Tips for everyday battles with sensory
While the signs of Sensory Processing Disorder may not be easy to spot, it is important to understand how to help a child dealing with sensory processing. My friends Sharla and Heather (authors of Sensory Processing Explained) shared this list with me. I think you’re going to find it so useful.
10 things you can do to make each day easier for your sensory kiddo
Being a kid with sensory needs can make even the simplest things like combing your hair or getting dressed feel challenging. For example, our son wouldn’t wear jeans for the longest time. He still prefers his Abercrombie Kids logo tape active joggers to jeans (or any other pants) because he loves the soft feeling of the joggers. It’s ok because we find what works & we stick with it. As a parent or caregiver, it can be hard to watch your child struggle with a sensory issue, but today we are going to offer strategies that help.
Using the strategies below, you can make life easier for your child and cut back on sensory meltdowns and day-to-day battles.
Here are some tips that can help with those everyday sensory battles:
- Use a visual schedule. This allows the child to know exactly what to do and what’s coming next. It can ease the pain of transitions and lessen the chance of meltdowns. For some kids, they need the tasks broken up into smaller steps, so look for a visual schedule that breaks things down.
- Give warnings for upcoming transitions and allow for extra time so that your child can adjust.
- Offer sensory breaks throughout the day. This gives your child the necessary sensory input. They also make good transition bridges.
- Use a Sensory Triggers Log to help you identify your child’s sensory triggers. This will allow you to avoid them or make changes to your child’s environment to accommodate them.
- Work on giving them an emotional vocabulary so that they can express their feelings.
- Teach your child calming breathing techniques.
- Meet your child’s sensory needs during the day with sensory activities and heavy work opportunities. This will not only help them all day long, but it will also help them sleep better at night.
- Don’t die on the clothing mountain. Let your child wear what’s comfortable for them. Be a sensory detective to discover why certain articles of clothing bother them. This will help you find solutions.
- Have your child use a vibrating toothbrush. Not only will this add more sensory input to their day, but it will also decrease oral sensitivity and eventually lead to fewer battles over food.
- Teach your child about sensory processing and the 8 sensory systems so that they can better identify their needs and voice them to you.
Bonus tip: Carry a pack of Post-It notes with you in your purse so that you can cover the automatic flush sensor on toilets in public bathrooms. No more surprise loud noise for your child to contend with!
SENSORY RESOURCES for Actionable Strategies to start today:
As a therapist and affiliate, I’ve gone through the Sensory Essentials Collection. I love it! It’s a digital treasure trove of goodies to get you through those everyday sensory battles painlessly. As a fellow therapist, fellow mom, affiliate and fellow blogger, I am excited to share it with you.
It includes things like a specialized visual schedule, sensory break cards, that sensory triggers log, activities just for kids to teach them about sensory processing and the sensory systems, emotion cards, and so much more.
I hope these tips I’ve shared make tomorrow morning go a little more smoothly in your house!