Sensory Processing Disorder and what to do to help

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Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) refers an individual’s (child or adult) challenges with the inputs from the sense of sound, taste, vision, touch, movement, sense of smell, and other physical consciousness. Many children with SPD often have a delay with their speech. When a child is upset or has anxiety caused by his or her active environment or if a child is having an emotional feeling that is hard for them to handle it can affect their ability to behave as the mainstream world sees as “normal”.SPD usually affects children who usually grow out of it.SPD in are commonly observed in children with autism, ADHD, anxiety, etc.Children with SPD have a high sensitivity to many things in their environment.  Many children with the sensory processing disorder may have difficulty with:
• Oral motor skills
• Self-regulation that can inevitably affect their behavior
• Anxiety
• Eating skills 
• Dressing, sleeping, and playing skills
• Participating in a conversation or game.

Professional therapists often use recommend oral motor tools to provide proprioceptive, soothing, organized, tactile information to children for home and therapy settings. The chewing gum is an example that provides oral sensory stimulation in a socially acceptable manner for children who chew and bite their clothes, pencils, and hair.Sensory aids are a socially suitable alternative fun toy for children who chew and bite their clothes, and many other items.Sensory aids are not-edible toys ideal for children who want oral stimulation.  Keep in mind toys given to children who chew should be made of safe non-toxic materials.  Most stuffed toys are not safe for the children to chew, bite, or mouth.

Fidget toys are used by many children.  Even children that do not have additional sensory needs enjoy fidgeting from time to time. However, some children need fidget toys provide a release for their anxiety or excess energy so they can complete their school work or increase their attention span. Most of us know the feeling, e.g. the need to doodle when talking on the phone. Finding a safe sensory aid that is not too distracting for other children in the classroom could be a good solution for your child.

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