How to Help Your Child Manage Sensory Overload
In a previous piece, we discussed sensory processing disorder and how it can affect afflicted children in ways that disrupt their daily lives. Today, we will cover several methods through which you can better help your child regulate their sensory experiences and better manage sensory overload:
Practising Yoga with Your Child
One method you can use to help your child regulate their sensory experiences is through yoga. Yoga has been shown to be helpful in managing a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety and depression. For children with sensory processing disorder, practising yoga can help to ground them and focus their attention on the present moment. It can also help to improve flexibility and strength, both of which are important for regulating sensory experiences.
There are a number of different yoga poses that can be helpful for children with sensory processing disorder. Some poses that may be particularly helpful include:
Child’s pose: This pose helps to calm the nervous system and ease anxiety. It is also helpful in improving flexibility.
Warrior II: This pose helps to build strength and focus, while helping improve balance and coordination.
Tree pose: This pose helps to improve balance and focus. It is also helpful in promoting calmness and relaxation.
Seeking Sensory-Friendly Environments
Another method that can be helpful in managing sensory overload in your child is to seek out sensory-friendly environments. These spaces allow children with sensory processing disorder to better attune themselves to learning, socialising and the likes while in a safe and structured environment. There are a number of different types of sensory-friendly environments, including parks, playgrounds, museums, and libraries. Many of these environments have specific programmes or areas that are designed for those with sensory processing disorder. Parents can also create a sensory-friendly space at home that is designed to be safe and comfortable for their child.
Take note that sensory-friendly environments should be free from anything that may cause discomfort or distress. Some features that you may also want to include in a sensory-friendly space are:
Soft lighting: This can help to reduce the amount of visual stimulation your child receives, and make the space feel more calming and less imposing.
Comfortable furniture: This can help to provide a feeling of comfort and safety for children with sensory processing disorder. It is important to choose furniture that is soft, supportive, and adjustable so that your child can find a position that provides the most comfort to them.
Noise-cancelling headphones: Having a pair of noise-cancelling earphones available gives your child the option to readily reduce the amount of auditory stimulation they are experiencing, allowing them to be more relaxed in the space you have carved out for them.
It is also important to make sure that your chosen or created sensory-friendly environment is free from anything that could be harmful or dangerous for your child. This includes sharp objects, hanging cords, or anything else that can cause injury.
Enrolling Your Child in an Early Intervention Centre
Lastly, parents of children suffering from sensory processing disorder should also seek out professional help from early intervention centres. Early intervention services can entail a range of different therapies that can be helpful in managing the symptoms of sensory processing disorder. These therapies can help to improve your child’s ability to regulate their emotions and behaviours, as well as nurture their communication and socialisation skills — two essential life skills which developments may have previously been inhibited due to disruptive, unmanaged sensory overloads.
Some of the different types of early intervention therapies and programmes that may be beneficial for children with sensory processing disorder include:
Occupational therapy: This type of therapy helps children with sensory processing disorder develop the skills they need to better manage their everyday activities. This includes things like dressing, eating, and using the toilet.
Speech and language therapy: This type of therapy can help children with sensory processing disorder develop the communication skills they need to better interact with those around them, and to voice out their needs whenever they experience sensory overloads.
Child psychology services: This type of early intervention service helps children with sensory processing disorder learn more about emotional regulation, anger management, and the concept of pragmatics innate to socialising, such that they gain stronger independence and self-confidence.
Support Your Child’s Development with MindChamps Allied Care
MindChamps Allied Care provides various early intervention programmes and services that can help children with sensory processing disorder better regulate sensory experiences and manage sensory overloads. Find a MindChamps Allied Care Early Intervention Centre near you, and book an appointment with us today.