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Sensory Overload in Children: Understanding and Coping Strategies for Parents

As a mum, teacher and neurodiversity coach, I know what it's like to have a child who's extra sensitive to the world around them.

Sensory overload can be a real pain in the brain for these little ones, but don't worry, I've got some tips to help!

Sensory overload happens when the brain gets too much input from the five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) and just can't keep up. It's like trying to have a conversation with 5 people at once - it can be overwhelming!

Some kids might only experience sensory overload every now and then, while others live in a constant state of sensory overload. It's like living in the middle of a mosh pit, all the time!

If your child is feeling a bit overwhelmed, you might notice some of these signs:

  • Covering their ears or eyes

  • Crying or tantrums

  • Refusing to participate in activities

  • Hitting or biting themselves or others

  • Withdrawing from social interactions

  • Appearing dazed or disoriented

If the above scenarios sound familiar, I empathise. Read on for some tried and tested tips on balancing sensory overload at school and home...

  • Validate your child's feelings and experiences, and ask them what helps them to feel calm and safe.

  • Create a calm oasis in your home by reducing stimuli, like turning off the TV, lowering the volume on the radio and using calm lighting.

  • Give your child some sensory breaks, by encouraging them to take a walk outside or engage in quiet activities like reading or colouring.

  • Get your child moving! Physical activity can help release all that pent up energy and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

  • Teach your child some deep breathing and relaxation techniques, because who couldn't use a little bit of zen in their life?

  • Use sensory toys and tools, like fidget spinners, stress balls, and weighted blankets, to help your child to regulate their sensory input and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

In conclusion, I know that life can get a little bit crazy sometimes, but taking the time to understand and support your child with sensory overload is crucial for their overall wellbeing. By using these strategies, you can help your child navigate the sometimes overwhelming world around them and lead a happy and fulfilling life, filled with peace, love, and a little bit of humour.

For fun ways to connect with your child, check out our shop for wellbeing products created by The Daily Enrich. ❤️

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