Sensory processing issues are common in kids with autism and refers to trouble managing information that comes in through the senses. I will be answering questions related to this important topic from my own experiences as a parent!
What type of professional helps with sensory processing disorder?
An occupational therapist who has experience with sensory integration. An occupational therapist can conduct an evaluation to look at your child”s sensory processing in more detail and help with exercises that can help to reduce and/or manage some of his sensitivities. A psychologist can evaluate if there are other conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
How to approach sensory processing activities and interventions?
The specific types of activities the child needs to help his overall sensory system will depend on how his sensory processing is currently functioning.
For every sense, it is possible to be either over or under responsive to stimuli (or sometimes a combination of both), so I don’t want to make any general recommendations because what is calming and helpful for one child can be dysregulating and uncomfortable for another. Also, it’s important to know that even with intervention sensory issues do not usually have a quick fix, so you’re on the right track with asking both how to help reduce the sensitivities in the first place and also how to deal with the resulting meltdowns, because you really need to know both!
Jennifer Rainey is the mom of amazing teen with autism, apraxia and sensory processing disorder. She is a passionate advocate for her son and incredibly resourceful when it comes to advocating or finding creative solutions for her family! Reach out to her through our Ask the Expert program!