Does My Child Have Sensory Issues?

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You’ve noticed. The quirks. The unique traits in your kid’s behavior that make you pause. Crayon colors are arranged meticulously. The refusal to touch doughy play clay. The overwhelm at noisy birthday parties. Do these signs point towards something more than just individual preferences? Do they indicate sensory issues? That’s what we’re here to help you figure out. And hey, we’ve got a sensory issue quiz lined up further ahead to aid in this discovery. Hang on tight!

Decoding Sensory Issues

Firstly, let’s define what we mean by ‘sensory issues.’ It’s a broad term referencing how an individual perceives and responds to sensory information—touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. For example, kids with sensory issues might be over-responsive, feeling things more intensely, or under-responsive, seeming indifferent and distant to sensory experiences.

Spotting the Signs

Sensory sensitivities are a spectrum, and we all have quirks. So, let’s delve into some common signs to look for if you suspect your kid might have sensory issues. Here’s a list to assist your understanding:

  1. Sensory seeking: Kids might seek sensory experiences, such as ignoring personal space, touching everything, or even chewing on things.
  2. Sensory sensitivity: It can be manifested through discomfort with bright lights, loud noises, or even the tags on their shirts.
  3. Sensory avoidance: These children might feel overwhelmed and would try to avoid sensory experiences like refusing to participate in messy play or reluctance to be touched.
  4. Sensory underresponsiveness: Some kids might appear to be “out of it,” showing slow or incomplete responses to sensory inputs.

Subsequently, if your child shows these signs, it might be beneficial to seek help from a skilled pediatric therapist.

Read more: What are the Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory Issues and Neurodiversity

Sensory issues often overlap with conditions like Autism, ADHD, and others, making neurodivergent kids more likely to face these challenges. That is to say, understanding your child’s uniqueness and providing the right support can make a difference.

Does My Child Have Sensory Issues?

Please Note: This information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as needed, with a qualified healthcare provider and/or BCBA.

1 / 10

Does your child get overwhelmed or anxious in noisy environments?

2 / 10

Does your child avoid certain textures in food or clothing?

3 / 10

Is your child unusually sensitive to lights or certain visual stimuli?

4 / 10

Does your child have difficulty transitioning from one activity to another?

5 / 10

Do you notice that your child either seeks out or avoids physical touch?

6 / 10

Does your child react strongly to unexpected changes in their environment?

7 / 10

Is your child particular about the way objects are arranged or presented?

8 / 10

Does your child frequently cover their ears or eyes in response to sensory input?

9 / 10

Does your child have strong preferences or aversions to specific smells?

10 / 10

Does your child engage in repetitive behaviors to self-soothe when overstimulated?


Strategies to Try at Home

While professional help is invaluable, there are several strategies that you could incorporate at home. Firstly, creating a sensory-friendly environment that caters to your child’s specific needs can be beneficial. Secondly, encouraging activities that are soothing for them can be helpful. For instance, some children may find deep pressure soothing, while others could benefit from specific types of movements like swinging or spinning.

Read more: The 2023 Parent’s Guide to Sensory Friendly Clothing for Kids
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Your child’s sensory quirks might leave you puzzled. However, these could very well be their personal ‘superpowers,’ and understanding them can help you guide your child towards thriving in their unique way. In the vast world of parenthood, you’re not alone—we’re here for you. Remember, each child is unique, and what works for one might not work for another.