We all want to “be the village” for our friends and family members, but sometimes it’s hard to know how. When some one gets a new diagnosis, be it SPD, autism or something else it can be hard to know what to say, what to do and most of all how to help.
We found a great way to rally the village around a family with a new diagnosis by throwing an SPD shower.
What is an SPD shower? It’s first and foremost a party, a rallying of support around a mom who is probably having emotions all across the board about her child’s diagnosis.
It’s a point of connection, where she can share how she’s feeling in an intimate, safe setting.
And it’s a way to gift her with toys, tools and sensory gear that can help her child.
How to host an SPD shower
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The first step is to tell the mom you are considering hosting this party for her. Don’t surprise her with it, because she may not be prepared. You want to have her input every step of the way.
Ask if she would like the opportunity to share about the diagnosis with friends and family in a home setting. This will give her the chance to prepare what she’d like to share about SPD and what it looks like in her child. SPD is a very broad spectrum, and you want to be sure you don’t assume that this child will behave the exact same ways that another child with SPD does.
This actually ended up being my favorite part of the party. I loved hearing the whole story in one sitting, and learning about ways we could each offer support going forward as well.
If she wants to come share then comes the fun part… asking her to register!
SPD often means various therapies to help with sensory needs. There are so many tools and toys that a family can have at home to help, but this can be an overwhelming cost, especially if the family has just faced doctor bills and therapy costs.
Have her put together a list of items that she would like to use at home with her child, and everyone can buy her a few.
To create one you could have her Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Registry for the spd toys she wants. They have a huge variety of options to choose from and it’s a great place to get started.
You can find great things for sensory processing like these wobble chairs
Or even these fun fidget cubes!
There are lots of different sensory products available depending on the needs of the child. That’s why it’s important to ask your friend what types of things she’d like to have for her child or have her create a registry on amazon.
At the party
Make sure that you ask all the guests to refrain from giving advice. You can phrase it gently such as “I know we all have the gut reaction to try to help or “solve” things, but at this party we want to just give our friend space to share her experience and provide support. Let’s keep advice for later, even if we have similar experiences and use this time to learn about our friend!”
This will help ensure that the whole party stays supportive and loving so that your friend can truly feel her village rallying around her!
Before the night is over, be sure to ask how you can all help her going forward. This will provide a great avenue for her to share some things that are helpful, without her feeling like she is putting any one on the spot asking for specific help. It can remove the layer of awkwardness and allow your entire friend group to join together in love and support!
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