My Child’s Sensory Needs


All children perceive and process sensory information in different ways. Some children find loud noises scary, while others like to bang objects and search for interesting ways to create noise. Similarly, some children may only tolerate certain fabrics or textures for clothing, while others may enjoy rolling around in the grass, sand, or on the carpet. While most adults have learned to adapt to their specific needs, some children need guidance in processing sensory information to blossom and reach their full potential at school, at home, and while playing with peers.

How do I know my child’s sensory need?
· Can your child focus on an activity even if there’s background noise?
· Does your child jump from one activity to another, never fully being able to complete a task?
· Does your child respond negatively to loud noises, or often covers their ears?
· Is your child always seeking high movement activities, but often appears clumsy and falls a lot? · Does your child show a strong preference for certain foods or smells?
· Is your child irritated by shoes and socks, or different textures?

Children with sensory difficulties are either over-responsive or under-responsive to things they experience in their daily lives. Your child may be oversensitive to strange noises, but may also be under-sensitive to high movement activities or enjoy being dizzy. While each child is a unique individual, their sensory needs are as well.

What are some fun activities I could try?
1) Tug of war
2) Plastic Bag Kite – cut a string about 3 yards long and attach it to the handles of the bag. Staple colored streamers for decoration on the bottom. Run against the wind to keep the bag afloat.
3) Simon Says – this is a classic but teaches children spatial awareness and body positioning. Try to incorporate words like ‘on top’, ‘underneath’, ‘behind’. For example, “Simon says put your right hand under a couch cushion.”

How do I know if my child needs more help?
Children displaying in of the following characteristics would benefit from support provided by an occupational therapists.
· Under- or Over-sensitivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
· Tendency to be easily distracted
· Social and/or emotional problems
· Activity level is unusually high or low
· Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
· Poor fine motor coordination
· Impulsivity, lack of self-control
· Difficulty in making transitions
· Inability to unwind or calm self
· Poor self concept
· Delays in speech, language, motor skills
· Delays in daily skill performance (dressing, feeding)
· Delays in academic achievement

Suzanne Jacobs, OTD, OTR/L; holds Doctorate of Occupational Therapy and treats children at North Shore Pediatric Therapy.

NSPT specializes in Pediatric Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Social Work, Behavior 911, Nutritional Counseling, Tutoring, Reading and Neuropsychology Diagnostics and Support. NSPT’s three locations include: Highland Park, Glenview and Buck-town.

To receive more information on your child’s development please call (877)486-4140.
www.NSPT4kids.com

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