Sensory processing disorders can be a very difficult challenge for children who have them. And as a parent, it can seem truly baffling to determine what to do.
There is still a lot that is not yet widely understood or adequately addressed in this area, but that doesn’t make the issue any less real for those affected by it.
Essentially, a sensory processing disorder involves the brain processing and responding to signals from the senses differently than what would be expected, leading to increased or decreased sensitivity to sensory input (which in turn can cause unwanted behaviors). If your child is hyper- or hypo-sensitive to their senses or struggling to react as expected to common activities, this is something you may want to be aware of.
Here are several helpful and informative resources that our team has assembled to help you begin the process of understanding this important topic.
Articles, Research & Blogs
Raising awareness: The goal of the Sensory Processing Disorder Network (SPD Network) is raising awareness about sensory processing disorders—which it identifies as often neglected or misunderstood by everyone from parents to teachers. In addition to providing some basic info about what a sensory processing disorder is, it has multiple pages of helpful resources such as symptom checklists, blog posts and FAQ pages for parents and therapists.
Deeper looks at common questions: The Child Mind Institute has a number of highly personal and informative posts about practical considerations and experiences for parents of a child struggling with a sensory processing disorder. Among the relevant articles are an FAQ page, discussions about treatment options, discussions about practical implications and a discussion of long-term effects of these conditions. Click here to browse through other related articles that might be of interest to those wanting to understand these conditions in more detail.
A digestible breakdown: Understood is an excellent source of easy to read, yet highly detailed and informative resources for parents. This interactive page on sensory processing disorders breaks down the topic and walks you through understanding everything from recognizing symptoms to the science behind what causes them and what kinds of things can help address them.
Books Worth Reading
For further reading on various topics related to sensory processing disorders, we recommend the following books:
- Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Revised Edition
- The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping With Sensory Processing Disorder, Revised
- The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids With Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Revised
- The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up: Coping With Sensory Processing Disorder in the Adolescent and Young Adult Years
- The Sensory Child Gets Organized: Proven Systems for Rigid, Anxious, or Distracted Kids
- Everyday Games for Sensory Processing Disorder: 100 Playful Activities to Empower Children With Sensory Differences
- The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book: Practical Answers to the Top 250 Questions Parents Ask
- My Sensory Book: Working Together to Explore Sensory Issues and the Big Feelings They Can Cause: A Workbook for Parents, Professionals, and Children
Like many other struggles, there are things that can be done to help children with Sensory Processing Disorder, and our experts can be a part of that.
If you think your child might have a sensory processing disorder, or if you would like to speak to someone about ways to address unwanted behaviors, please reach out to the Empirian Therapy team. We are always happy to help.