Dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder can be challenging for many reasons. Your child may have difficulty with any of the senses, a few combined, or even all of them. The key to success is to keep pushing the limits each and every day. The definition of Sensory Processing Disorder is “a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.” While it can be tough at times, the positive outcomes definitely outweigh the bad. These are some tips for dealing with a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder in order to make your life as a parent a little easier.
Keep introducing new things
If you are dealing with a child who has an aversion to textures or smells, most likely meal time will be an issue. Once you find out what their preferences are, slowly introduce new foods. It may take weeks of putting it in front of your child before they try it, but that is okay. Never force them to eat it or make it a punishment. If they try it on their own and like it, the persistence will have paid off.
Build a sensory table
You can use anything that has several compartments. An old water table is ideal, but you can work with things you have around the house. Place different things in each individual space. Play-Doh, rice, anything squishy, and anything rough will work. The different feelings will help them get acclimated to new surroundings. If you don’t have access to a table structure, you can use storage containers as well. Personalize it to your liking.
Accept their preferences
Many children with Sensory Processing Disorder have preferences. From the way their toys are lined up to the way their clothes are picked out, things are set in stone in their mind. One of the worst things you can do is shame them for their ways. Allow them to line things up and pick out their clothing. If they aren’t hurting themselves or anyone else in the process, let them express themselves how they choose. If you intentionally interfere with their routine, an outburst is inevitable.
Sensory Processing Disorder is not something a parent wants for their child, but it isn’t the end of the world. Whether you have a severely affected child or just mildly affected child, there will be challenges. Remember to always keep your child’s needs at the forefront of your decisions. At the end of the day, you are the one your child counts on to keep their world together. Sensory Processing Disorder isn’t the end of the world, it is just another way to view it.