Sensory Processing Disorder SPD – What we can do

  • Identifying SPD: The next steps
  • Sensory Integration Therapy
  • Strategies for Home and School
  • Tips for extra sensory input
  • Links and resources
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Identifying SPD: The next steps

When deciding if you or someone you know has a sensory processing disorder (SPD) a clear picture needs to be formed about how they respond to sensory information. To do this their behaviour has to be careful analysed and it is the unusual and persistent reactions to touch or movement which can make life challenging that you should be looking out for.

PARENTS: Remember, you are the experts on your children and you notice when there is something ‘different’ about them. If your child exhibits the behaviours described (see Signs of SPD) but they have not received an official diagnosis, then the next step is to seek an assessment and evaluation. Arranging an assessment can be done through a referral from your local GP, school nurse and in some cases through your schools SENCO (Special Education Needs Coordinator).

It is crucial that families have the involvement of a qualified professional, such as an occupational therapist or speech and language therapist, who has received training in Sensory Integration therapy and interventions.

Assessment and evaluation involves using observations of behaviours and skills. Using interviews and sensory questionnaires information is collected from parents and the school, which all help to determine how an individual processes sensory information.

Some people may be offered Sensory Integration Therapy sessions to help them to manage their sensory processing difficulties and to overcome some of the challenges they experience that prevent them from taking part in some activities and enjoying life.

Sensory strategies can help achieve better social, emotional and academic outcomes. With purposeful and repetitive input, you can achieve the right sensory balance and more efficient Sensory Integration. This increases our ability to cope and react positively to environments and experiences, reducing anxiety and stress responses.

There are many charities, independent and private organisations that are set up to help families and schools to access services and navigate what can be an overwhelming system.

It is important to remember that if you do have an official diagnosis you will be more likely to be able to access services to support your children in school and at home.

The Sensory Wise Resource Hub is a free comprehensive special needs information resource.

Easy to read and jargon free, the Sensory Wise Resource Hub is written and designed by a parent to help support other parents, carers, relatives and professionals who work with children and adults.

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Get to grips with the complex topic of sensory processing difficulties and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) a neurological condition commonly experienced by many people in mainstream education and employment and, in particular, people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Being Sensory Wise is not just about knowing what our senses are but also how they work together and impact on our daily lives. When our senses are not working together effectively, life can be challenging and frustrating. This can affect how we interact with others, behave, feel and learn.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and sensory difficulties are hidden differences that can present themselves as social, emotional, learning and behaviour problems. By looking closer at our sensory processing we can learn to understand how vital it is to everyday life and how sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

Resource Hub Contents

Here is a glimpse of what you will find in the Sensory Wise Resource Hub:

Your Sensory System and Sensory Processing Disorder

What we can do

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SENSORY WISE SUPPORT INCLUSION AND LIFELONG LEARNING

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops

The information and links provided on our website are a great starting point for anyone who is looking to learn more about sensory processing difficulties.

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops can help you to learn more about the complex topic of sensory processing disorders (SPD).

You will be able to extend your knowledge and further understand how you can support children and adults better.

Book the Sensory Wise Pop-Up Shop for the end of the session.

To enquire about Sensory Wise Training and Workshops please complete the form below:

SEND US A MESSAGE

Please, insert your name
Please, insert your email
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Sensory Integration Therapy

Sensory Integration therapy is practiced by Occupational Therapists. The aim of Occupational Therapists is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Sensory Integration therapy is designed to help people cope with sensory difficulties.

Sensory Integration therapy is used to help children and adults to improve their sensory processing by using activities that are designed to change how the brain reacts to touch, sound, sight and movement.

Sensory Integration therapy works with all the senses. Our balance (vestibular), movement (proprioceptive) and touch (tactile) systems are of importance as it is these senses that give us the greatest sources of our sensory input. This does not give the others any less importance because all the senses connect and work together.

Some of the ways Sensory Integration therapy programs can be delivered include:

  • Individual one-to-one sessions
  • Home-based activities
  • Developing a ‘sensory diet’ plan – very structured set of sensory activities repeated on a regular planned basis. Designed to ‘feed’ the senses to help our system become more organised through the day
  • Modifications to the environment – simple changes in surroundings, reducing visual busyness of a room, changing the seating plan, smaller groups, wider range of tactile textured objects to hand
  • Educating children, their family and school about Sensory Integration

Before Sensory Integration therapy can be started, it is essential that an assessment and evaluation is carried out by a professional who has trained to the minimum standards as recommended by the International Coalition for Excellence in Sensory Integration.

The Sensory Wise Resource Hub is a free comprehensive special needs information resource.

Easy to read and jargon free, the Sensory Wise Resource Hub is written and designed by a parent to help support other parents, carers, relatives and professionals who work with children and adults.

[/vc_column_text]

Get to grips with the complex topic of sensory processing difficulties and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) a neurological condition commonly experienced by many people in mainstream education and employment and, in particular, people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Being Sensory Wise is not just about knowing what our senses are but also how they work together and impact on our daily lives. When our senses are not working together effectively, life can be challenging and frustrating. This can affect how we interact with others, behave, feel and learn.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and sensory difficulties are hidden differences that can present themselves as social, emotional, learning and behaviour problems. By looking closer at our sensory processing we can learn to understand how vital it is to everyday life and how sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

Resource Hub Contents

Here is a glimpse of what you will find in the Sensory Wise Resource Hub:

Your Sensory System and Sensory Processing Disorder

What we can do

[/vc_column][/vc_row]

SENSORY WISE SUPPORT INCLUSION AND LIFELONG LEARNING

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops

The information and links provided on our website are a great starting point for anyone who is looking to learn more about sensory processing difficulties.

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops can help you to learn more about the complex topic of sensory processing disorders (SPD).

You will be able to extend your knowledge and further understand how you can support children and adults better.

Book the Sensory Wise Pop-Up Shop for the end of the session.

To enquire about Sensory Wise Training and Workshops please complete the form below:

SEND US A MESSAGE

Please, insert your name
Please, insert your email
Please, insert the message
sensory-processing-disorder-activities-sensory-wise

Strategies for Home and School

Here you will find possible tools and strategies to implement for your child and that they themselves can use to develop their own coping strategies.

EXTRA SENSORY INPUT  –  A person who craving or seeking sensory input could benefit from simply getting extra sensory input. This will help them stay alert and organise sensory information.

SENSORY BREAKS  –  Provide a calming space for a child to take a break when they feel over-stimulated. Allowing for frequent breaks and working in smaller groups can help a child to feel calm and focus.

PLAY  –  Play is an essential tool to promote learning and encourage children to learn new skills. Play is a great way to positively interact with children and adults alike. It is a great way to build and strengthen relationships.

BE ACTIVE  –  Allowing for sensory motor activities and exercises you are creating the opportunity for their sensory systems to catch up on foundation motor skills. It’s a great way to get fit and stay healthy too!

CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENT  –  From the moment we wake we are bombarded with sensory information. Simple changes at home and school can make a massive difference. Minimise clutter; Consider the seating layout and group sizes; Make a wider range of tactile textured objects available to hand; Use alternative low-glare paper; Pencil grips; Softer lighting.

BE POSITIVE – It is common for a child with SPD to experience low self-esteem and confidence. Life can be more of a struggle and it is important they can feel comfortable in their own skin. Whether parent or teacher you have a huge impact on how your child feels, so help them be proud and confident.

SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW  –  Join local or online support groups, get out there and meet with new people and importantly keep talking! You can learn new ways to reduce stress levels and overcome some of the challenges and frustrations of sensory difficulties.

BE SENSORY WISE

The Sensory Wise Resource Hub is a free comprehensive special needs information resource.

Easy to read and jargon free, the Sensory Wise Resource Hub is written and designed by a parent to help support other parents, carers, relatives and professionals who work with children and adults.

[/vc_column_text]

Get to grips with the complex topic of sensory processing difficulties and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) a neurological condition commonly experienced by many people in mainstream education and employment and, in particular, people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Being Sensory Wise is not just about knowing what our senses are but also how they work together and impact on our daily lives. When our senses are not working together effectively, life can be challenging and frustrating. This can affect how we interact with others, behave, feel and learn.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and sensory difficulties are hidden differences that can present themselves as social, emotional, learning and behaviour problems. By looking closer at our sensory processing we can learn to understand how vital it is to everyday life and how sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

Resource Hub Contents

Here is a glimpse of what you will find in the Sensory Wise Resource Hub:

Your Sensory System and Sensory Processing Disorder

What we can do

[/vc_column][/vc_row]

SENSORY WISE SUPPORT INCLUSION AND LIFELONG LEARNING

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops

The information and links provided on our website are a great starting point for anyone who is looking to learn more about sensory processing difficulties.

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops can help you to learn more about the complex topic of sensory processing disorders (SPD).

You will be able to extend your knowledge and further understand how you can support children and adults better.

Book the Sensory Wise Pop-Up Shop for the end of the session.

To enquire about Sensory Wise Training and Workshops please complete the form below:

SEND US A MESSAGE

Please, insert your name
Please, insert your email
Please, insert the message
tips-for-extra-sensory-input-sensory-wise

Tips for extra sensory input

It is crucial that families have the involvement of a qualified physiotherapist, occupational therapist or speech and language therapist who has received training in Sensory Integration therapy and interventions. These vital professionals are able to carry out assessment and evaluation of an individual’s needs.

Balance = Vestibular system

  • Sitting on an exercise ball
  • Using scooters and scooter boards
  • Allowing for movement
  • Wearing a weighted vest or weighted lap blanket while working to achieve focus and calm
  • Climbing and balancing

Body Awareness = Proprioceptive system

  • Heavy work – pushing and pulling, carrying something heavy – can help our nervous system to reduce hyperactivity
  • Seating and chairs that can give touch sensation, like bean bags and giant pillows
  • Massage and vibrating toys and furniture
  • Water beds
  • Trampolining

Touch = Tactile system

  • Allowing tactile objects to be kept at hand to let them self-soothe when they feel the need to
  • Provide different textures
  • Provide different pressures on their skin
  • Getting messy with mud, paint or shaving foam
  • For smaller children, you can hide toys and objects in sand, rice or mud to hunt

Hearing = Auditory system

  • Lower your voice
  • Allow them to be in charge of sounds during play
  • Give them advance notice of sounds
  • Enjoy music together
  • Create a quiet space for them to work in
  • Many of us work well with music playing – find something soft and rhythmic
  • Visual clues and written reminders
  • Allow them to wear headphones in noisy areas to help them concentrate

Sight = Visual system

  • Reduce busyness in the visual field – minimise clutter
  • Use mirrors and lighting, including sensory toys that light up
  • Play ball-catching games
  • Swinging
  • Teachers – make sure the board behind you is clear when instructing the class
  • Use curtains to help conceal busy-looking shelves
  • Maintain lighting regularly – old lights can flicker. Children are particularly sensitive to this and can mean they can feel sleepy, have headaches, nausea and can be incredibly distracting from listening and learning
  • Filters or covers for fluorescent lighting to reduce the effects of flickering
  • Changing the contrast and brightness on televisions and computer screens

Smell = Olfactory system

  • Aroma therapy diffusers
  • Scented gifts and toys
  • Food can be a source of olfactory input
  • For children who have an aversion to smells, you could consider which washing powders, softeners, perfumes or body lotions you are using
  • Switch to scent-free or a softer scent that is less alarming

Taste = Gustatory system

  • Items to chew to help them achieve calm and focus
  • Chewy necklaces or bracelets made from durable, food-grade rubber. Many different designs, some more discreet for older children
  • Crunchy foods like carrots as a snack

The Sensory Wise Resource Hub is a free comprehensive special needs information resource.

Easy to read and jargon free, the Sensory Wise Resource Hub is written and designed by a parent to help support other parents, carers, relatives and professionals who work with children and adults.

[/vc_column_text]

Get to grips with the complex topic of sensory processing difficulties and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) a neurological condition commonly experienced by many people in mainstream education and employment and, in particular, people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Being Sensory Wise is not just about knowing what our senses are but also how they work together and impact on our daily lives. When our senses are not working together effectively, life can be challenging and frustrating. This can affect how we interact with others, behave, feel and learn.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and sensory difficulties are hidden differences that can present themselves as social, emotional, learning and behaviour problems. By looking closer at our sensory processing we can learn to understand how vital it is to everyday life and how sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

Resource Hub Contents

Here is a glimpse of what you will find in the Sensory Wise Resource Hub:

Your Sensory System and Sensory Processing Disorder

What we can do

[/vc_column][/vc_row]

SENSORY WISE SUPPORT INCLUSION AND LIFELONG LEARNING

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops

The information and links provided on our website are a great starting point for anyone who is looking to learn more about sensory processing difficulties.

Sensory Wise Training and Workshops can help you to learn more about the complex topic of sensory processing disorders (SPD).

You will be able to extend your knowledge and further understand how you can support children and adults better.

Book the Sensory Wise Pop-Up Shop for the end of the session.

To enquire about Sensory Wise Training and Workshops please complete the form below:

SEND US A MESSAGE

Please, insert your name
Please, insert your email
Please, insert the message