Children with autism frequently struggle with sensory processing difficulties, which can have a big impact on how well they can interact socially and communicate. It may be challenging for kids with sensory processing disorders to process and react to external stimuli including noises, textures, and odors because they may be overly or undersensitive to specific stimuli.
Identification of sensory triggers and coping skills development is crucial for managing sensory processing difficulties in autistic children. Here are some suggestions for treating sensory processing difficulties in autistic kids:
- Observe your child’s behavior and try to identify patterns. Pay attention to what seems to trigger your child’s sensory sensitivities and when they are most likely to occur. This can help you identify patterns and understand what your child is reacting to.
- Create a sensory-friendly environment. Consider your child’s sensory preferences when setting up their environment. For example, if your child is oversensitive to noise, consider using noise-canceling headphones or creating a quiet space for them to retreat to.
- Use visual supports. Visual supports, such as picture schedules or social stories, can help children with autism understand and cope with changes in their environment.
- Use sensory strategies. There are many sensory strategies that can help children with autism cope with sensory processing issues. These may include using a weighted blanket or vest to provide deep pressure, using earplugs to reduce noise, or using a sensory room or “sensory box” with items that provide different sensory experiences.
- Encourage physical activity. Physical activity can help children with autism regulate their sensory system and improve their ability to cope with sensory processing issues. Encourage your child to participate in activities that involve gross motor movements, such as running, jumping, or playing with balls.
- Use a “sensory diet.” A sensory diet is a structured set of activities that provide sensory input in a controlled way. These activities can help children with autism regulate their sensory system and improve their ability to cope with sensory processing issues.
You may assist your child with autism in dealing with sensory processing issues and enhance their capacity to communicate and interact with others by identifying sensory triggers and employing coping mechanisms to control them.