or do my own research. Thanks so much for the insights in the meantime, Wendy!

The sketch that Wendy shared made it so much clearer. Our children who are inclined to be more anxious with sensory issues, are mostly/always functioning in the orange zone. That's why they are so easily pushed into the red zone. The red zone is where the reptile brain takes over, and where they are in fight or flight mode. In that mode no reasoning is possible! That's why the melt-downs are so ugly, and we feel so powerless.

The most freeing of all this was the insight that we can let go of all the tools that we knew did not work. Punishing does not work! "Phew!" There must be boundaries, but we can now work together with her to find better ways in handling the sensory behaviour.


  1. This sounds very interesting. My kid also has sensory issues. He just had a tantrum this morning but that was because the internet wasn't working for a few minutes!

    1. It's worth checking it out, Heather. For the first time I think we have a better understanding of the underlying issues!


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