How to Treat Sensory Processing Disorder

Sound-blocking headphones may help regulate environmental noise, as can other tools designed to make stimuli less invasive. Wearing tag-free clothing that is loose fitting can help. Placing a fragrant sachet in your pocket to cover offending odors, or wearing a scarf to cover your nose are also good strategies. Allow your child to wear sunglasses under bright lights, and take frequent breaks when visiting large, overwhelming places together. In the kitchen, consider investing in a cookbook like Deceptively Delicious or The Sneaky Chefto learn strategies for making healthy foods more appealing to sensitive children.

For individuals who crave and seek out sensory input, many professionals recommend creating a sensory zone with fabric blocks to crash into, or a rice bin filled with buried treasure. These zones can give kids a sensory break that can help them focus and get back to learning. Here are some other suggested strategies for children:

1. The hyperactive, sensory-seeking child: Get him to carry the laundry basket, push the shopping cart, or bring in the grocery bags from the car.

2. The tactile-sensitive child: Do finger-painting activities at the kitchen table and let him draw pictures on the bathtub walls with shaving cream.

3. The child with a poor sense of space and balance: Swimming, horseback riding, and jumping on a trampoline all help.

For adolescents and adults who experience under-stimulation, intense activities can help: running, swimming hard, jumping on a trampoline, and martial arts. People who are easily overstimulated find relief from reading, listing to music, stroking a cat, or gardening.