Playground Talks

#1 What is Sensory Balancing and sensory processing disorder? With Neta Shani

January 29, 2022 Tammy Afriat Episode 1
#1 What is Sensory Balancing and sensory processing disorder? With Neta Shani
Playground Talks
More Info
Playground Talks
#1 What is Sensory Balancing and sensory processing disorder? With Neta Shani
Jan 29, 2022 Episode 1
Tammy Afriat

Does your child hug too strong? 
Do you feel like your child is acting like a drama queen?
Does your child tend to have tantrums when going to a noisy environment?
Neta Shani, a  sensory balancing practitioner answered those questions and explained what is sensory balancing, what triggers tantrums caused by sensory overwhelming, and how biofeedback can help you and your child.

Neta believes that communication with your child is a key component of understating and helping your kiddos, so we also talked about the emotional growth card game she created, called Let’s share. 

You may :

Recommended episodes:
Why Do Kids "Misbehave"?
How To Approach An Introverted Kid?

Also, I would love to hear from you :-)
Connect with me on
Instagram or share here topics you wish the podcast to cover. I will do my best to bring the expert!                                                                                                                   

For more parenting tips - hit Follow and join my Instagram!



As a certified parent coach, I aim to help you set boundaries with compassion.
So grab your free Compassionate Parenting Guides now!

You can also:

Remember to treat yourself and your children with compassion and curiosity. 🫶

Show Notes Transcript

Does your child hug too strong? 
Do you feel like your child is acting like a drama queen?
Does your child tend to have tantrums when going to a noisy environment?
Neta Shani, a  sensory balancing practitioner answered those questions and explained what is sensory balancing, what triggers tantrums caused by sensory overwhelming, and how biofeedback can help you and your child.

Neta believes that communication with your child is a key component of understating and helping your kiddos, so we also talked about the emotional growth card game she created, called Let’s share. 

You may :

Recommended episodes:
Why Do Kids "Misbehave"?
How To Approach An Introverted Kid?

Also, I would love to hear from you :-)
Connect with me on
Instagram or share here topics you wish the podcast to cover. I will do my best to bring the expert!                                                                                                                   

For more parenting tips - hit Follow and join my Instagram!



As a certified parent coach, I aim to help you set boundaries with compassion.
So grab your free Compassionate Parenting Guides now!

You can also:

Remember to treat yourself and your children with compassion and curiosity. 🫶

How are you today? great? How are you? I'm doing great. I'm so happy to have you here. Let's talk about what is sensory balancing. It's like we have a central computer. And sometimes it has some errors. So you could be experiencing something different, than others. And it's because maybe your sound button is too loud. So people go the cinema and for you, it's painful for them, it's just, oh, that's it. No, but for you, it's actually painful. So you're experiencing it different. So it could be something as simple as hearing, I see it, especially in kids, but it's also for grownups, you experienced your own feelings differently. I remember I have a friend and I won't forget that day. He called me like 12 years ago. Super excited that I'm not the only one. There are people that are highly sensitive. I'm not the only drama queen. And she was so excited because, she was always tagged as the drama queen. Why are you taking things so emotional? Why are you overreacting? And for her that's her, normal. That's her way of reacting to things. And she was so happy and so relieved... and kids experience it. see it I would sometimes get a mom come for treatment for herself. And she would complain about one of her kids and complaining, She's doing that on purpose. And I listened and I say, huh, it sounds like she had a sensory issue. It sounds like she's experiencing the world differently. I don't think she's doing it on purpose. And then, you know, the mum would cry because really in guilt and everything, and then we'd start working on the child and then the mom would realize that the child is. Going through the challenges, experiencing the world differently reacting differently and being misunderstood by parents, by teachers, by peers and these kids, what they need is to be understood. The first thing, when you understand someone, when you tell them, okay, this is what's going on, there is something physical going on that we can help you with rather than make them feel guilty and embarrassed. And ashamed once you acknowledge it and you support them, wow. All I'm writing you, take off some of the stress. So it's all around with the different things. It could be just eczema. It could be just something physical and just a migraine, just a belly ache. But it could be that they're reacting differently, like a child. Hugs his peers, but he doesn't do it on purpose. He knows, he feels my brain isn't listening to me. when is he huging it's when the stress levels in his body are higher, that's what he goes for a hug. And without even realizing, he knows he's not supposed to do it. It's not that he chooses to it's. It's like, uh, it's like a tick it's like a reflex. And so we have to work on the stress levels. There was more time to think, I'm not going to do it. It's so many sensory issues around us and those people need our support and acknowledgement and, help in dealing with their daily. I totally resonate with whenever we, as a parents being more compassionate about our, kids, other than, judging them that they're lazy or not listening to us. So from this compassion point, we can get so much understanding and know how to approach our kids, which leads me to my next question. And is it which, situation are likely to trigger tantrums because of sensory over whelming? The thing that is in common is that what triggers it to be worse is stress, hormones and stress hormones. It's different than a stress stress with me, feeling stressed, feeling anxiety, feeling worried. It's about emotions but stress. Hormone can be triggered when you're hungry when you're tired. With eczema it's always a stress hormone that is causing it, but sometimes it's because you're sensitive to certain foods. So when you're eating those foods, it's triggering a stress hormone in your body and sometimes it's just by worrying. So it's just emotional again, triggering the stress hormone, or it could be that you have eczema. In the spring, it's because of a certain blossom that you're sensitive to those pollen. So that again, triggers the stress hormone. So the thing in common is the stress hormone and what you want to, what we work on in sensory balancing is, realizing what it is. So people can go and get a diagnosis. If it's something they're eating, if it's something environmental, or is it something emotional and once you know what it is, you can address. And in any case we work on a stress hormone, but we also want to know what is triggering. So it sounds to me it's like being a little investigator thinking about the daily routine and see when we're having those breakdowns and then asking what causes, what triggered those. And then sometimes it just technical things. Like we didn't eat, we didn't drink, we didn't have enough sleep, but sometimes those are more emotional resources such as I have a test in school or I'm transitioning to a different group in my daycare. It's normal. It's like the kiddo We worked on his stress woman button. So on a daily basis. He was fine. He wasn't walking around with all this stress on his body. He wasn't having his peers. He had more friends, he was doing great. He was happy. So no need for the hugs, but then one on. And on a trip, even if you're having fun, you're not any routine. You're not eating the food you're used to. You're not sleeping way you used to. it's a lot more exciting. So the stress level, we're up in the mom texting me, what's going on? And he's looking back the hugging. And I said, yes, but you know, it's normal. He's not any failure. You can find ways to make it easier, but you have to accept that it's more stressful than. Your normal routine. Yeah, I will always think about kids and that they are not in a steady state. Like they have things going on in their life and we can expect them to be a robot and react all the time, the same way. Let's talk about some practical suggestion. How would you recommend dealing with over sensitivity? One aspect if you find a practitioner to work with see if it's something about the diet or trying to trial and error and see if reducing foods like gluten or dairy make a difference or sugar. Of course. some would just take off. food that might be suspicious and see if that makes any difference. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it's not enough. I remember I was working with a teenager that had abdominal pain and a mom said, you know, we went to all the doctors, we tried everything, nothing worked. I don't know what to do. So we test and learn and I said, okay, for sure it's gluten and dairy, but it's not just gluten dairy. And then she said, yeah, but I already eliminated it and it didn't do anything. And I said, it. Didn't do anything because it's also about your stress hormones. And it's about the stress you're having at school. So you eliminated one thing that. But then you were walking around with a lot of stress and that's what's causing it too. And, we hooked her on our biofeedback machine, which something that everyone could do at home. And I showed her how stressed she really was. And as we were talking, she could see that every time that we were talking about. Social situations, would show red rivers when you're stressed and they're topics that we covered and we talked about it and it was mean, and then she could see, and at some point I hit the screen and I said, okay, because she said today, my pain levels from between 300. And I would say, now it's seven. Right? And she said, how did you know? And I say, look, it's red. So it shows us what causes the pain. And she learned, so one thing we worked on it with acupuncture, but she eliminated gluten and dairy and she, started feeling better. And then she started learning that when the pingo is high, she is stressed, and she would start asking herself calming her body down. So there are different techniques to teach yourself how to come down. It could be. It could be, a little bit of exercise that distracts you. It could be taking an Epsom salt bath. It could be, herbs or supplements. So there are different ways like a biofeedback can show the person what helps them come and what makes it more stressful? Because the person that is on biofeedback and they start doing, what do you think exercise is? Sometimes it actually makes them. Because it's like when you're on a Highbridge and someone says, don't look down, it makes it more stress when they try to breathe. So you see it. Okay. So that doesn't work. So let's try something else. Some kids, I ask them about a pancake and they start telling me about what they're going to put on a pancake. And that's when it's green and calm, they, you start talking to them about something else. You guided them. So there are different ways. And if everyone would have like a small biofeedback, app, that's a good way to test what is helping me and what is making it worse. Tell me more about the biofeedback. How do you use it? Where do you get it? So I got one that is for practitioners, but when I tell parents to get it, I tell them, just get the cheap one. I mean, you don't need something so complicated. can either hook it to your finger or to your ear. And the sensor tells you again when you're stressed and when you're not and then you can see that when you talk to your child about, one of their friends, it always makes it stressful, but for others talking about their friends is what calms them down. And then you can see that, oh, the last two weeks something was going on. It's all about that. Because it's a lot of uncertainties with that's what's causing it. So teaches you a lot by talking, you can see what's going on. And for some kids, when you ask them personal questions, that's when there's stress, because they're so unaware of what they're feeling. And they're so not used to telling that it stresses them out. And for some, You look at the screen and they're afraid to fail. You know, there's no winning or losing it. It's just showing you what's going on. But fact that someone else is checking up on them, that stresses them. But for SEM, as long as they don't look is fine. But if they look at the screen, then there's death. So it teaches you a lot of what's going on inside. do, you have to devote a certain time of the day to make the test going. Whenever they want to just do a session and talk about the things and see what's going on and see if it changed. I was working with someone on that she was, acting and she was having trouble with audition. So we use the biofeedback to show her what works, what doesn't work. And then she found out what works for her. So she was focusing on something physical. No one can see it, but for her all her energy was focused on her victory. So she was not focused on my anxiety. And am I going to make it or not? She was focusing on something physical and sometimes that works. So again, we tried different techniques, different mindfulness techniques, and then we saw what helped and that's what she chose. So by feedback, it's kind of light detector. It sounds to me like she's shifted her mind to a different thing that made her come down. Those peaches view, what works and what doesn't work for you specifically. Got it. I think we grew up in a generation where we weren't diagnosed that much. And I'm wondering what are their kind of red flags that require extra support? And I'm saying not only for the kids, but you know, only for us, the parents who might not grew up in an environment who was so supportive and acknowledging that there might be, some kind of issue with sensory. I don't think there were so many sensory issues before. I think it's a lot because of what we're consuming and not being aware of what we're consuming and what's going on around us. So it's, and that happens a lot more. And also the fact that we're not very open, so we're bottling up a lot of things in that makes it worse. can see a big difference between kids who go to a school that is regular public school and kids that go to a school that encourages a lot more communication and a lot more focus on what's going on. And I see that and the parents do because some parents are not aware, but some parents, because the school teaches them, then you can see a different thing. It's a big difference because when working with kids, I would have kids. that kids come up and say, When I get mad, I get too mad. I don't want to yell at my siblings. I don't want to hit, I don't want to feel that m aware. They know that they experienced things different. They can word it out. They can say, when I feel those emotions, I'm not supposed to feel them that strong and they are aware, but many times. And it will say, you know, I don't know why, but my child gets so mad or gets in trouble in school or just happens at home school doesn't know what I'm talking about, but he comes home and he explodes. and then they can tell they compare to other kids and they say, okay, something is a lot more than it's supposed to be. I can see that it's challenging for them. So it's looking at your child and trying not to. Be mad and judgmental, but look and see their challenges. Something that I saw very often is that the child had a hard time expressing themselves. And sometimes it's shame because, you know, I don't want to behave like that. And sometimes they're not very aware, but I would ask the parents who does he get it from and being so reserved. And they say probably from us. They're not talking about. The mistakes they're making or when they're not behaving or how they're dealing with things. And so what I noticed is that parents is as reserved as they will be when they're in the clinic, was their child and asked to play along. They will do it because they know right now they're being a role model. And if they step up, that's what they're showing their child. that's actually why I created that game because I said if, every family had the tool had a game that., reinforce healthy communication. Parents get to be a role model and they're not going to be, they're going to be embarrassed. Maybe if it's a group of adults playing a game like that, but if it's them and now their child is looking up to them, they step up. And I have parents who come and tell me, you know, I saw that it was hard for me there with my kids. So they get a mirror and they understand it. They're not sharing then their child definitely isn't sharing. That's why your child said my day was okay. And not elaborating more because your parents are not. And so the parents say yes, and then the second time was a little easier and the third time was even more easier. And so they started building communication. I think the way to look is to first. Be less judgemental because then you can see they're going through a challenge. Like, oh, why are they doing this to me? Why are they making my day harder? But okay, what's going on? And for people for themselves also, instead of judging themselves, it's saying, okay, I feel that maybe I shouldn't take. painkillers, every time I get a migraine, maybe my body's trying to tell me something it's being more aware and being in a place where you want to change something, rather than saying it is what it is it's asking. Is there something I can do better? I remember as a child, I had ticks in my eyes, I would kind of squinting. And I remember I had a teacher and I thought he was making fun of me. I realized he had the same thing and it was years later that I started looking and seeing, oh, it happens a lot more when I'm stressed or when I'm really tired, which again, it's hormone. My body is stress. So once treated that, and then you see that it happens if I am very, very sick. And then it's assigned for me, but it's not on a daily basis I figured for myself, whenever I was stressed, I had a migraine and something that you can take care of yourself and it does make an improvement with how many migrane have or any other things. And also with the intense of, whatever you're suffering. That's my experience . So other than being aware with older children, that they can talk for themselves with the younger kids what would be the red flags behavioral issues? Sometimes it's biblical. Sometimes I suck in one set. The mom counted 20 something different ticks. So they were local. There were, muscular teaks. I'll give examples where they just brought them in for something else. I had a kid come in for, then say if. And his mom wanted to avoid surgery. So we treated him and it takes three sessions. the doctor said it's all better, no need for surgery. But then on a third appointment, I noticed the mom was telling him, stop making those noises. He wasn't, he'll just tell me. And he wasn't doing anything on purpose. what noises he's just having to himself without even paying any notice to it. And she said, yeah, but he doesn't align and it's annoying. And I said, but you know, it's, it's a vocal tick. So He doesn't even notice that he's doing it, I remember when I was a kid in, into always be someone in class who was taking a pen and kind of banging it on the table again and again, and again, or people have with their knee jerky, it's something do when there's stress and you don't plan on doing it. And that's when we started working on a stress and then she noticed a big, big improvement. So it could be something small as that, but she didn't notice it. I thought I had a few parents bringing their kids for one thing. But I would notice anything when you're doing that. You're just making it worse. Cause now they're stressed about making those noises and from the beginning they were not doing it on purpose. And when you realize that your child doing enough purpose, listen to them, they might not do it on purpose. And muscular vocal ticks. It could be sleep issues. It could be, they gestion issues. When a doctor said, there's nothing there, but yes, body's telling you something. So it could be a behavioral issue, but it could be the body telling you something is going on. Does asthma also, so falling this, category. Yes. It's something is overreacting and it could be different things. I remember one mom called me once and she said, her daughter has very often as my tax. And you said I already saw a acupuncturist once and they told me to remove dairy. But if you're going to tell me to remove there, you have gonna. I said, first of all, you know, with asthma, you usually wanting to move dairy, but maybe it's something else. But if you come in and stereo will tell you that it's dairy. So, but you do it, do whatever you want. And she said, you know what? I don't want to come just to see what it is. And then we It wasn't about dairy was environmental things, and. improved really fast. And then I did suggest that you would move there because , it can cause a lot of phlegm, which you don't want in a kid with asthma, but she was more open to it once she felt her child's feeling better. like with anything else, there's no a hundred percent on anything, but many times you don't want to go and check to see if something is, an overreaction of the body, because sometimes it's something you can get rid of. You realize that something that you're eating or drinking or something else that you're doing is not good for you. And you want to know it. And sometimes there's no reason it's just your body overreacting and you fix it. So once we decided as a parent, that it seems like our child needs more support, how would you present it to the child? I ask the parents what they think. And sometimes they need ideas for me. And sometimes I ask them what would you say? Whenever they get goes to any practitioner, you want their cooperation. So you want to find something that they feel comfortable, something that does bother them and they feel comfortable working on. And so sometimes you tell them the whole truth. And sometimes you find something that does bother them. And some kids are very open they want the attention and it's fun for them. So I always ask parents, why does it child think they're coming? And what is something that they want to be treated for? So the practitioner knows how to work with them and get their participation. that's a great idea just to find this painful spot for our kids. that he is open to say, yes, let's do something well. it's a great approach to life. Just pick this thing that you're willing to work on. And then that's only the starting point. So talking about kids and communicating with kids, I know for myself that many times I'm asking kids, how was your day? And for the most part I'm getting, I don't remember. And I was like, I just picked you up. It's been five minutes out of school and you don't remember how could you possibly forget, but however, they're not sharing that much. And I know that you've made a game that's supposed to help us, the family, the parents to communicate better. And I do want to hear more about your game. The game was formed because the kids that I was working with. And I took a few principles that I liked from other themes, like there's that, traditional native American, listening circles, where you sit in a circle and you can only do. If you have listening object. So everyone speaks only in their turn and you feel that they can, you get all the attention, but no one can judge you and no one can comment. So it's a safe place to share. And you don't have to share if you don't want to. Which is very, important. It's something I always do in my clinic. I always tell kids if they don't want to participate, they don't have to. They always do, but I never make them. And I tell the parents don't make them, if you want, you can offer them something, but get them to cooperate. And by allowing them to not participate, if you don't want to, you're already giving them so everyone shares according to the cards , and the child might say, uh, I don't want to, or there's a part of, and that was him to just pretend physically like, make a face or something. And it's sometimes easier. But again, . Even if they don't want to participate at the beginning, it's fine because they learned from others. They see their parents. Sharing and the parents need to share, even if it's more than they're used to, and they have to share about their mistakes and share about, their emotions they want to do it because if they do it. And then in turn, their child will do it. it's a mirror. And a lot of parents say that they felt challenged because if we realized that those are things we don't share with our kids and why aren't we sharing? And there was a dad who told me, you know, I want my child to answer sometimes instead of saying, yeah, it was okay saying dad, I had a bad thing. And tell me why and want to know that you hadn't met her and want her to come to me for advice. So. That game an opportunity to sit together and have the parents demonstrate what they want it to be like. And then children learn from that. And sometimes mom's texting me. They say, you know, today my child came with the cards and she walked, me out with the cards and asked to play. So, because kids love when parents listened to them, kids love when parents talk to them like friends, like really share something. So for some, it's a bit of a challenge at the beginning, cause they're not used to it, but then they realize that this is something that's lacking. So building up that communications, creating a safe place to share, share as much as you want and don't share when you don't want. And it's fine, so the cards game really help the parents to model sharing. And that's what influenced the kids to do just the same. You know, of any other reasons for kids not to share things? One reason is because they're. Reserved that's what see. That's what they do. We could be that they get judgment. They try to, and so they learn not to, they don't want to anymore. Or that's what they see . Around them. Imagine you're sitting with someone, a friend or you're meeting someone new and they're very reserved. And they're not telling you about what's going on with them. They're just, I dunno, talking about the weather. It will be hard for you to start sharing about something very intimate that happened to you because not. So to have an open relationship and open communication has to be mutual. It has to be two people feeling comfortable in sharing. And, it's something that , you build. So there are the great takeaway from you'd said, and that is not only that as a parent, I bit of share. I also need to be aware of my response whenever my child is talking such as not being judgmental and being impatient when he talks. So. My respond whenever my child approaches me, has a lot to do with building this communication in the house. That's a great takeaway. And thank you for that. Any other effective way to communicate with our kids that you might tell us When I teach how to mindfulness activities together, I just playing along. used to volunteer in my kids' class and there were two groups and we would do something with the first group. And then we will do the same thing with the second group, but sometimes it was the second group they'd react differently. So we'd have to. Make up as we go make it a little different because this group of kids react differently and, maybe they understand the roles, different things. So just make art together because you argue, they express a lot and dancing together and music have fun with them. Sometimes if you become a kid and play with them, they will open up. And share more. That's creating the environment for a real authentic moment. And then they feel the connection. That's what it sounds to me. Yeah. Well, that's great. And I do want to add that nowadays. I think, we are as a parent the parents so busy. And it seems we have a lot of stress for ourself working and managing the house so it's might be useful to something. Think of only 10 minutes being with a real moment with the kids and not even needing to Putin the calendar two hours of, you know, game time. It could be as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Would you think about that? Make them aware how special those 10 minutes were to you and how you're looking forward to doing it again if they know it matter to you. It will matter more to them because had a child that she was very, very reserved about her emotions. And once we were aware of that, then we got her to find a time to do things with her mom and talk and learn to express her emotions. And so they started building that. And I remember that. With the data they said, okay, did he spend enough time with mom? And the one was really upset that no, and the mom was like, we went yesterday and we did our nails. We do this, we do that. But the child was so upset and I told him first of all, she's expressing herself. Finally she, told you how she feels. And now you realize that when she tags along and to do nails and do this and do that, and you thought you were having time together, but for her, you were just seeing her on your errands. She did not see it at all in a special time, but when you tell your child how special, oh, I'm so glad we have this time right now, let's do something say it out loud. You can see how proud they feel that it's just that 10 minutes. The three minutes by chance they need to know that it really matters to us.. it makes a big difference we cherish that time with. So not only to mention that's our quality dime. I also pick that we might ask our children, what do you want to do in our quality time? Because it might be in the example you gave us that for her daughter doing nails is not such a big deal and she's not into it at all. So that's another thing is ask your child, what do you want to do in our quality time? Yes. And sometimes, explains things. Like, you have some fun with me cause I have errands to do it's I know it's boring for you, but it's something I have to do and I didn't get the time to do it. So, instead of making a face and complaining, now you've got them on board that you need their help. And it's a whole different reaction because it's respect. I see parents each other to know, cause I said, so no respect him. If them an explanation, the reaction will be totally different. What you're saying is coming from, I'm forcing you to come with me. Cause I don't have another time to do it, to actually engage them and say, if that's the situation, I do need your patient. Please come with me. And, you know, we can make fun time out of it or great discussion so it's a great approach. And I also get. It sets equality between the children and the parents that the parents does not use their authority just to grab the kids wherever, but they're making those kinds of discussion before doing it. And I say, thank you. thank you for your response, and for cooperating. I want them to know that I appreciate. Well, that's a great role modeling Thank you so much for coming. I really loved many takeaways with the biofeedback. I personally, wasn't aware of that thing and practical things of how to approach when my child is over sensitive and some practical things of how to communicate and of course, using the game to create this. deep relationship and communication. So thank you so much for coming and have a great day for having me and have a great day as well.