Sensory processing

Introduction

Sensory processing and ASD

Children with ASD may experience difficulty with sensory processing in the areas of visual, auditory, olfactory, proprioceptive, tactile, vestibular and gustatory sensory processing.

Expressions of these sensory processing issues are categorised into sensory sensitivity, sensory under-responsiveness and sensory seeking.

 Each child will likely display a mix of these across the different sensory modalities. While some sensory input may create discomfort or anxiety for one child, a different type of sensory input may help that same child to become engaged and excited about participating.

 

Why do we need to incorporate sensory processing in playgroup?

 

Understanding the reasons why children respond in certain ways to different sensory inputs is the first step towards identifying strategies to help them manage their difficulties. By understanding the different factors that can cause sensory processing difficulties and the impacts these difficulties have on children, you can modify existing play activities or introduce new ones into your PlayConnect group to fulfill each child’s sensory needs.

Sometimes when children are experiencing difficulties or a sensory overload, it is necessary to give them time and space to self-regulate. This involves allowing them time to sit in a quiet space (which can be simply set up using a small tent or a sectioned-off corner with pillows) until they feel calmer.

This is often a vital step in helping children to become re-engaged in group activities, since forcing group involvement at a time of distress or sensory overload may worsen a situation. 

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