Complete guide to sensory processing disorder

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Sensory processing disorder is a stand alone disability as well as being prevalent in many other diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, learning disability, nonverbal learning disability and Tourette syndrome. In addition to senses being under and over-stimulated, sensory processing disorder can adversely affect attention, learning and daily living. In this guide we've collected resources to help you understand this disorder, recognize different sensory issues and behaviors and engage in many fun sensory integration activities.

Sensory processing disorder blogs
Blogs that focus on sensory processing disorder and parenting tips.

Sensory processing disorder checklistsistock girl sensory
Concerned your child has sensory processing disorder or trying to determine if your child is hyper or hypo-sensitive? Check these lists.

Sensory processing disorder co-morbidity
Learn about other disabilities associated with sensory processing issues.

Sensory processing disorder overview
Gain a general understanding about sensory processing disorder.

Sensory processing disorder parenting
Articles, tips and strateies on a variety of issues for parents raising children with sensory processing disorder.

Sensory processing disorder teacher resources
Articles and strategies for teachers who have children with sensory processing disorder in their classroom.

Sensory processing disorder therapy resources
Articles, strategies and tips for therapists working with clients who have sensory processing disorder.

Sensory processing disorder videos
Videos on the subject of sensory processing disorder and sensory integration therapy programs.

Auditory sense
Articles about the auditory processing system.

Gustatory sense
Articles about how our sense of taste works.

Interoceptive sense
Learn about how our bodies detect hunger, elimination and what happens with poor functioning.

Motor planning development
Learn more about how motor planning plays a role in sensory processing disorder.

Olfactory sense
Articles about how our sense of smell works.

Proprioceptive system
Articles on the proprioceptive system and behaviors associated with a poorly working system.

Sensory system
General understanding of the sensory sytem and how it works.

Tactile sense
Articles about the tactile sensory system.  Also see resources specific to being Tactile defensive and Under reactive to touch.

Vestibular system
An understanding of the vestibular system, it's role in balance and activities.

Visual processing system
Articles about the visual processing system. Also see resources specific to having Visual sensitivities.

Bilateral coordination
Strategies for using both sides of the body and crossing the midline.

Body awareness
Articles about poor body awareness and why this happens.

Calming strategies
Strategies for calming children undergoing sensory overload

Classroom accommodations
Find out what accommodations can help your child in the classroom.
istock boy all ears

Dressing problems
What to do about itchy clothes and other sensory dressing issues.

A few articles discussing sensory and perceptual impairments in driving.

Learn more about this motor planning disorder which affects many individuals with sensory processing disorder.

A few articles discussing sensory factors for individuals in the workplace.

Sensory fears
Often children with tactile and sound sensitivities are frightened of situations we take for granted. Giving an individual control of the noise may help desensitize them to the sound. Here are articles and videos on common noise fears. Fear of Alarms, Fear of balloons popping, Fear of car wash, Fear of dentist, Fear of getting haircut, Fear of Halloween, Fear of noises, Fear of Santa, Fear of using toilet and public restrooms

Feeding difficulties
Articles on the sensory issues related to eating

Articles and strategies on children who can't stop moving or can't sit still

Gravitational insecurity
Difficulties with movement and overly cautious behavior can be caused by gravitational insecurity.

Halloween costume ideas for kids with sensory issues
Over 50 costume ideas for kids who have sensory clothing issues or don't like make up on their faces.

Hugging - Child resists hugs

Low muscle tone
Articles about hypotonia and how it affects those with sensory processing disorder.

Making eye contact
Understanding why children refuse to look you in the eye.

Oral fixation
Strategies for children with excessive chewing problems

Personal space
Articles and strategies for not being a space invader.

Postural stability
The importance of postural stability for individuals with sensory processing disorder.

Sensory defensive behavior
Learn more about individuals who are sensitive to their environment.

Sensory home therapy room
Tips for making your own sensory room in your home.

Sensory overload
Articles and strategies for helping your child who is overwhelmed by their environment.

Sensory play environmentsistock messy hand
Ideas for creating a sensory play environment in your home.

Sensory seeking behavior
Resources on understanding the behaviors of sensory seeking individuals.

Toilet training
Articles and tips for potty training children with sensory processing disorder

Brushing and joint compression
Using the Wilbarger protocol to calm the sensory system.

Deep pressure
How weighted items can help calm and regulate your child's sensory system.

Therapeutic listening
Listening programs that may relieve some sensory sensitivities.

Here are lots of ideas to work on a variety of sensory issues. Use these to create a "sensory diet" for your child.

Auditory discrimination activities

Auditory discrimination apps

Balancing activities

Bubble activities

Building forts

Core stability exercises

Glow in the dark activities

Light tables and activities

Messy activities

Motor planning activities

Obstacle courses

Painting activities

Playing with water activities

Proprioceptive activities (heavy work activities)

Quiet play space

Sensory bags

Sensory bottles

Sensory box ideas

Sensory play recipes

Sensory processing activities (all)

Smelling activities

Squishing and squeezing activities

Tactile activities

Tactile discrimination activities

Texture board ideas

Vestibular activities

Visual discrimination activities

Visual discrimination apps

Water tables and activities


Dawn VillarrealAbout the writer

Dawn Villarreal runs One Place for Special Needs, a national disability resource that lets you find local and online resources, events and even other families in your neighborhood plus thousands of online disability resources! Stay awhile and check out the site. She is also moderator of Autism Community Connection, a Yahoo group for families of children with autism spectrum disorder. Reprint permission granted by including: Reprinted with permission from One Place for Special Needs