How can I help my child who has Sensory Processing Disorder?

Autism affects each child differently, but many people with autism experience difficulty in processing sensory information. This is known as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). It can cause a variety of reactions such as intense sensitivity to loud noises, avoiding certain textures or having difficulty with balance and coordination. For parents of children with SPD, understanding the disorder and how to best support their child can be a daunting task. Here are some tips on how to help your autistic child cope with Sensory Processing Disorder.

Be mindful of triggers.

It’s important for you as a parent or caregiver to be aware of the things that may trigger your child’s SPD, such as loud noises, bright lights or crowds. Knowing what triggers your child’s reaction can help you avoid those situations and create a calmer environment for your child. If you know that certain sounds will set off your autistic child’s SPD, try to minimize these sounds by turning off the TV or radio, using noise-canceling headphones or soundproofing a room if needed.

Create a safe space.

Creating an environment where your autistic child feels safe can be beneficial in managing SPD symptoms. You can do this by setting boundaries and offering positive reinforcement when they follow through on expectations. Also, providing activities that involve calming colors like blue or green may help them relax during times of distress. Additionally, providing cushions and other comfortable furniture in the home will help them feel more secure when engaging in activities like reading or playing video games.

Seek out supportive services.

In addition to creating a safe space at home, it is important to seek out supportive services for your autistic child as well. Speech therapy and occupational therapy are two popular therapies that can help your autistic child learn coping skills so they can better manage their SPD symptoms both at home and in public settings. Occupational therapists offer one-on-one guidance on how to best respond to sensory overload while speech therapists provide instruction on communication strategies such as sign language or picture boards which can be helpful for nonverbal children or those struggling with expressive language issues due to autism.

The key to helping an autistic child who has Sensory Processing Disorder is understanding the disorder and recognizing its triggers so you can provide appropriate support and guidance when needed. By being mindful of potential triggers, creating a safe space at home for your child, and seeking out supportive services like occupational therapy or speech therapy you will be well on your way towards providing the necessary support for your autistic child with SPD.

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