https://kidpt.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Kid-With-A-Sensory-Processing-Disorder.png 1327 1995 Joni Redlich http://jonikidpt.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kidpt.png Joni Redlich2023-09-18 09:39:552023-09-18 09:41:06How To Help A Child With Sensory Processing Disorder
Every child is unique, and so are their sensory experiences.
For some children, the world can be an overwhelming place due to a condition known as Sensory Processing Disorder.
As parents, caregivers, and educators, it’s our responsibility to provide the support and understanding these children need to thrive.
In this guide, you can learn about Sensory Processing Disorder and explore effective strategies to help children with Sensory Processing Disorder not just cope, but thrive in the sensory-rich world we live in.
What is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects the way the brain processes and responds to sensory information.
Sensory experiences are a fundamental part of our daily lives, encompassing everything from the taste of food to the feel of clothing against our skin and the sounds of the environment.
However, for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, these sensory inputs can become overwhelming or distorted, leading to stress, frustration and meltdowns in their daily lives.
How Sensory Processing Disorder Impacts Children
A Sensory Processing Disorder can manifest in various ways, including:
Your child may be hypersensitive to sensory stimuli.
And this can mean that they may react strongly to even mild sensations, such as certain textures, bright lights, or loud noises.
For you, and your child, this can make it really difficult when going into new environments, which are outside of your control, and lead to fear, anxiety, or tantrums.
In contrast, your child may be hyposensitive, meaning they have a reduced awareness of sensory stimuli.
They may seem oblivious to temperature changes, physical pain, or even their surroundings.
And while this may seem less of a challenging situation it can lead to harmful consequences – they don’t realize how cold it is when they’re playing out, or don’t realize they’ve injured themselves when playing on their bike.
Another way Sensory Processing Disorder can impact your child’s life is that they are more likely to seek out sensory experiences than others.
So when they’re being shouted at, and told to sit still at their desk in class, their instincts are desperate for stimulation which means they are fidgeting, or seem like they can’t sit still.
For your child, this is very hard to understand because they are craving stimulation, yet being punished and feel bad for seeking it.
It’s easy to see why children with sensory disorders can lose their confidence and self-esteem.
Sensory Discrimination Challenges
Is your child struggling to tell the difference between different textures, tastes, or sounds?
This could be another way that a sensory processing disorder is impacting their life, and often can be seen in kids who are labeled “fussy eaters”.
Often, kids prefer to stick to bland or neutral-flavored foods because they can’t differentiate different tastes and prefer to stick to the familiar and safe options – especially when their confidence is low or they are feeling anxious.
Appreciating Your Child’s Sensory Needs
Living with a Sensory Processing Disorder can be emotionally challenging for not just your child, but also your family.
But it’s important to recognize that their frustration, anger, and behavior are their way to navigating through a world that is very different to that, you and I go through.
Their emotions are valid.
And a natural response to their unique sensory experience.
Importantly, your child isn’t broken, and doesn’t need fixing, despite what you made be made to feel by people who don’t understand.
However, while your child doesn’t need fixing, you can help them to cope, and thrive throughout their life with the right support.
How to Help a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder
Seek Guidance From Experts
Start by consulting with a pediatrician or occupational therapist who specializes in sensory processing issues. The team at our specialist clinic in New Jersey can give you an accurate diagnosis, and provide you and your child with the specialized and personalized support they need.
Create a Sensory-Friendly Environment
You know your child better than anyone, so make adjustments to your child’s surroundings to reduce their sensory triggers.
This might include using soft lighting, noise-canceling headphones, or providing sensory-friendly tools like fidget toys.
Celebrate Small Victories
For children with special needs, life can be a very demoralizing place.
What is easy for other kids in their class, is incredibly difficult for them – through no fault of their own.
So when they do achieve something, no matter how small, make sure to celebrate.
Building their self-esteem and confidence is essential to their overall well-being.
Establish a Sensory Diet
Work with a therapist to develop a sensory diet tailored to your child’s needs.
This involves incorporating sensory activities into their daily routine to help them build their confidence, and regulate their sensory experiences with things that can be challenging for them.
One important thing is to not make the experience stressful for them, and if they are struggling, to move to something that they are stronger at doing.
Your child will develop much faster if you make it fun, and get them engaged rather than pushing them to do things they aren’t capable of doing.
Advocate for Your Child
Another way to help is to advocate for your child at school and in social settings.
Try to work closely with educators and therapists to ensure they receive appropriate accommodations and support.
Empathy and Patience
Understand that your child’s reactions are not intentional.
Be patient, empathetic, and validate their feelings.
And when they do have tantrums, provide a safe space for them to express themselves.
I know it can be very difficult, especially out in public with lots of strangers watching and judging, but do your best to keep calm and help them through their experience.
Education and Awareness
Educate yourself, your child’s teachers, and caregivers about your child’s Sensory Processing Disorder.
The more people understand your child’s needs, the better they can provide support.
And with the right support, your child can start to regulate their response to sensations that used to trigger them much better, or have plans in place to reduce the impact.
Get Personalized Advice From Experts On Sensory Processing Disorders
If you’re recognizing the behaviors in your child in this blog, even to a small degree that hasn’t led to an official diagnosis, we can help you get a much deeper understanding of the condition and the best ways to help your child move forward.
We appreciate that you are worried for your child.
How they cope in school.
How they interact with other kids in the neighborhood or at the park.
And what their future will look like.
But one way to begin to relieve your anxiety over this is to learn more.
And speaking to our experts for FREE is something we would invite you to do.
Right now, demand at our New Jersey clinic is very high, and we only have a limited number of spaces available for our Free Sensory Processing Screenings.
This appointment gives you 1-1 time with a leading expert, at our popular clinic, and allows you to share your story, get answers, and find out proven ways to support your child.
Call us now on (908) 543 4390 or click HERE to book yours.
More Free Expert Advice For Parents Of Kids With A Sensory Processing Disorder
Read our blog – Sensory Processing Disorders – Getting To The Core Of It
Read our blog – Top Tips For Sensory Savvy Parents