Q&A: How to Help 4 Year Old with Self Regulation Issues

Tamara GuoBehavior, Challenging Behavior

blockquote_bgI’m wondering what the best therapy would be for my almost 4 year old. She’s very bright but has self-regulation issues (i.e., blurting out sounds at home and school as well as repeating herself often- very sensitive and can have a complete breakdown over little things – if I accidentally press the elevator button or flush the toilet, etc. – things she knows she can control). I really want to help her. She is very loving and loves her teacher at school who suggested she get some therapy. She is seeing an OT at Beth Osten Clinic in Skokie, IL and has been going for 4 months and I see NO improvement.

There is a nice article on self-regulation written for teachers and there is also information on Sensory Processing on our Early Intervention Support website.

It sounds like you have already taken the right steps for helping your daughter by speaking with her teacher and seeking occupational therapy for her, which would be what we would recommend. Four months is a relatively short period of time, but I would speak with her therapist about your concerns with her lack of progress and if you are not satisfied you could always seek out a second opinion from another OT. Make sure the OT has current knowledge and experience with sensory processing disorders. Has your daughter been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder? This link at Thrive Place may be helpful for determining whether you need to seek further treatment for your daughter. There is also a lot of recent research on yoga being beneficial for self regulation issues such as impulsiveness and ADD/ADHD.