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Behavior & Sensory Support

What you need to know

Children with Sotos may appear taller, heavier, and have larger heads than their peers. They often have a wide range of behavioral problems that are common at all ages. Peer group relationships and social situations may be challenging due to large size, lack of awareness of social cues, and emotional immaturity.

Behavioral Problems may occur:

  • May have a secondary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • Phobias
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
    • New situations
    • Separation anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability

What you can do

  • Consider treatments
    • Behavioral supports
    • Counseling
    • Medication
  • Be proactive with behavioral supports. Discuss involvement of behavioral or mental health professionals, or medications with the parents as needed.
    • Firm directions, rules, and clear expectations are helpful.
    • They may benefit from positive behavioral interventions.
    • They may need a functional behavioral assessment to identify causes/triggers of behaviors and develop a plan for supporting changes
  • Many children have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior.  This is especially true when handling unplanned changes. 
    • Talk through expected changes.
    • They usually thrive with consistency and routine. They can be easily upset with disruption.
    • Prepare for any change in schedule.
    • Provide a safe area to share emotions.
    • Teach and model use of words and/or pictures in sharing emotions.
      • Stories may help with transitions
    • Teach, emphasize, and reinforce behaviors you want to see.
    • Make sure they have an effective communication system.
  • Support social skills development
  • Misconceptions of abilities can cause insecurity and anxiety in social situations
  • Make sure teaching strategies being used are appropriate for children who are already socially engaged.
  • Provide social cues and coaching.
  • Provide information to and discuss differences with the child’s peers.
  • Help develop confidence and focus on strengths.
  • Provide positive reinforcement.
  • Teach appropriate social behaviors/skills (e.g., how to ask a friend to play).
  • Teach how to recognize facial expressions, body language, and moods in others.
  • Teach how to regulate own body – sensory strategies may be helpful.
  • Foster friendships with neighbors, schoolmates and relatives so they will have friends and companions for their entire life.
  • Teach them how to read body language, and moods in others.