I know that I’ve got some readers (and friends and family … or perhaps my readership contains only friends and family… but I digress) that may have seen me mention sensory processing in passing, not so much here on the blog, but via my Facebook account. I’ve come across some great resources that help to explain about sensory processing: what it entails, why it can look so different from person to person, and ways to help if someone in your life has trouble with sensory processing. I thought it might be a nice idea to corral them into one location (or at least one category) here on my blog, so that they’re accessible to those who may have questions. 🙂 I’m not by any means an expert, but if you’ve got questions, feel free to ask them. If I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to find a resource that does, or ask someone in my life who does know more.
1. Does My Child Have A Sensory Issue? (video)
This one is very professionally-done; it speaks with both occupational therapists and parents, gives some very basic explanations about sensory processing, points out things that these parents saw as their children were growing, and discusses how important it can be to address these issues as soon as possible to help give these children the tools they need to better function in daily life.
2. A Child’s View of Sensory Processing (video)
Excellent visual analogies for the concept of being over-responsive or under-responsive to the different sensory systems, as well as being told from a child’s point of view. The first video may be more “professional,” but this one has to be my favorite.
3. A Sensory Life (website)
I love A Sensory Life. Their website is split into three portions: Step One (Educate), Step Two (Embrace), and Step Three (Engage). The first section has sensory definitions and explanations, as as discussions on “hot topic” issues such as potty training, sleep and feeding challenges, social and emotional factors, common sensory questions, and even a page for those newly-diagnosed. Arguably the best part of the entire website, though – at least in my opinion – is the print-outs available in the first section. There are print-outs that parents can give to teachers when their children are in classroom situations (whether that’s school, church activities, et cetera), as well as print-outs for other situations, such as family gatherings, doctor and dentist appointments, and more – all geared toward educating those that your child will be in contact with, to help them better understand and help your child!
The second section jumps into talking about sensory signals and meltdowns, as well as the oft-misunderstood fight or flight response, which is another great page. Then you’ve got the third section, which has lots of resources for instituting a “sensory diet” in the home, how-to videos, and even a DIY section, “Sensory on a Budget.” All in all, a great resource both for parents and for those who would like to learn more about a child in their life who may have sensory issues.
4. Raising a Sensory Smart Child (book)
Thanks to my library system, I’ve read a handful of books on the topic of sensory processing (The Out of Sync Child, Mixed Signals: Understanding and Treating Your Child’s Sensory Processing Issues, The Out of Sync Child Has Fun and Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World), and decided that if I was only going to buy one book on the topic, it was going to be Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with SensoryProcessing Issues. Explanations that help you to understand why your child does what he does, tools for parents to help their child with each sensory area (for both the over- and under-responsive), advocating for your child at school, and so much more.
I’ll edit this post to link to any other resources that I come across as time goes on. If you’ve got resources of your own that you have found helpful, please feel free to mention them in the comments!