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Social and Emotional Challenges 

The student with SPD may face a wide variety of social challenges on a daily basis.  
Classmates may avoid the student with SPD because they don't understand his/her learning differences.  They may voice some of the following thoughts:
"Why does she always plug her ears in class?" (Audio)
"Gross, she's chewing on her shirt again." (Tactile)
"He ran into me in line...he's always being so rough!" (Proprio)
"She's such a snob, she never wants to play with us." (Tactile)
"Why can't she ever follow the rules in PE?" (Proprio)
"Eeww, she has food all over her face again..." (Tactile)
"He's so weird!  Why does he always freak out if his pants aren't tucked into his boots a certain way?!" (Tactile)
"Why is she always spinnning on the floor?" (Vestibular)
"She never listens.  She's always getting in trouble for day dreaming and not getting her work done." (Visual/ Combination)
"It's so strange that she goes to eat somewhere by herself.  Our food smells fine." (Olfactory)
"Why won't she finger paint?  That's weird." (Tactile)
"I can't believe he's rolling around in the mud outside again.  He's going to get in trouble."(Tactile)
(Adapted from Kranowitz, 1998)
These comments are examples of what the child with SPD might be faced with in the classroom or on the playground on a daily basis.  As shown above, having this condition could make it difficult to establish friendships and to have a healthy opinion of oneself, the most difficult aspect being that one can't control the opinions and behaviour of others.  We can, however, as parents and educators, seek to educate the next generation about learning differences, and teach children to act with kindness and acceptance.  We can also give the student with SPD options to help them cope and minimize stigma, provide the stimulation the child's nervous system craves so he/she is able to concentrate in the classroom, and facilitate healthy interactions between classmates during center time, recess and PE.
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