Sensory Processing Disorders In Children: Understanding And Supporting Your Child
Sensory Processing Disorder can present unique challenges for children and their families, but with understanding and support, children with SPD can thrive and reach their full potential.
Written by saumya pandey|Updated : September 20, 2023 12:31 PM IST
Every parent is observant and aware of their child's behavior and they try their best to perceive any changes or anomalies that may affect the overall being of their child but unlike other things, perceiving sensory processing issues in children is not so easy. Not every child is the same, they possess unique traits and they react differently to a particular situation, hence their response to sensory experiences in their environment is also different. For some of them, it can be challenging and overwhelming which can also lead to Sensory Processing Disorder(SPD). Comprehending these disorders and providing essential care to children is necessary for parents. So that their problems can be better understood and addressed to give the best treatment. Here, we will be delving into the world of Sensory Processing Disorders and how they can impact children, while also looking into the strategies that might help parents opt for the correct methods when they're dealing with it.
What Is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Sensory experiences are the experiences that an individual experiences when they see, hear, touch, smell, or taste something. Sensory Processing Disorder is a condition where the brain experiences difficulties in receiving or responding to sensory information accurately. Children with SPD may abruptly react to sensory stimuli that can cause emotional and behavioral challenges.
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of SPD And How Parents Can Comprehend It?
Its symptoms vary from mild to severe, here are some examples:
Some children overreact to the sensory stimulus. They become easily overwhelmed by sounds, lights, textures, or even clothing tags. They might cover their ears in response to loud noises or become distressed when encountering certain textures.
If Your Child Is Hyposensitive
Hyposensitive kids are under-sensitive, which makes them want to seek out more sensory stimulation. Some children are hyposensitive, seeking more sensory stimulation than usual. They keep on touching objects, have a high pain threshold, or engage in self-stimulating behaviors like rocking or spinning.
If Your Child Finds It Difficult To Accept Transitions
Children with SPD may find it difficult to accept some changes, between activities or environments. They might become upset when asked to switch from one task to another or when moving from indoors to outdoors.
You may like to read
Fine And Gross Motor Challenges
Some children with SPD may have difficulty with fine motor skills (e.g., handwriting) or gross motor skills (e.g., balance and coordination). Gross motor skill development involves the large muscles in the arms, legs, and torso. Gross motor activities are important to everyday physical activities like walking, running, throwing, lifting, kicking, etc. They may appear clumsy or struggle with activities like riding a bike.
Affected Social Interactions And Regulations
SPD can affect a child's social interactions and emotional regulation. They may have difficulty understanding personal space, reading social cues, or managing frustration.
What Can Parents Do?
Parents should not worry much, if they know the correct method, it can become easier for them to handle their child's SPD.
You Can Consult A Therapist
Occupational therapists specialize in sensory integration and can assess your child's specific sensory needs and challenges. They will develop a personalized plan to address these issues.
Modify Your Child's Environment
By modifying a child's environment, you can reduce sensory triggers. This may include using soft lighting, providing sensory-friendly tools like fidget toys, or creating a quiet space for breaks when needed.
Take Care Of Their Diet
A good diet is imperative for children. A sensory diet will help to set a child's daily routine and help regulate their sensory system.
Try Gradual Exposure
Gradual exposure can help desensitize the child if they are hyperactive. For example, if they are sensitive to the texture of certain foods, introduce them slowly in small amounts.
Consistent Daily Routine
Establishing a consistent daily routine can provide a sense of predictability and security for children with SPD.
Advocate And Educate
Advocate for your child's needs with teachers, caregivers, and others in their life. Educate them about SPD and share strategies that work for your child.