Emotional Regulation And Sensory Processing 







Children with sensory differences may have difficulty regulating their emotions because of their sensitivity to sensory input. They may become overwhelmed easily from sensory input that can lead to a meltdown.

Children who have sensory processing disorder may have a difficult time regulating their emotions when they are in a noisy or overwhelming environment, such as a birthday party, concert or crowded event. 

Emotional regulation is part of a child's development. It is the ability to manage and control your own emotions appropriately. Children with Sensory Processing Disorder may struggle with emotional regulation. 




Emotional regulation is managing your own emotions in a way that is healthy and appropriateIt is about being aware of your own emotions and having the ability to regulate them accordingly in many different types of settings. This skill is so important for children to use throughout there lives.  


We can teach children who have sensory processing disorder how to regulate their emotions. When children are able to regulate their emotions it helps them develop self-control and self-awareness. It also empowers a child to communicate their feelings which leads to better relationships with their friends. 

When children are able to manage their own emotions they are able to focus better, less likely to engage in impulsive and disruptive behaviors

There are many different sensory strategies that parents can use to help their child with sensory processing disorder learn how to regulate their own emotions.  
We need to teach our children how to identify their emotions. This will help our children to express their feelings in a appropriate manner. 

Parents can also help their child develop coping strategies like mindful breathing techniques, other mindful activities for children. Children should learn and understand that it is okay to take breaks when they are feeling too overwhelmed. 

Children who have SPD usually thrive in a calm and safe environment. A child who has sensory challenges may have a hard time regulating their emotions when they are overstimulated or in an unfamiliar place. When a parent creates a comfortable soothing environment, this will help their child feel more in control and be able to regulate their emotions. 

When parents model emotional regulation by regulating their own emotions in front of their children, their children will learn by observing their parents. It is so important  for parents to display a healthy emotional regulation themselves for their children to see. 

Children are emotional beings and they experience a lot of emotions daily like excitement and frustration. Emotions can often feel overwhelming for children, and that can cause them to meltdowns and challenging behaviors.

Deep breathing techniques are one of the most effective ways to regulate emotions. If your child is feeling overwhelmed and their breathing becomes fast, encourage them to take deep breaths slowly. This can help calm their bodies and their mind. 

Many children do struggle with identifying their emotions. This can make it challenging for children to regulate themselves.  

Self-talk is the inner voice that we have in our minds and it impacts us daily and how we are feeling. This inner voice for children can be either positive or negative so it is so important to teach children to use positive self talk can help them regulate their emotions. 

A calming space in your home where children can go when they are feeling overwhelmed or upset. This space should always be reserved as a safe and peaceful place where children can go to regulate their emotions and calm down of they are upset and overstimulated.

Children can learn mindfulness by including them in mindful activities like yoga, meditation, or mindful breathing. These practices help children to be more aware of their thoughts and emotions. 

Physical activity is a great way to regulate emotions in children. When children are feeling overwhelmed or anxious if you can get them to participate in physical activities like jumping, dancing or running it can help release their extra energy and reduce anxiety. 









DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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