#151 - Disciplining a Sensory Kiddo 2.0

by Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC May 05, 2021 1 Comment

Disciplining a Sensory Kiddo 2.0

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Disciplining a Sensory Kiddo 2.0

Back in episode 16, we talked about disciplining a sensory kiddo and it has remained one of our most listened-to episodes. So, we thought we would revisit the topic and incorporate some new ideas. 

Discipline is a tricky topic, and it presents challenges even without a sensory difficulty or diagnosis, so we are here to share what we think works best. 

We walk through a case study in a classroom setting, unpacking the child's response to being overstimulated and overwhelmed. It appears that the child's behavior is "bad," but when we dig deeper, we can see that he is just responding in the only way he knows how. 

We share some of the types of discipline we believe have the most positive outcomes, offer some reasons as to why your child might be acting out, and highlight the importance of tailoring your disciplinary approach according to what your child feels most comfortable with. 

Remember to always go into these situations with all the kindness and empathy to help those having a hard time!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A case study to highlight a common challenge for sensory kiddos.
  • The steps Rachel and Jessica would take to help the child in the case study.
  • Types of discipline that work best for sensory children: consistency, kindness, visual cues, and more.
  • Think about how you want to be disciplined and how you would want someone to react to you.
  • You have to discipline your children differently regardless of diagnosis or label.
  • Some reasons that your child might be having a hard time or acting out.
  • The value of taking preventative measures to help your child manage their triggers.
  • Be empathetic to children and adults with sensory challenges.
  • How teachers and therapists can approach working with their sensory students or clients.


“What we oftentimes see is that recess is taken away from the kids who need it the most. It’s taken away from those kiddos who can’t sit still in class, who need that heavy work, and that running, and climbing and jumping. Those kids need that opportunity in the middle of the day throughout the day.” — Jessica Hill[0:07:30]

“Being able to allow the child to participate in the discipline process can be beneficial, and then allowing them to express how they feel, their wants and their needs is going to be huge.” — Jessica Hill[0:10:57]

“If there’s one thing to take away from this episode, we want you to realize how important it is to empathize with these kiddos.” — Rachel Harrington[0:28:19]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


All Things Sensory on Instagram

All Things Sensory on Facebook

Alli Things Sensory Episode 16

Discount Code — SENSORY



Full Show Transcript

[00:00:02] RH: Hey, there. I’m Rachel.


[00:00:03] JH: And I’m Jessica and this is All Things Sensory by Harkla. Together, we’re on a mission to help children, families, therapists, and educators live happy, healthy lives.


[00:00:13] RH: We dive in to all things sensory, special needs, occupational therapy, parenting, self-care and so much more. In each episode, we share raw, honest, fun ideas and strategies for everyone to implement into daily life.


[00:00:26] JH: Thank you so much for joining us.




[00:00:56] RH: Hello, everyone. Welcome to All Thing Sensory by Harkla. This is Rachel and Jessica.


[00:01:07] JH: That’s my favorite way you’ve every introed an episode.


[00:01:12] RH: I should do that more often.


[00:01:12] JH: I liked it. Okay. This is Episode 151.


[00:01:18] RH: Kind of a repeat episode. But way back when, Episode 16 when we were just getting started on this podcast journey.


[00:01:27] JH: When we were baby podcasters.


[00:01:28] RH: We were rookies. We decoded to do a episode on Disciplining a Sensory Kiddo. It’s been one of our most downloaded episodes ever.


[00:01:38] JH: Like pretty consistently throughout the last couple of years, Disciplining a Sensory Kiddo Episode 16 has been in the top, probably 10.


[00:01:47] RH: I think top five.


[00:01:48] JH: Maybe top five, yeah. Definitely a very, very popular topic, but we decided that it was time to refresh it, add some news thoughts. It’s been a couple of years, so both Rachel and I have learned new things in the last couple of years, so we’re going to talk about it again.


[00:02:06] RH: Yeah, disciplining and sensory kiddo. If you aren’t a discipliner, that’s okay because this episode is designed for some flexible thinking. We want to kind of incorporate some case studies and just throw ideas, brainstorm, kind of like if you were sitting across the table from us right now, imagine that.


[00:02:29] JH: You’d have so much fine.


[00:02:31] RH: But imagine like us brainstorming solutions for your child.


[00:02:36] JH: And your family.


[00:02:38] RH: And your clients. That’s our goal.


[00:02:41] JH: That’s our goal. Okay. Discipline is pretty controversial topic, especially if you compare discipline 30 years ago to the way discipline is today. It’s a lot different. Then it gets even more challenging to talk about when you add sensory challenges into it.


[00:03:04] RH: Maybe not even necessarily sensory challenges. That’s what we’re going to focus on. But a diagnosis, special-needs, different abilities, when you add that into the mix, those waters get mirky when you’re talking about discipline. Do they understand discipline? Is it appropriate to discipline? How do you discipline? All those things.


[00:03:25] JH: Let’s start with a case study. This is an imaginary child that we’re talking about, but it’s very common situation.


[00:03:38] RH: Yes. No names, these aren’t real names, but we’re just going to read this case study that we outlined here for you. Charlie was standing in line in the classroom getting ready for recess. It was a little hectic as all of the other children were putting their jackets on and there wasn’t a lot of room. One kiddo accidentally bumped Charlie and Charlie pushed him a little too hard, and he fell over backwards and began to cry. Charlie immediately covered his ears, started yelling and ran out of the classroom.


[00:04:10] JH: Okay. Let’s look at that situation with our sensory goggles. First, it sounds like Charlie has some tactile defensiveness. He got bumped and had a big reaction to that touch.


[00:04:26] RH: Yeah, and I think he also has some poor proprioceptive discrimination because he pushed too hard. If you listen to our past episode on force modulation, he doesn’t know how much force to use when he’s pushing his friends. 


[00:04:40] JH: That’s terrible.


[00:04:41] RH: But in reality, yes. Very realistic for Charlie.


[00:04:45] JH: Then when the child started crying, there’s definitely some auditory defensiveness. Charlie covered his ears and ran away, because the crying probably hurts his ears.


[00:05:00] RH: Then on top of it, he probably has some retained primitive reflexes as well because his fight or flight response kicked in and he ran away. He couldn’t process, he couldn’t handle the situation, so he just went in that fight or flight mode and he was like, “Peace.”


[00:05:16] JH: Then of course, just the overall communication component.


[00:05:22] RH: The barrier, yeah.


[00:05:22] JH: Yeah. He’s not able to communicate his wants or needs in this situation, so a lot of things going on that happened in this really quick scenario.


[00:05:33] RH: Without our sensory goggles, it looks like Charlie is a bad kid. It looks like he pushed a kid over and he got frustrated.


[00:05:43] JH: Then he just ran away.


[00:05:44] RH: Ran off, yeah.


[00:05:45] JH: Yeah, that’s a bad kid, but not really.


[00:05:48] RH: Not. That’s what we’re trying to unpack here, is that Charlie is not a bad kid, Charlie does need some discipline but let’s kind of breakdown how we would do that. This is Jessica and I.


[00:06:04] JH: Yeah, this is our opinion.


[00:06:05] RH: This is our personal opinions, our professional opinions. This is how we would handle the situation, maybe if we weren’t OT in the school that he was in.


[00:06:13] JH: Okay. Yep. The first thing we need to do is we need to help Charlie calm down. We need him to feel better, we need him to not be in that fight or flight anymore.


[00:06:26] RH: Things like heavy work, proprioceptive input, humming, noise canceling, headphones, fidgets to hold on to, stress balls, weighted vest. Things like that can be helpful in the moment to calm down, get him back to the green zone, help regulate him.


[00:06:44] JH: It’s pretty clear that he needs a quiet space, so also being able to provide him with these strategies in a quiet, safe space versus back into the noisy classroom. Now, in this specific situation, the kids are going out to recess, so maybe the classroom is now quiet and calm so he can come back to the calm, quiet classroom for a couple of minutes to calm down.


[00:07:11] RH: Yes. Now, one of the most important things here that we want to say is do not take away recess. Okay?


[00:07:19] JH: This is a big thing. We know that it can be an effective tool for some children to take away recess in certain situations. However, what we oftentimes see is that recess is taken away from the kids who need it the most. It’s taken away from those kiddos who can’t sit still in class, who need that heavy work, and that running, and climbing and jumping. Those kids need that opportunity in the middle of the day throughout the day. When we take that recess away from them, it’s going to make the rest of the school day a lot harder, and it’s also going to make home life harder in the evening.


[00:07:59] RH: Yeah. If you think that taking away recess will like discipline them, and they’ll learn, don’t push the kid. You’re going to lose recess; it won’t do anything. You’re fighting an uphill battle that will never get through to Charlie because he learns through movement and he learns best after he has that regulating sensory input that he gets from recess.


[00:08:23] JH: Yep. So help them calm down, then allow him to spend some time at recess. Give him that opportunity to get outside, run, climb, swing, do whatever he — well, not swing because apparently, schools don’t have swings anymore. Don’t even get me started.


[00:08:41] RH: That’s whole another episode.


[00:08:43] JH: That’s whole another episode. But allow him to get that break when he needs it.


[00:08:49] RH: After this whole incident happens and you realize you’re not going to take away recess, let Charlie know that you’re going to discuss the problem after recess. 


[00:08:59] JH: This should be done in a very neutral way. It shouldn’t be like, “We’re going to talk about what you did after recess.” It should be more about, “Okay. Go ahead and go spend your time at recess, play, have fun. When you get back, we’ll chat about what happened.” Make it very just calm and neutral. It’s not a bad thing.


[00:09:17] RH: No. After he’s gotten some movement, and maybe while he’s outside still, maybe before the teachers blow the whistle to come back inside, pull him aside and kind of talk about the incident, and ask him questions about it rather than telling him what he did wrong/


[00:09:36] JH: Yep. We’re going to call his classmate, Jimmy so you could say something like, “How did you feel when you pushed Jimmy?”


[00:09:42] RH: “Do you think that pushing Jimmy was the best way to solve the issue?”


[00:09:48] JH: “If this happens again, what could you do differently?”


[00:09:52] RH: “Now, Charlie, it’s really important that we take responsibility for our actions. Now, I do want to caveat and say, you’re going to have to modify this verbiage depending on the child. 


[00:10:02] JH: Right. We’re doing this like we’re talking to Charlie. 


[00:10:05] RH: Exactly. 


[00:10:07] JH: This is a really great opportunity to allow the child if applicable to kind of determine their own consequence, and talk about some different options, like do you think that you should apologize to Jimmy, do you think that you need to spend a little bit extra time helping out around the classroom. Give him some options and see what he thinks is appropriate or expected for this.


[00:10:39] RH: Yeah. One item we’re thinking of was sharing a snack with Jimmy, if that’s safe. Just offer to share something with him. That doesn’t even have to be a snack, but just sharing something as a token of your apology. [inaudible 00:10:57], right?


[00:10:57] JH: Yeah. Being able to allow the child to participate in the discipline process can be beneficial, and then allowing them to express how they feel, their wants and their needs is going to be huge.


[00:11:13] RH: Like we have mentioned earlier, giving him an opportunity to take responsibility for his actions. He can identify, “Oh, yeah. That was kind of a big problem.” What can I do to make it better and to solve that problem? Giving them ownership is really important and it’s really helpful.


[00:11:31] JH: Yeah, to show him like that he’s in control of his actions, and he gets to control his body.


[00:11:37] RH: I was going to say, if you just, “Go say sorry.” He’ll be like, “Why? That doesn’t mean anything to me.” 


[00:11:43] JH: For sure, yeah. I think, again, this is a specific situation and with a specific fictional kid that might not be the same for all the kids out there. There might be kids who don’t fully understand just because that’s at the level they are. You definitely need to modify your approach for each kid. This segues into the next thing we are going to talk about which is, what type of discipline works best for our sensory kiddos?


[00:12:14] RH: Oh, yes.


[00:12:15] JH: It is like corporal punishment, like back in the good old days?


[00:12:19] RH: Yeah. Is it moving a card in the classroom that shows who is good and who is bad?


[00:12:26] JH: Oh, I don’t like that either. That’s so — okay, soapbox really quick.


[00:12:31] RH: Let’s hear it.


[00:12:32] JH: I feel like that puts so much shame on the child and makes them feel so embarrassed and different from their peers. I don’t want anybody to do that to me.


[00:12:46] RH: I was a very like Type A student where I feared getting in trouble, and getting a pink slip, and doing something wrong. Like I feared that and it’s probably caused some challenges and some issues in my life now because of that.


[00:13:08] JH: Could be.


[00:13:10] RH: Right?


[00:13:10] JH: I mean, you’re pretty functioning adult.


[00:13:12] RH: I am, but — I mean, this is kind off topic, but like, I always have to be doing something. I always have to do working, I always have to be just go, go, go and trying to be the best at what I’m doing. Is it related? Who knows? What came first, the chicken or the egg? That’s off topic. I’m sorry. We’re just having a therapy session over here.


[00:13:34] JH: We are. Okay. In our opinion, we feel like the best types of discipline that work for our sensory kids are these. First, consistency, you have to have to be consistent with your expectations, and consequences for expected and unexpected behaviors.


[00:13:56] RH: Now, what we mean by consistency is, trying a specific discipline if that’s what we’re going to call it. Trying a specific discipline for a minimum of two weeks, ideally a month before you realize, “Yes, this is helpful. No, this is not helpful for us, for our family structure.”


[00:14:17] JH: I will say that that consistency that you can provide your child could potentially reduce negative actions.


[00:14:27] RH: Yep. The second thing is kindness. Believe it or not, we can consider kindness a type of discipline.


[00:14:34] JH: When we say kindness, this also goes to empathy and trying to understand why your child is doing what they’re doing.


[00:14:43] RH: The other type of discipline is using visuals. Now like we had mentioned earlier, we don’t necessarily love the shaming cards in the classroom. So figuring out a visual system that gives your child a clue or a cue that maybe something that they did or something they said wasn’t kind.


[00:15:03] JH: Mm-hmm. Was unexpected.


[00:15:06] RH: Yes.


[00:15:06] JH: Yep. Less words in the moment. This is true for I think the general population, but especially with our sensory kiddos. Is that when they go into that red zone or that fight or flight, when they’re in the middle of a meltdown or a behavior, they’re not going to process anything you’re saying to them, so you need to use less words, and more strategies, more visuals. 


[00:15:37] RH: Yep. Just offering them two choices. “Do you want the beanbag chair? Hold up your hands. Do you want a beanbag chair for this hand or do you want a weighted vest for this hand?” They just have to point to the hand rather than using words.


[00:15:55] JH: But this is where you could combine this with the visuals, and maybe you have pictures of the strategies they can use.


[00:16:02] RH: Okay. Another type of discipline is more teaching outside of the moment that the child is struggling or having a hard moment. When Charlie had his little incident, the teacher suggested they talk after recess. That he calm down, he went to recess and then we came back in, they had the opportunity to talk about it to kind of see what happens, what he could do differently and that is really beneficial for these kiddos, is to just not be told and taught in the moment. They’re not going to process anything.


[00:16:39] JH: No. I will say that the lecturing, I say that in quotations. Lecture sometimes isn’t the best way to get through to these kids. It needs to be more action, more movement and hands-on involvement. I think one more thing really quick that we need to add is, think about how you feel when you’re upset, and how you want someone to react to you.


[00:17:07] RH: Yes. I know when I make a mistake or when I struggle with something in the moment if, let’s say my husband because he’s with me often. If he tells me that was not good, why are you doing that, why are you saying that? It puts me kind of in that fight or flight reaction. Like, “What do you do? What do you mean? Why are you coming at me?” Same with someone else, like if it was a police officer pulling me over. I mean, I wouldn’t like freak out, but I’m just saying like it puts you in that defensive mode.


[00:17:40] JH: It does, for sure.


[00:17:41] RH: We don’t want these kids to be in on the defense, we want them to be on the offense.


[00:17:44] JH: All the time, every day.


[00:17:47] RH: They’re already in defense mode so often because they’re sensory kiddos.


[00:17:52] JH: Exactly.




[00:17:55] RH: We just want to take a minute and talk to you about our company, Harkla. Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs special needs live happy healthy lives. Not only do we accomplish this through the podcast, but we also have therapy products, easy to follow digital courses and the Harkla Sensory Club to try to bring holistic care to you and your family.


[00:18:13] JH: Listeners of the All Things Sensory podcast get 10% off their first purchase at Harkla with a discount code, “Sensory.” We’d recommend checking out some of our best-sellers, like the compression sensory swing, weighted blankets or our course on sensory diets. 


[00:18:29] RH: Here’s the best part, 1% of each sale gets donated to the University of Washington Autism Center to support autism research and fund scholarships to families in need to receive in-clinic therapy for their child.


[00:18:41] JH: Learn more about Harkla and all we have to offer at harkla.co. Don’t forget to use the discount code “sensory” to get 10% off your first purchase. That’s S-E-N-S-O-R-Y for 10% off.


[00:19:02] RH: The best part is, all Harkla orders come with a lifetime guarantee and free shipping.


[00:19:09] JH: You really can’t beat that.


[00:19:10] RH: No.


[00:19:10] JH: No, you can’t. Okay. Let’s go back to the show.




[00:19:15] RH: All right. Let’s shift gears a little bit. One question that we get often is, should you discipline your children differently if one of them has sensory challenges or if they process the sensory world differently, and maybe another kid process is it a little bit more typically?


[00:19:31] JH: The answer is yes, but I also think that every child is so unique that the discipline from one child to another is going to be different no matter what.


[00:19:41] RH: Regardless of diagnosis, a label, a sensory concern.


[00:19:46] JH: Right. I think we just chatted about consistency, and empathy, and visuals and less words in the moment. Those could just be kind of like what you stick to as far as discipline.


[00:20:00] RH: Yeah. Modify your plan depending on the child. Like we always want to say is, find the why. First and foremost, find the why behind the behavior. Often time, if a kiddo is lashing out, they’re aggressive, there’s a reason for it. Whether it’s behavior, whether it’s sensory. Try to put those sensory google on and figure out, “Okay. What is really going on?” What’s the underlying cause?” 


[00:20:25] JH: Let’s just go through some of the reasons that your child might be having a hard time, why they might be acting out. Let’s just really rapid fire them, and go through them really fast. The first one could be poor communication, social and language skills.


[00:20:42] RH: Yep. They might be overwhelmed or they might have some sensory overstimulation.


[00:20:47] JH: They might have poor problem-solving, which goes along with poor practices, so being able to motor plan and find a solution to a problem as well as poor executive functioning skills.


[00:20:59] RH: They might also struggle with a decreased understanding of what’s being asked, so that goes into auditory processing challenges, and that executive functioning component as well.


[00:21:10] JH: They might have anxiety and this could be related to primitive reflexes. This could be related to a whole bundle of things.


[00:21:21] RH: They could also be seeking attention, and not necessarily seeking attention, but they’re seeking connection. They’re trying to connect with the adult, the child and they just aren’t doing it in the right way, and they’re instead getting negative attention, but that negative attention by acting out is better than nothing.


[00:21:41] JH: Yeah. It’s better than no attention or no connection.


[00:21:44] RH: Yeah.


[00:21:44] JH: Yeah. Okay. Going back to Charlie, we really broke it down on how we would handle that situation, but let’s give you some like a little bit more.


[00:21:57] RH: A little more detail.


[00:21:58] JH: Just a little bit more.


[00:21:58] RH: Yeah, just more. 


[00:21:59] JH: We want to help him feel calm, and since we can’t process auditory information when we’re upset, we need to use those proprioceptive strategies.


[00:22:11] RH: Like we said, use that calming sensory input, proprioceptive input, what is right for that specific child, and like Charlie, having that quiet environment was helpful, but it’s going to be different for every unique child, because everyone’s sensory system is so unique. If you don’t know what is calming or what sensed your child is comforted by, Sensational Brain has a free sensory systems checklist on their website under the free resources tab that you can — it’s kind of like the sensory profile, but it’s not standardized. It’s just a quick checklist that no parents can fill out, and then kind of see that my child is under responsive to this or they’re over responsive to that. It kind of gives you a little overview of what to expect.


[00:22:59] JH: Always calmly talking with your child about the situation, don’t put it off because it’s hard, don’t forget about it. But also, don’t make your child feel ashamed about the situation, because everybody makes mistakes, and just let them know that you’re there for them when they do make a mistake. You’re they’re to help them. Maybe use some visuals, create visual cards for strategies for the next time it happens, but always go back and talk with the child about it. Some kids, this might not be applicable, so you’re going to have to be a little bit more creative.


[00:23:36] RH: Yeah. Like we had mentioned earlier, if your child is seeking connection, take a minute and connect with them. Put your phone down, put the dishes away and the laundry away. That stuff doesn’t need to be done now if you’re at home. Connect with them. Sing a song with them, jump on a trampoline with them and see if that helps to kind of flip their lid, and get them in that more relaxed and comforted state of mind.


[00:24:04] JH: If your child was seeking connection with a peer, kind of like, I mean, I don’t think Charlie was necessarily seeking connection with a peer. It was, he became overstimulated so he pushed the child. But if your child is seeking connection with a peer and they just don’t know how, so this turns into a situation where they might need to be disciplined. Go at it another round and teach your child how to interact in an unexpected way. 


[00:24:30] RH: Yes, that role playing is helpful. 


[00:24:32] JH: Yes.


[00:24:33] RH: Yep. Then you can identify, do we need to provide a consequence? Yeah, let’s talk about it. All of our actions have consequences, positive or negative. You can have a set consequence for a specific behavior and stay consistent with that, and try, try, try not to shame your child into this consequence. We’re not going to see a benefit in their esteem if we do this.


[00:24:59] JH: Totally.


[00:25:00] RH: It’s probably going to make them more angry.


[00:25:02] JH: Yeah, totally. All right. Let’s just keep going and let’s talk about some more basic strategies. I think first and foremost is really prevention. If you know your child’s triggers, so for example, if the teacher knows that Charlie has some tactile defensiveness, and if he gets bumped, he’s going to potentially react. Then maybe helping him to stand at the end of the line, and a couple of feet away from his classmates so that he has that space, so that he doesn’t have that tactile input that could potentially cause him to react.


[00:25:36] RH: I’ve been even thinking, put him at the beginning of the line too sometimes to the teacher can be right there to support him if needed, and she can have some headphones in her pocket just in case, and he knows that he can ask for headphones if it’s getting too loud and too busy.


[00:25:51] JH: Totally. You want to identify your child’s triggers because then you can identify those strategies for those specific situations, knowing what helps your child feel calm, incorporating more proprioceptive heavy work into the day is just — overall, it’s just going to help the child’s nervous system feel more calm.


[00:26:13] RH: Now in Charlie’s situation and his example, what the teacher could have him do or have the whole class do is animal walk, and do a bear walk to their coats if their coats are all hung up or if they’re going to go stand in line. “Okay. Everybody do a bear walk all the way to the line. They’re getting that heavy work before, and then maybe they do a bear walk out to recess, or they do a crab walk out to recess or they hop out to recess. They’re getting that input, and one child isn’t being singled out. Well, Charlie isn’t like, “Oh! How come, I’m the only one who has to fucking animal walk?” That’s not fair. It’s hard.


[00:26:52] JH: Totally. We kind of talked about this a little bit already, but role playing and teaching the child’s expected behaviors so that they know how to see connection in an unexpected way, but also making sure that you’re doing this teaching and role-playing when the child is calm and happy.


[00:27:13] RH: Yes, not in the moment. Like we mentioned earlier, visual schedules, visual timers are great apps on the phone. What was the one that we used? What’s the name of that one called?


[00:27:26] JH: It’s the one with the duck.


[00:27:28] RH: If you just search visual timer in the app store, in the Google store, it will come up. 


[00:27:34] JH: It’s the one with the duck.


[00:27:35] RH: It’s something like that to set that expectation. This is especially helpful for kiddos who struggle with functional communication skills.


[00:27:43] JH: Yep. Visuals are so beneficial. I’m just thinking about a kid who’s starting to get upset and they’re getting ready to have a behavior, have a meltdown. If you have some pictures available of things that that child can choose from in that moment where they’re starting to get worked up, then that’s going to — like we said, it’s going to take away the auditory component that they’re not going to be able to process anyways. They can see it, they can make a choice, you can go do it and move on.


[00:28:17] RH: Yep. Now, if there’s one thing to take away from this episode, we want you to realize how important it is to empathize with these kiddos. Think about nails on a chalkboard, that feeling you get in your spine.


[00:28:28] JH: Oh, it’s the worst.


[00:28:30] RH: That uncomfortable, that painful feeling. That is often how our kiddos and adults with sensory processing challenges feel on a daily basis. When Charlie got pushed, when the kiddos started crying, that uncomfortable feeling could be what he was going through. Yeah, I’d push him too. I’d cry, I’d run, I’ll do all those things.


[00:28:52] JH: I literally cannot think of anything else since you said nails on a chalkboard. Thank you for that.


[00:28:56] RH: I have goosebumps because of it.


[00:28:58] JH: Yep, thanks. I appreciate that.


[00:28:59] RH: That’s another thing. I was just going to continue to talk. You couldn’t process what I was saying because you were feeling that spine-wrenching feeling in your back.


[00:29:11] JH: And I like that we’re still talking about it.


[00:29:12] RH: I’m sorry. It’s like moist.


[00:29:15] JH: Some people hate that word. It cracks me up.


[00:29:19] RH: Emphasize with your kiddos and please do that. 


[00:29:23] JH: Yep. I think empathy and consistency, and make sure you figure out what type of discipline is best for your child.


[00:29:32] RH: Or your client.


[00:29:34] JH: Or your clients.


[00:29:35] RH: If you are a therapist, or a teacher listening, or a professional in any way, make sure you communicate with the child’s family and with their team. “Hey! What works best for this kiddo?” Hey! How are you guys approaching this challenge at home or at school? I want to make sure that we’re being consistent here at therapy as well.


[00:29:54] JH: And that you’re also respecting the family’s values. I think that is huge. You could run into a client or family who says, “We haven’t found anything that works.” Then you get to kind of take the lead and say, “Okay. Well, I’m going to try a couple of things.”


[00:30:08] RH: “I want you to try them at home as well.”


[00:30:11] JH: Yep. Yeah.


[00:30:12] RH: Yeah. I think this was a good refresher episode. 


[00:30:18] JH: Yeah. Go listen to the first one, then listen to this one and let us know your thoughts.


[00:30:22] RH: We’ll link everything in the show notes that we chatted about today.


[00:30:26] JH: Hopefully you liked are rambling today.


[00:30:28] RH: Our therapy session.


[00:30:31] JH: Sometimes we just got to get it out.


[00:30:32] RH: Yeah. This is our podcast, right?


[00:30:34] JH: Yeah. We get to do what we want. You can listen to us if you want. I hope you do.


[00:30:39] RH: If you do choose to listen to this episode entirely and others you, leave us a review on iTunes. It’s really helpful to know exactly what you want to hear, what you don’t want to hear, if you like our rambling, if you don’t, we’ll modify and we appreciate your feedback. 


[00:30:57] JH: I mean, we’ll modify to an extent.


[00:30:59] RH: And we’re like, “It our podcast.”


[00:31:02] JH: We’ll modify to an extent.


[00:31:03] RH: Yes, it’s helpful to know. I mean, everyone has a different learning style, everyone has different feelings and that’s okay. So we want to validate, we want everyone to feel comfortable here while they’re listening, but also, we’re going to say it how it is. We told you in the intro, we provide raw, honest, fun ideas and strategies.


[00:31:21] JH: And that’s what we just did today. You’re welcome.


[00:31:24] RH: All right. We will be back next week with another episode sharing our raw, honest, fun ideas and strategies.


[00:31:31] JH: Okay. Bye. 


[00:31:41] RH: Thank you so much for listening to All Thing Sensory by Harka. If you want more information on anything we mentioned in the show, head over to harkla.co/podcast to get all of the show notes. 


[00:31:52] JH:We always have the show notes and links, plus full transcripts to make following along as easy as possible for everyone. If you have followed up questions, the best place to ask those is in the comments on the show notes or message us on our Instagram account, which is at @harkla_family. If you just search Harkla, you’ll find us.


[00:32:12] RH:Like we mentioned before, our podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla, whether it’s for one of our digital courses, one of our sensory swings, the discount code SENSORY will save you 10%. That code is S-E-N-S-O-R-Y. Head over to harkla.co/sensory to use that code right now so you don’t forget.


[00:32:35] JH:We’re so excited to work together to help create confident kids all over the world and work towards a happier healthier life.



While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC
Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC

Rachel Harrington, COTA/l, AC, CPRCS, and Jessica Hill, COTA/L, CPRCS are Harkla's in-house Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) and Certified Primitive Reflex Clinical Specialists. They have been working with children for over 6 years in outpatient settings. They specialize in creating easy-to-digest, actionable content that families can use to help their child's progress at home. Jessica and Rachel are the in-house experts, content creators, and podcast hosts at Harkla! To learn more about Jessica and Rachel, visit the Harkla About Us Page. Make sure to listen to their weekly podcast, All Things Sensory by Harkla for actionable, fun advice on child development.

1 Response


January 25, 2022

Wonderful episode. Learned so much listening to this episode and will share it with other teachers and parents at my school.

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