What Is Sensory Processing?

Sensory processing disorder can be a confusing term. No two children are alike. No two cases are the same. Doctors and researchers are still figuring out the ins and outs of Sensory Processing, making it difficult to understand. That is why I am excited to join with my friends at The Inspired Treehouse, a group of pediatric physical and occupational therapists, to bring you this series on all things Sensory Processing.

What is Sensory Processing

Understanding Sensory Processing

I am not a therapists or a doctor.

I am, simply, a mom raising a child with sensory needs.

I am, simply, an educator who taught in Early Childhood Education for 12 years.

I am, simply, just like you.

Each month, I will attempt to explain an aspect of Sensory Processing from my perspective. I will not attempt to use medical terms, explain what I don’t understand myself, or pretend to be an expert. My good friends at The Inspired Treehouse will bring you their take on the same topic, giving you a better understanding of Sensory Processing.

Sensory Processing and Its Many Names

Names for Sensory

As both a parent and educator, I have heard “sensory” referred to as many different things. Adding to the confusion surrounding it.

Sensory, Sensory Integration, Sensory Processing, Sensory Needs, Sensory Overload, Sensory Seeking

To confuse things a little more, you might find something else attached to the end of one of those terms….

Disorder or Dysfunction

It can be a confusing place for a parent or educator. I still pause a moment when I describe my son’s struggles. I have landed on the phrase “He struggles with sensory integration.” However, I don’t even know if I am even using the right term. What I know is that it opens the door for me to spread awareness, find resources, and build a community of others in the same boat.

Sensory Processing: The Horse of Many Colors

Variations of Sensory Processing

One of the most important things I have learned about Sensory Processing as a parent and an educator is that no two children are alike. Sensory needs can span a spectrum, just like the colors of a rainbow. Children can be overstimulated by the world around them. They can be unresponsive to their surroundings causing them to seek out input (usually in a socially unacceptable manner). They can be a little of both, somewhere in the middle, all to one side, or exhibit it in only one area. That is what makes “sensory processing” so confusing.

It is complex.

As a parent, I have seen a child who can be so fun and so smart turn into someone I don’t know or understand at the blink of an eye. I have watched as he cries because his socks “don’t like his feet”. I have endured yelling, screaming and fits all because something didn’t go as planned.

Sensory Processing Explained

I like to describe my son as a house of cards. So meticulous. So intriguing. So fascinating. Yet at the same time, he is so much more. So delicate. So complex. So mysterious.

As an educator, I have watched as a child ran himself into walls. I have seen parents at their wits end because their child put EVERYTHING in their mouth. I have taught lessons with children bouncing on balls to stay focused. I have comforted many children as they cowared under a desk because the noise was just too much.

Sensory Processing Resources

SPD-infographic from Northshore PediatricI started out just like many of you might have… asking myself, “What is wrong? How can I help? What can I do?

As a parent, I was frustrated. I didn’t know where to start.

As an educator, I was confused. I was never trained.

Over the last 5 years I have read books, asked questions, found some answers and, most importantly, found support. My hope is that this series with The Inspired Treehouse will help you find answers, allow you to ask questions, and find a support system as you support a child with sensory needs.

My favorite resources include:

This infographic and post from Northshore Pediatrics’ on Sensory Processing Disorder and Sensory Integration.

This checklist from Sensory Processing Disorder is a great starting point if you are worried about your child or a child you teach.

We homeschool our children now, but we didn’t always. If you need a resource for a child struggling in the classroom setting you should read this post about problem behaviors in the classroom.

Check out my Sensory Processing Resource board  or The Inspired Treehouse  board on Pinterest.

This video is a MUST Watch, as it depicts Sensory Processing in a way that I am not able to put in words. {Side note, this is the video I shared with family when I first thought our son fit this description.}

And the best resource of all? A community, where others are there to support you, hear you, and provide resources like you have found here and at The Inspired Treehouse.

Be sure to read their post this month: 5 Myths About Sensory Processing

5 Myths About Sensory Processing

Check out The Inspired Treehouse to find out more.

Make sure you don’t miss the next in the series about Sensory Processing. Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email in the sidebar.

Sensory Needs Group

Do you have a child with sensory needs? Has this post touched you in some way? I would love to know! Please send me a message or leave a comment. It helps when we know we are not alone.

More from the Sensory Processing Resources

Click Here button

Sensory Processing | Tactile Vestibular Proprioceptive | Auditory | Visual 

100 Sensory Smart Activities for Home or School Follow Dayna :: Lemon Lime Adventures’s board Sensory Processing Resources on Pinterest.

Small Front Cover Sensory processing 101Looking for the entire book? Look no further! Never struggle to explain sensory again! We have taken 2 years of information and combined three books together to bring you Sensory Processing 101 | The Complete Guide! Click here to get your copy today!

More Adventures in Sensory

Stop Saying these things to parents of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder



More Resources to Understand Sensory

To help you remember some of these strategies and understand sensory behavior and what to do in the moment, I’ve put together this amazing poster set on how to understand your child’s sensory struggles and discipline sensory meltdowns.

These posters give you tips on how to help your child regulate their sensory needs, and identify what your child’s behavior is really telling you!

There’s also a list of 7 common myths about sensory behavior. I dispel these misconceptions so you can gain a deeper understanding of what sensory really is.

Ok, you might be thinking…

This all sounds great but…

  • What should I do when my child is having a meltdown?
  • How do I create sensory strategies that are going to help my unique child?
  • How exactly do I get them to use those strategies in the moment?

In my next blog post, I’ll share how to create sensory tools that are going to help your specific child. I’ll also tell you what to do in the moment when your child is in sensory overload and having a meltdown!

overcome sensory issues

But right now, download your FREE Handle Any Sensory Challenge posters so you can get a deeper understanding of sensory and start implementing some sensory activities and routines with your family!

139 thoughts on “What Is Sensory Processing?”

  1. Pingback: The Inspired Treehouse

  2. Lisa

    Wow. I am a mom of an SPD child, educator and a home schooler also. But I don’t homeschool my spd child. I don’t think I could handle that one. But kudos to you!

    1. Thank you for your supportive words. I never wanted to homeschool.Even as an educator I never thought I could do it. Our family is in a very different place than last year at this time, when we were getting my son diagnosed. I wouldn’t change a thing (most days)

    2. pat moore

      My twenty year old son has sensory interpretive disorder diagnosed as a child would love more info

      1. Wow, you probably are more of a resource than I could ever be. Please join the Facebook support group. We would love to have you!

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  5. My first (known) experience with sensory processing was four years ago with one of my 3 year old students. I so wish this post had been written back then, as it would have helped immensely. Fortunately, the mother was on board and found resources to help her son. Dad was sadly in denial, even though he, too, had SPD. Since then, I’ve had a few more students with signs of sensory processing and I’m sure I will have more. I pinned this for future reference!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and your sharing! As an educator I am surprised how ill-prepared I was to teach children with sensory needs. My first experience was a 3 year old who literally ran himself into walls. It was then that I started to realize my son had many of the same things. Refusing to wear wet clothes, Crying about socks, and fits beyond belief.
      I am glad I can provide a resource for others!

      1. I have just come across your blog and I’m so glad! My son, just turned four, has always seemed to me to have some sensory issues. Only in the last few months have I realized it is an actual thing. Tantrums regarding wet clothes, even a drop, socks not “on” correctly, certain noises, even as an infant was unbelievably challenging. He would cry, I’d cry, we would both be crying by he time my husband got home. he would only sleep while in his swing, on the highest setting, or if I was holding him while bouncing. I could go on and on. I just feel so bad thinking of my ignorance in dealing with him. Autism had crossed my mind awhile back, but he is loving, affectionate, verbal, etc. anyways, I will be up all night reading through your posts and resources.

  6. Nanny Jess

    Thanks so much for your perspective! I was a Nanny of a little boy who has a sensory disorder, and today I am Mom of a little boy who also had a sensory disorder. It’s funny because my Mom and I were just discussing how different both boys are, yet they are both diagnosed with the same thing. This is all one reason we have though about homeschooling. I’m glad I’m am not the only one going through this confusion. I look forward to reading more about your research and adventure 🙂

    1. Yes, I have taught for many years and never met two children that had the same sensory needs. In fact, we can sometimes forget about my son’s sensory needs, but are quickly reminded when his needs are not met. It changes day to day. We spent the better part of last year figuring out triggers, but unfortunately, it was only at home that we could manage those triggers. Since being home we have been working on teaching him to recognize his needs. Its not always an easy road and finding others with the same frustrations is helpful. I hope that I am able to help provide any insight you might hope to find. Be sure to check out The Inspired Treehouse, as they are trained professionals in this field.

  7. Excellent post. A lot of the children (and thereby the adults who remain untreated) in our family suffer from sensory processing disorders. You are right – it is hard to decide which combination of words describes your sensory experiences. However, several of our children also have epileptic seizures that have sensory triggers. Others experience sensory overload, migraines, and even poor social integration because of sensory issues. Knowing what is going on really helps to meet the problem head on and embrace it.

    1. Wow! Thank you for your kind words! I am glad this is a good resource for you! It sounds like you have many sensory and medical needs that you deal with on a regular basis. I am sending virtual hugs. I agree that being educated to face the problems head on is the most helpful.

  8. Rita Jacuzzi Huber

    As a mother to a mother of a child; I am learning with our family just how and what to do for and how to interact and love our little guy. The frustration for us being brought up in the age of respect, quite, respectful, and behaving children, we have Not interacted with Legoman appropriately or maybe even disappointed. It is also hard to deal differently with one grandchild than another. We see them so little. We are hoping to learn with as time goes by.
    God Bless both parents and their entire family.
    Love, Nonna and Nonni

  9. Thanks for the resources. I try to keep updated as I find I run to girls with various through Girl Scouting and if I can know where they are coming from we can make a better experience for them!

  10. I haven’t had to learn much about sensory processing because we don’t have anyone with those issues in the family. Good luck to you in finding help!

  11. I am curious to learn more. I admit that I often perceive kids with “quirky” behavior as lacking boundaries at home, but having two completely different kids certainly gives you a much better appreciation of real difficulties that could not be explained by nurture. I am glad that Legoman is getting help from you and from specialists!

    1. I completely understand that reaction. For years, I told myself it was me as a parent. I beat myself up. I cried many times (and still do). Last year I hit a point where I decided to try to change the dynamic we were working with… Things are looking better! Thank you!

  12. My son has this, I know he got it from me and my side of the family, so I know it is hereditary. Overall, I feel it is part of being sensitive person. Some of us are more sensitive than others and there are times when our world is a little too fast, too bright, too loud, etc.. for those who are. All this information is helpful, thank you for sharing.

    1. Have you heard of HSP? Perhaps this is the adult version of this. I have not read up on all this but its what came to mind as I read this. 🙂

      1. Lemon Lime Adventures

        I have not heard of HSP, I’ll have to do some more research on it. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Maria

    Great information!! 12 years experience is so helpful when trying to understand sensory issues. I will share with my friends.

    1. Thank you so much! I will say that the last few years with my son has been the most helpful in understanding more. I am surprised by how much I did not know as an educator. I am also surprised by how much I still learn daily.

    1. I am so happy to hear that this will be a useful series for you! It is definitely heartbreaking as a mom, not being able to figure out your own child.

  14. Shelmo

    Thanks for this information. I have said for years that my son has sensory issues. I finally printed out a checklist and used it to convince my husband that it matched my son perfectly. We asked our family dr for a referral to get him evaluated, and now, 5 months later, we finally have an appointment. The dr had no clue as to where to send us for the referral, so it took time and research (and us calling and asking over and over) for them to set it up. I am looking foward to the evaluation, because I’m sure it will confirm what I already know.

    1. It took me years to finally evaluate Legoman. Once we had the evaluation, things actually got worse for awhile. Feel free to join our Sensory Needs Community on Facebook for support as you go through this process. It isn’t easy.

  15. HI. Coming to you from #SITSBlogging…My third grade son is on the spectrum and has sensory issues as well. It’s time for me to read and learn about this. Thanks for the resources.

    1. I am so happy that you found this useful. This series is going to break it down. Next month we are talking about the range of sensory needs. I hope you stick around and maybe even subscribe so you don’t miss it! 🙂

  16. Marci Wright

    Thank you for sharing this information & resources! I homeschool a child with SPD & Asperger’s. He’s 12 & was only diagnosed at 10 – I had never even heard of SPD before then! Knowing what is wrong goes miles toward knowing how to cope with it. My son had an IEP in public school for almost 4 years before we started homeschooling – but his teachers insisted he was simply a behavior problem who happened to have speech & motor issues. After we started homeschooling, I found a wonderful speech therapist who specialized in working with kids who have these disorders & she recognized the signs & helped us to finally get answers. We have learned to cope with his issues now & he’s excelling at schoolwork – even working above grade level in some areas!

    1. We were in public school as well. We tried to get an IEP and were denied at first because my son is highly intelligent in academic areas. It wasn’t until his behavior snowballed that they agreed to an IEP, but that took months. Months we just didn’t have. That is when we started homeschooling. It became official in November.

      1. Elizabeth

        I have to say, it’s because of resources about SPD like this and so many more that are out there and easily accessible that my son, age 5, is able to receive everything we have gotten with in just one very short year. He got diagnosed finally because I was not able to handle the behavior issues and everything I did just felt like I was banging my head against a wall. We got referred to a psychologist who immediately saw what I had no clue was even an actual “thing” and he now has an IEP even with him being so very highly intelligent. We have changed classes a few times to make sure he’s getting everything he needs and he has progressed so much more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you, Lemon Lime, for making sure as many people out there know about this disorder so more children can get the help and the support that they need more than anything else.

        1. Believe me, I completely understand feeling like banging my head against a wall. It is a hard place to be as a parent of a child with SPD. It is also very common, from what I have read, for high intelligence and SPD to go together. I am so happy you liked this post and it warms my heart to think that I have touched even just one parent going through what I went through.

      2. Are there many behavior issues with this disorder? Emotional issues? I’m trying to educate myself because I consult with parents who are checking on educational choices. I also have 2 friends tgat are investigating the issue. Thanks.

        1. Lemon Lime Adventures

          Yes, there are many many behaviors and emotional issues related to sensory processing and sensory processing disorder. I have a post that you might find helpful called Decoding Everyday Sensory Behaviors.

  17. A mom

    This was such a great article! I’m a 35 year old mom, who falls within the hyper sensitive category. I never could understand why my clothes didn’t feel right or how a pair of pants felt fine in the store but once home felt tight in all the wrong places. Not until I had my son & saw some of the same quirks. We screened for SPD, while seeking PT for toe walking- he didn’t fit the entire profile- so we call it “sensory quirks” he will only wear one type of socks, seamless. Loud noises bother both of us- to me it feels like nails on a chalkboard.

    1. I am so happy that you found this post useful. I am surprised your son didn’t fit a profile. It seems you could still benefit from getting support for sensory needs, even if he doesn’t. I am happy you are finding resources and finding ways to manage both of your sensory needs

    2. Another Mom

      I have a similar story. I know my daughter gets it from me. Textures (food, clothes, dirt) and sounds are triggers for me and triggers for her. I did the toe-walking, but she never has. I’m too old for SPD to have even been an idea when I was a kid. She’s not as bad because I teach her coping strategies.

      Still, looking forward to reading this series.

      1. It is so lovely to know that others are finding this as a such a useful resource. It is comforting to know that there are others of us out there dealing with similar things.

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  19. Love this. Like you I have spent the last couple of years researching SPD in order to help my little students and their parents,alike. Thanks

  20. Megan Kennedy

    Thank you for all of the wonderful information! My son is a former 29.5 weeker, who had a brain bleed which resulted in hydro and brain damage. He has had sensory processing disorder among other diagnosis. It is sometimes hard to explain to other people (family, friends) what is going on with Everest sometimes, and how he can’t be treated like a “normal” kid having a fit. He constantly puts things in his mouth, especially when he is overloaded (at home its his blanket, but if we are out what he can get his hands on). It is really nice for me to know I am not alone, and HE is not alone. Thank you again!

  21. Leigh Smith

    I’m so glad you are talking about/ educating about this topic. I knew something was “off” with my son, but no o e would “buy in” to my thoughts. He was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and I had never heard of it. Thankfully, I was super proactive about getting him help very early and so therapy really worked a miracle with him. But honestly, he would be a completely different person today if he had not had the therapy. Thanks for spreading the word!

    1. It took a long time for us to get our son evaluated. The older he gets the further he gets away from developmentally appropriate behaviors. When he started having memory and processing problems and problems in school, it became clear that we needed to try something.I agree that if I had not heard about this, our son would be growing into a very different person.

  22. Samantha

    Hi! I am also an educator and a mother of a son with sensory processing issues. Everyday is an adventure! He was receiving speech and OT services through the regional center until age 3. He has since then had an IEP and is getting speech at school, but we are trying to find him OT services that our insurance will cover. If anyone knows of a good place in the Glendale, CA area please let me know. His main issue is feeding. He prefers only one kind of texture and will not self feed.
    Thank you!

    1. We currently have our son in OT and Social work as his social behaviors are the ones that are the most difficult to handle. I would suggest joining the facebook support group for more suppport. I am not sure if there is anyone there that could point you in a more specific place for help.

  23. Teresa

    I’m wondering if you have another format of the SPD info graphic. When I print it out the font is so small, and the white lettering disappears into the graphic and it is unreadable even with my reading glasses 🙂 Thanks.

    1. HI there, Are you speaking of the horse or the long infographic? The long infographic is not mine and you should go to Northshore Pediatric to get the full infographic. They are a wonderful resource. You should be able to see it from there. Let me know if I can help any other way 🙂

  24. Lisa

    Hi Danya,

    I am the mother of a nine year old boy with SPD. I have often wondered if the relatively recent distinction between SPD and Autism (most Autistic kids have sensory issues, but not all kids with SPD are Autistic) or the changes in our society/culture are a bigger factor in identification and diagnosis of sensory issues – likely both I suppose.

    I have often imagined my son sitting in a one room school house in the early 1900’s. Nothing on the walls, quiet work, multiple ages, lots of exercise to get to and from school, usually lots of heavy work doing chores on the farm, no electronics, fluorescent lights, etc, etc.

    I would imagine there have been people with sensory issues since the dawn of time, but surely the current state of our noisy and busy world is sending some kids who might have been just a little bit affected in another era, toward much more severe SPD issues.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you in advance for your time and this wonderful post.

    1. That is such an interesting point you make. I think there are so many changes from that time that it is hard to pinpoint the causes of sensory overload now. There are changes in our environment, changes in our food, changes in expectations… so many changes. I love your ideas and concepts. I am happy that you liked this post and I hope you will follow along and come join us in the support group.

  25. Arlee Leo

    Thank you for this. My 3 year old has SPD and on the really hard days, I start to get fatalistic and wonder if it will ever get better, if I’m doing something wrong, not helping him the way he needs…yesterday was a hard day. He sees an OT and ST through his IEP at preschool but we’re looking at additional services, too. I’m a sponge for info at this point, so thank you for this post.

    1. I am so happy that you found this helpful. I hope you will follow along each month with the series. Learning the triggers and the sensory strategies can make things better. I would love for you to join the Sensory Group.

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  27. Mila

    What if you’re an adult and all of this sounds more normal and empathetic that confusing? I’m 46 and I see myself in a lot of what’s been said. My grandchildren who don’t want to eat certain things because of how it feels is understandable to me. I had to mute the music so I could read the context of the video. I am an introvert and can not be in a room with mor than two conversations going. I have a friend who is a children’s occupational therapist and she believed years ago that I have auditory processing disorder. I live a normal life, but I’m more apathetic to the child’s point of view than the teacher’s. Sorry 🙂 are there resources for adults?

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  30. Bernadette Littlewood

    Thank you for this. I am about to read up on the links. I have three young boys, and all of them have their own specific sensory issues. The youngest over reacts to everything, particularly knocks and bumps, and the eldest gets highly stressed by to much light and colour and is driven insane but other children being loud or making constant noises at school. My middle boy though is super sensitive in every way. He is passionate about shape and colour, he feels them, experiences them at an emotional level but hates noise, and anything irritating like labels in clothes, seams in socks etc. He has an ability to read others thoughts and feelings to the extent that he frequently gets more upset about something happening to a friend than they do. My boys are all over stimulated by the world around them in their own way, and find it very hard to sleep, or be calm and relaxed.
    We are at the beginning of our journey in understanding their needs and gifts, (now we have got through the barrage of labels, autism, ADD, OCD, and discounted them) but it is an adventure we will travel together and it is nice to know we are not alone.

    1. The beginning of the journey is so exhausting. It is definitely nice to know you aren’t alone and I hope you will join the support group of parents and educators, just working to support each other through the journey.

  31. Larissa

    I have just discovered that I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and I have begun a ton of research on it. It sounds very similar if not the same as what you all are describing here. I am reading a book by Elaine Aron, Ph. D called The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. She has also written a book on the highly sensitive child. She has a website for HSP ‘s as well. Having worked with children for years as both a nanny and an educator and now truly discovering this is what I have struggled with my whole life, I am completely fascinated by all of this sensory stuff.

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  38. When did you realize there was an issue? My little girl is almost two and I wonder if she has sensory needs or if she is just throwing fits because she is little and is trying to figure things out. The biggest issue being refusing to wear clothes to the point that she just cries and cries every night when I put her in pj’s.

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  42. Wow I knew there was developmental issues with my daughter shortly after she was born. It’s something I just knew. She has developmental delays. I believe they’re hereditary. I also had no idea that this sensory disorder existed but I can see a lot of these different behaviors in my child as well. I am SOO happy to have found this post, these resources, and SOME answers. I always knew my daughter had many different sensory issues we had to look at. But, I had practical good ole parents around to help whom more tried to force her through certain trials but with their best intentions at heart I know. … In the long run, the work they tried didn’t help. I hope educating myself into healthy ways of assisting my child. Thank you SOmuch for covering these more serious topics of parenting.

  43. ARY

    Looking forward to this series. When I realized my son was a lot like me I thought it would help me understand him, but instead he is like me in thinking differently from everyone else, including me! Turns out we both have sensory processing issues, which often clash–seeker vs. sensitive, though in some ways we are both tactile seekers.

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  45. linda

    My son has DCD and this includes sensory problems, this was a great read , It’S very difficult to explain to someone that a child with sensory problems isn’t just bold r playing up. I would love to join Facebook page but just Wondering if I were to post comments there will my friends be able see r is it a closed site

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  48. Wow! After 5 years of trying to work out why my son would explode and lose control of his emotions we have this week seen a psychologist who believes he has a sensory processing disorder. Now I have also found this wonderful site to help me further! I am so happy to be finally finding some explanations and assistance. We have more assessments yet and are at the beginning if this journey. It is also a relief to know we are not alone. Thank you – I know have much reading to catch up on

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  51. Meghan Hanley

    Thank you for raising awareness about SPD I have a 9 year old son who was diagnosed with sensory integration when he was 3. We dealt with combative panic attacks daily until he was 4. They became more situational as he has gotten older & as he has matured his coping skills are much better! The one area we still steuggle is food. This year a lot happened for us & made the jump into homeschooling for lots of reasons. With this change though he has been able to start to try new foods! It has been 7 years since he has knowingly eaten a fruit or vegetable & this week he has eaten watermelon & baby spinach by choice!
    I’m starting a blog for him & anyone who choses to read it sharing our struggles our triumphs & our mistakes.
    Thank you from the bottomnof my heart for sharing, raising awareness & educationg about SPD!

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      I am so happy that this is helpful for you! Thank you for all your kind words! I would love for you to come share your blog on my FB page!

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  62. Michelle

    Can a child have a sensory problem to just one thing? My niece throws a fit in the car if she isn’t wearing sunglasses yet when outside playing, swimming or working she’s mostly ok, when she’s not occupied she’ll get upset about the sun being too bright but when we have her occupied she’s less likely to go off. We do try to make sure she’s wearing sunglasses any time she’s outside but I’d never thought it could be something other than her being fussy.

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      It sounds to me like she has a visual sensitivity. Remember I am not a specialist, however from what I have read, all children need different things in regards to their sensory systems. I would continue to support her when she is frustrated with the lights. You are giving her what she needs whether she has sensory problems or not.

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  65. Amazing read! Thanks for sharing. Do you mind if I reblog the Infographic with credit please? It’s a fantastic yet simple explanation. Many Thanks, Julia.

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      Thank you for your kind words! The infographic is great isn’t it! It is actually not mine! If you click on it, you will be taken to Northshore Pediatric, where they have the information about crediting them.

  66. My oldest son, now six, was diagnosed with SPD a few months after turning four. He had been showing quirks (as I call them) for a year, but it never clicked with his dad or me that it was anything more than typical age related behavior. When I filled out a check-list for my son’s OT evaluation, everything made sense. Granted, I cannot make sense of the ‘house of cards’ behavior (how something is fine one day but sends him over the edge the next), but the fact that he had certain behaviors finally made sense. It’s been a long, hard road for him and for us (he also was speech delayed and has articulation issues combined with frontal tongue thrust and possible Apraxia), but it’s a journey I wouldn’t trade for anything. Yes, there are days that I want to join him in the head hitting, there are times I too want to go and hide from the world (I think I have SPD as well), and there are times I want to cry over little things (wait, I did two days ago when I tried to get him to wear camo for camo day at school and he had a meltdown over it). Despite his quirks that make life frustrating at times, my son is very sweet, well loved, popular (despite being shy), helpful, caring, and an all around wonderful kid. I wouldn’t trade him for anything!

  67. Linda

    Hi there, I just wanted to say as a Mum of a 5year old boy (sounds so similar to your son) that your site has been a wonderful find. I (and my Husband) have been struggling with a lot of behaviours since our son was around 18months old, but just thought I was a poor parent. We have had problems with sleep, eating, toileting, noise, crying, meltdowns, shoes not fitting tight enough, tags on clothes, moving onto the next thing we need to do ie; have a shower, have breakfast, clean our teeth, get dressed (on and on and on). I found it hard to get any support for my GP (told to go to a parenting course), but finally with a change in Day Care service found the support that I needed and where to go. We are now seeing an Occupational Therapist who has helped us by at least identifying what we are dealing with and how to approach certain areas. I had now idea that anything like sensory processing problems existed let alone where to go for help. I was struggling to find ideas about how to practically assist a child with everyday life (strategies for responding to meltdowns) etc. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  68. Dawn Kinney

    I have 2 wonderful little boys. My 3 year old Sensory Processing Disorder and my 2 year old does not. I find myself getting so frustrated very often. Sometimes he wants to be mommy’s big helper and he is being such a good boy and no fighting just playing with his little brother and all of a sudden the neighbor will blast their music and there goes the peace. Meltdown in 3-2-1…….. I have not been able to figure out how to calm him down. At this point it just has to run it’s course and he eventually allows me to pick him up and snuggle and he calms down (as long as I’m not holding him too tight. We were getting therapy for a while but they said that he already had some good coping skills and made some suggestions. Then they decided that we should try the compression vest…..Meltdown galore…..I can’t even get him anywhere near the building let alone inside….Therapy over…..

  69. cassie

    Thanks for this informative article! I first came to your site after PlanetSmartyPants shared your article “how to calm down an angry child” on facebook. I have never heard of sensory processing before, but much of what is discussed here is familiar to my experience with my 4 year old daughter. She is “extremely picky” with her clothes. Something bothers her about nearly every article of clothes. It is such a battle to find something she will wear and sometimes after she finally gets dressed, she’ll immediately get upset and take it all off. Ever since she was young, it has been difficult taking trips since her carseat straps bother her and she frequently has meltdowns because of it. I haven’t read all of the posts, but it does seem she is also very sensitive to noise and I have been trying to get her to not press so hard with the crayons when she colors (always breaking them). It’s interesting because I remember as I child I absolutely refused to wear turtle necks because they bothered me and I too am sensitive to noise. Your posts help me to better understand what is going on, so thank you very much!

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      You are very welcome! I am so happy that you have found something that is helpful to you! Let me know if I can help in any way!

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  71. Myra

    your description of standing with your bag because you were waiting for gum balls is now our new reference. So many of our days are like that Having raised two children with none of these issues we noticed by age one that this one was different in so many ways. He is also our grandchild so it took some real adjusting on our parts on how to deal with episodes and identify triggers. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. We are also considering home schooling, but it is scary to think about. Please keep sharing it’s nice to know that we are not alone. We wish you and your family all the best.

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  76. Monica

    I hope this information can spread to all parents and teachers everywhere so that this becomes a generally understood condition. I mourn the fact that I did not even know of this as a possible diagnosis for my son until he was in Gr. 4. It’s not too late, but I feel like I’ve wasted so many years feeling he was just “strong willed” or that I was an ineffective, inconsistent parent who couldn’t control my unpredictable child. I always said he was sensitive but didn’t know how to cope with that and so it came out as behaviours, but this never translated into help for him, or for us as parents. If only I had known this info…please keep sharing!!

  77. mallori

    My son was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago with SPD. This is a great article! I don’t k ow too much on it and I’m looking to learn more and how to help my son.

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  79. Mel

    Wow! That video really got me! Thankyou! My little man is/has SPD and recently danced to that song. We discussed our interpretation of the song and that even though he is different he can show his ‘true colours’ and the right people will love him, just like we do!
    Thank you for your posts, I really enjoy them!!!

  80. Laura

    Hi. Great post. It did speak to me. I am stay at home mom to 3 kids. 5yr, 4yr, and 2y. Life is crazy and exhausting. My oldest has spd and I really stepped in when he was diagnosed at 4.5yr and did everything and turned our house into an OT office. I got an aerial hammock for him and became a certified kids yoga instructor. Currently I am teaching kids aerial yoga classes which are awesome and I am getting ready to start a sensory play class. But yes I am just a mom. No background in anything. Just living it real life and I do find our sensory systems to be quite fascinating so I enjoy reading a lot about it.

  81. Karen

    Wow, that video made me cry but in a good way – it makes sense of so many things. I have always known that my 9yr old daughter was different to her 13yr old sister, but it has only been since last summer when on Facebook I came across a page about Sensory Processing Difficulties (that’s what the OT in the UK says that it’s called here.) that I finally had a name for how my daughter is different from other children. I have been on a steep learning curve since then & I am going to keep on trying to get her the best help I can so she (& her family) can learn how to adapt to her spd & help her achieve her full potential. Thank you for this post x

  82. Megan Arce

    Thank you for covering this! My 7yo daughter has SPD and it is so hard to talk to people about because I don’t even really understand it myself! I know HER, but I don’t know SPD, even though to know one, I should know the other, technically I guess. I have so many people who tell me she is “just fine” and I don’t know what I am talking about but I have always known she is not. And when asked about her diagnosis I really have trouble coming up with anything coherent! Even though her OT explained it as simply as she can, well, I still don’t “get it.” By far the hardest part is talking to my daughter about it! It’s incredibly difficult to tell your child what is happening with her body, why we go to OT, etc. since the word ‘disorder’ is on there. I do ‘t want to give her a complex and make her feel that something is wrong with her! Anyway, thank you for writing about this topic, and I am sure I will find all your posts on the subjects informative and helpful!!

  83. sobia

    Hi my younger son is 3 and half and don’t havea proper diagnoses yet and have got severe sensory issues but don’t know how would I know if he has gotthis and my elder son is 6 and half and he can bear tags on his clothes and getting wet or loud noises and he is in p2 but I don’t know how I can help him. Plz help

  84. Jill

    I like what I’ve been reading here, and think that this could help my child. But I find that it’s hard to look at your site due to a video ad. It takes over your site constantly pulling you back to where it is on the page, and sometimes not letting you scroll. Then a new ad will play and pull you back again. Just thought you’d like to know.

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      Thank you so much! I will send this to my ad manager immediately!

  85. Hi i am a 20 year old women with autism and sensory processing disorder and a genetic condition called ehlers danlso syndrome and i have had issues with sensory overload my whole life: just in the last 3 years have i been researching for information to make my life easier. I now wear clothing i can handle that fits and is soft and comfy. I wear supportive shoes as i have to wear an afo and orthotic. I use a backpack instead of a handbag and i keep sensory toys/tools in my backpack/ home sensory kit/ on my bad and in my bedside table too. I use:
    balls of all shapes and sizes and that light up and are glittery
    squishy rubber balls/animals and they light up too
    stuffed toys
    bouncy balls
    stress balls
    spiky balls
    juggling balls
    hair ties that are like an electrical cord
    hair brushes for brushing my skin with ( HELPS SO MUCH)
    ear plus and muffs
    sunglasses and eye mask
    video games
    playdoh and budget kinetic sand
    crafts like knitting/beading/sewing/crocheting
    drawing/coloring in
    and painting too.
    This is a great site keep up with spreading acceptance for this.


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  87. We were recently told by our doctor that our 3 year old son probably has Sensory Processing Disorder. It’s all still so new to us. He is getting ready to be evaluated by an occupational therapist to see if he has it and which type he is. I also have a friend who is familiar with it, and she also thinks he has it.
    I wanted to take the time to tell you thank you! Since being told this new information by my sons doctor, I have wanted to better understand it and learn how I can help him. I have run into a lot of information with huge words I have never heard of before, and I found myself getting upset and still not understanding how to help my son. Today I decided to try one more time, and that’s when I found this post on Pinterest. When I started reading your post, something just clicked, and I found myself actually understanding what I was reading. So once again thank you for all of your hard work on this post and taking the time to explain in detail, to better help someone like me understand. While it’s still a lot of information, I feel like I am actually able to get a grip.

  88. Pingback: What Does Sensory Processing Disorder REALLY Mean? - Lemon Lime Adventures

  89. Nadia Franco

    Wow. This seems like what my son has. And when I watched the video, realize I have it too. Also have anxiety and so does he. They must go hand in hand. Is there a test
    Doctors do to diagnose? I just want him to be loved and it seems daycare and teachers are always telling me that he had a bad day. I would love info on how to go about getting him diagnosed.

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  91. Allison

    We have been struggling since my son was born, trying to figure out what is going on with him. He is now almost 12 and after reading this and going to some of the links, am realizing he has SPD. We always wondering about something like this, but there are so many things going on with him, that it has been a challenge to weed through and pick things to go on. He struggles with Anxiety, that we just found out about 2 years ago. I just figured out he may have some learning difficulties, even though he is really smart. And now this. This has really helped me with the whole picture of my child and where to go from here. Thank you so much for this. As you know, it is such a struggle to live with these kinds of children and really figure out what is going and how to treat it. I am starting a blog for moms, within the next couple of months and am now considering having this aspect of having a special needs child, who doesn’t exactly fit into the ADHD, ADD, Asperghers areas, to cover areas i have been dealing with, that I mentioned above, to help with the awareness, so someone can catch it sooner than I did, or to help in figuring out their child better. I have joined your facebook group in hopes of finding a supportive environment to be a part of through this journey.

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      So glad this was helpful!

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  98. Jenny

    Hi! Thanks for the great article! I agree, sensory processing is so complex to navigate! I was wondering if a child can be an avoider in one of the senses and then as he gets older turn more into a seeker. For example, let’s take a child who might avoid all playground equipment, be very cautious, not very active, and struggle with movement as a one year old. Could that same child have become a sensory seeker as a 3 year old where they are constantly seeking vestibular input? I was also wondering if a child can be both a seeker and an avoider within one of the senses. Let’s take the vestibular sense for example. A child is really seeking vestibular input by constantly crashing into things, falling down on purpose, hanging upside down, jumping on furniture, and swinging his head all around. On the other hand, this same child hates rides that go fast and spin around, is scared to ride on ride on toys, is scared to try and avoids alot of equipment on the playground. and has difficulty walking on uneven ground. Would this child be a sensory seeker, avoider, or both (if that’s possible) within the vestibular sense? Thanks so much!

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