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Suffolk Center for Speech


What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

A sensory processing disorder is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information provided via the senses. Sensory processing disorder is common in children with Autism and other developmental disabilities; however, sensory processing disorder may also be present in premature birth, brain injury, learning disorders, and other conditions those who are over-responsive, try to decrease sensory experiences. Avoid any toys or games though the exact cause is unknown. Symptoms of sensory processing disorder may include the following:

  • Refuse to eat certain foods because of how the food feels in their mouth
  • Be overly sensitive to smells
  • Dislike getting their hands dirty
  • Withdraw when touched
  • Be overly sensitive to sound
  • Be hypersensitive to certain fabrics

Others with sensory processing disorder may be uncoordinated, often bump into things, be unable to tell where their limbs are in space, or be hard to engage in conversation or play. For with unexpected movements, louds sounds, or that are scented. Using a visual schedule can help alleviate any stress or anxiety about anticipating future sensory experiences. If a child becomes over-stimulated, try utilizing calming sensory strategies such as firm squeezing, white gnoise, and weighted blankets or vests. For those who are under-responsive, try to increase sensory experiences. Using alerting sensory strategies to help the child engage can be beneficial such as swinging, loud noises, jumping, and sensory bins. Sensory activities help the brain focus, reduce distractions, encourage the development of fine motor skills, support language development and encourage learning and retaining more information. Sensory bins are engaging and hands-on and can be used to target areas such as joint attention, turn-taking, vocabulary, following directions, wh-questions, basic concepts, prepositions, expanding utterances, sequencing, and categories. Sensory activities allow us to provide language stimulation in a meaningful way and create functional learning opportunities. Sensory play can be fun and often keeps children engaged and motivated; however, many children with a sensory processing disorder may be hesitant to touch things so it is a good idea to ease them into the concept of sensory play or sensory bins if this is something you think will be beneficial for them.


– Jessica D.

by Suffolk Center for Speech | with 0 Comments

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