Sensory Challenges And Sensory Solutions

I am asked daily what sensory tools and equipment would be best for each sensory symptom. I decided to build a page full of sensory challenges and sensory solutions to help parents and caregivers. 

Every child who has Sensory Processing Disorder will have different sensory needs and will require different sensory tools for their sensory diet

Talk to your child's Occupational Therapist and ask which sensory tools would be best for your child's sensory diet. 

Here are some ideas for different sensory tools that could be helpful for your child's sensory symptoms.  I will continue to add new helpful sensory products over time. 

Weighted blankets are a sensory tool that often Occupational Therapists recommend for children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety and Autism to assist with calming and sleep. 
The weight is intended to provide proprioceptive input to the brain, which has a calming and organizing effect on the central nervous system. Children with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism crave pressure. 

Sensory compression sheets are perfect for any child or adult living with anxiety, ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder or PTSD as they provide calming sensory input. 
Sensory compression sheets are a great alternative to weighted because they are not as heavy and much cooler.
Sensory compression sheets are made with a stretchy light weight fabric that wraps around the mattress.
Compression sheets make you feel like you are receiving a hug all night while you sleep. This feeling helps kids sleep better from toddlers through to big kids and adults.

Sensory calm down bottles are great for several different sensory needs including auditory input, vestibular input and visual awareness. 
Sensory calming bottles are a quick way to calm down children, avoid meltdowns and assist children when managing emotions. 
Pass it to your child and ask them to give it a shake. Shaking the sensory bottle is sensory proprioceptive input. They will be absolutely mesmerized watching the glitter or items in the jar move and fall to the bottom or looking for items in the rice or beans. Sensory bottles encourage mindfulness, focus and calm for when children or adults are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Watching them can be a great reset because they can be so captivating to watch. 

Children and adults who have Sensory Processing Disorder can often seek out oral stimulation. You may notice your child chewing on pencils, hair, fingers, clothing and other objects if they are oral seeker. 
If your child is putting objects in their mouth that is unsafe and not sanitary you may want to consider using some tools to help them. 
Often when children do this, they will stain their clothing or ruin objects in your home or at school. Are they reaching for any and all objects to satisfy their overwhelming need to chew? A very common reason why children chew is anxiety or stress, like those who chew their nails. Chewing provides proprioceptive input on their jaw. Children could be stressed or anxious when they get upset, frustrated, sad or nervous about an event or something new.

A picture schedule is a series of pictures that are sequenced in an order either horizontally or vertically for a specific purpose. They can be used in many different ways. Some may show a series of tasks to complete a job or a sequence of activities to do. 
Visual schedules are positive behavioral supports that use pictures to communicate a sequence of events to a child. Children are visual learners and can navigate the world around them better when they can see what you are telling them. 
Picture schedules help to put the child and the adult on the same page with better communication, organization and predictability. Because of this, they are known to reduce stress, build confidence, improve self-management and increase compliant behavior.

It can be difficult to sit still, stay calm and not touch anything when you have ADHD or Sensory Processing Disorder especially in school this can be challenging for kids to pay attention and get their school work completed. Fidgets can help children focus better. There's so many different fidgets and each child will have their own sensory needs so not all fidgets will work the same for each child. Sometimes you need to try several to see which one is best for your child. 
Some children need fidgets for chewing, others need fidgets for focus and some need fidgets to redirect behaviors such as picking.
When a child is fidgeting you may notice they are twirling their hair, chewing on their clothing or tapping things with their fingers or they can't sit still.  Fidgets are great sensory tools for self-regulation. They can be calming and help your child with focus and attention.


Can't get your child ready for bath time? If your child refuses to wash their hair because of stinging and soapy eyes. Don't fear the Lil' Rinser has come to your rescue.
Its soft rim contours fit smoothly yet snuggly against a child's head and channels water and soap away from sensitive areas. 
Lil' Rinser is a watertight, form fitting solution for keeping soap, water and shampoo out of a young child's eyes, ears and mouth.
A convenient and comfortable soft grip handle allows parents to hold the Lil Rinser in place.
Lil' Rinser is made of firm, yet flexible plastic.

Does your child chew their pencils? Chewy pencil toppers provide multiple therapeutic benefits by serving as a chewy, a finger fidget and a source of proprioceptive input. Simply put, this pencil topper provides multiple types of sensory input so that you can calm down and relax no matter what type of stimulation you need. 
Use to help strengthen oral motor and facial muscles. Promotes oral motor exploration, chewing and mouthing.
Helps redirect from chewing on clothing, fingers and other items.
Supports challenges of ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism.

There are so many benefits for children who have Sensory Processing Disorder to bounce on a trampoline. 
Trampolines are great for a child's sensory diet because they provide proprioceptive and vestibular sensory input and can assist with sensory regulation. 
Jumping on a trampoline can reduce anxiety because it can be very soothing and calming to children who have Sensory Processing Disorder. Our kids need sensory stimulation and require movement. 
Children who have ADHD, Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder require a sensory diet to keep them regulated. Jumping on a trampoline before transitions or before doing homework can help them with impulse control and focus better. 

Active seating options are great for sensory seekers. Sensory seating can be a great way to help children sit longer, focus better and finish tasks. 
Children with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism seek out vestibular input.  Active seating options can be sensory tools used for balance and burning off access energy at school and at home. 
Active seating can be yoga balls, stools, bean bag chairs or other sensory seating options. 
For some homes or classrooms, there are several options for flexible seating. Allowing children to choose the seat they would like to use and where they are most comfortable to use the seat. This gives a child an opportunity to have some control in choosing what feels best for them. 

Hello, I'm Rumpel, a certified Worry Eater! 

If you're anxious or upset, just print or draw your troubles on to paper, pop it into my mouth and zip it up. 
I eat all kinds of worries! 
This high-quality, German, super-soft plush, is light, at 1.76 oz/9" tall and can be easily tucked into a tote or backpack as a favorite totem. 
Great for children who have Anxiety

Calming Clippers are the Silent Haircutting Kit for Children with Autism and Sensory Sensitivity. The haircutting Kit for Sensory Sensitivity For sensitive kids, buzzing clippers are too much to handle and a visit to the barbershop can end in a meltdown.
This quiet alternative to electric clippers allows anyone to give relaxed haircuts at home! A quiet, gentle alternative to buzzing clippers that anyone can use.
Included with Calming Clippers
Barber cape, Haircutting Guide and Zippered Bag included. SNUG, with soft gel finger inserts, MEDIUM with thin smooth inserts or LOOSE with no inserts.

Compression clothing is like a firm and gentle hug which can be a perfect way to expose your child with neurological or medical conditions to both tactile and proprioceptive deep pressure sensory input.
 Evidence shows this type of sensory input has calming effects on the child’s central nervous system. 
Deep pressure input can help improve calm, organization, mood, etc., by increasing endorphin levels (happy hormones-such as dopamine and serotonin), while slowing down involuntary functions related to stress and anxiety, such as heart rate and blood pressure, and decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.

Sensory body socks are a fun sensory activity that provides proprioceotive and vestibular sensory input. 

Body socks are a creative way to improve balance, position in space and motor skills. Body socks can also be calming and regulate a child's behavior.  

Sensory body socks promote focus. Ideal for children who have Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD and Autism. 

Does your child refuse to wear underwear or socks? That's very common with Sensory Processing Disorder. Have you tried turning your child's socks inside out or purchased sensory seamless socks?  Underwear can be extremely difficult for children with clothing sensitivities. There are many brands that are seamless with different styles. Unfortunately, it is quite common to buy a lot of different underwear before you find the right ones for your child. 
If your child's sensory tactile defensiveness is becoming worse, you may want to have a sensory evaluation done by an Occupational Therapist. An OT will start a sensory diet based on your child's needs. Having a negative reaction to touch can overwhelm your child, can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. 

Senso Brush Oral motor Stimulator Professional Series Proven Effective
Speech Pathologist Approved, Device
Offers instant calming for difficult feeders
Perfect for use on gums, cheeks, or outside of mouth. The all new Senso brush by Sensory University is an excellent tool for both therapists and parents. Children with many sensory disorders are constantly seeking sensory stimulation. The Senso brush can be used to directly stimulate areas of the mouth both inside and out. Due to its alternating textures, this brush is perfect for children with feeding difficulties. By introducing new textures, you will find it easier for a child to process a wider variety of food textures. 

Weighted lap pads are great for hyperactive, anxious or sensory seeking children who need the calm and comfort on their bodies. 

Weighted lap pads are also good for proprioceptive input, and deep pressure for calming the nervous system.

Weighted lap pads are sensory tools that promote regulation.

Weighted lap pads are particularly helpful tools for people with Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and Autism. 

When your child doesn't like having their hair brushed there's several brushes that can make it so much easier for them.
Ask your child to choose a brush that feels good for them and you can also take it along to the salon with you. 

Knot Genie is a popular option for detangling brushes for children who have Sensory Processing Disorder. 

Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD or Autism can really struggle with clothing. Clothes can often be painful and feel extremely uncomfortable. 

Cut the tags out of your children's clothing. Tags can feel so sharp for a child with sensory challenges. 

Turning socks inside out can also be helpful too because the seams are outside the socks. 

When you do find clothing that your child can tolerate, try to buy as many patterns, colors and sizes as possible. 
Shop for clothing that are sensory friendly.

The Wilbarger Deep Pressure Proprioceptive Technique is a deep pressure technique used with children and adults who have sensory defensiveness.
Most parents notice a difference in focus, self-awareness and self-control. Always consult with an Occupational Therapist  
The complete routine should only take about three minutes. This technique can be incorporated into a sensory diet schedule. 
Some children really like brushing and will seek out the brush and bring it to their parents, teachers, or caregivers. Other children tolerate it with little reaction, and occasionally a child is resistive. If the child continues to resist, and you see negative changes, you must reconsider the use of the technique and contact the therapist. 

Honey Bee Tree is a downright darling game that's marvelous for building eye-hand coordination, pinch grasp, and fine motor skills.
After inserting the leaves into the see-thru honey tree a great visual-motor task in itself), players carefully pull leaves out of the tree, trying not to wake up the little sleeping bumble bees... 
cause the bees will come tumbling out if you pull the wrong leaf!
The cute little bees are fun for oodles of other fine motor activities too like sorting 'em with our skinny mini squeezers therapy tongs, hiding 'em in therapy putty, translating 'em palm to fingertips, and much more! 

Wobble cushions or core balance discs are great sensory wiggle seats for kids who have Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism and ADHD

Wiggle seats provide sensory input, effectively help children stay focused and sit longer. 

Wiggle seats help kids move and bounce while staying in their seat and on task at school and at home. 

Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) have a hard time filtering and organizing sensory input. This overflow of information puts stress on the nervous system, causing sensory meltdowns. 

Sensory input, like cuddling and swinging calms the body’s “fight or flight” response. Sensory swings make your child feel safe, soothing their overly stimulated senses.

Another benefit of sensory swings is an increase balance and coordination. When children have trouble processing vestibular input, their body doesn’t know how to move within their environment. 

A sensory bin is a container filled with items that stimulate your child's senses. Sensory bins are a great tactile play activity for children with Sensory Processing Disorder and they can also be beneficial for your child's fine motor development. A sensory bin designed to assist your child with their sensory diet. The possibilities are absolutely endless. Sensory bins do not need to be expensive. They can be made with most safe items around your home. Sensory bins are a way for your child to explore their senses and learn. Sensory bins don't require a lot of contents or much space. 
Sensory bins can help your child with fine motor, gross motor development, fidgeting, exploring their senses, self-regulation, language development, learning to tolerate new textures, hand and eye coordination and build self-confidence. 

In order to woo your picky eater, you need a great game plan. Dinner Winner turns mealtime into a fun board game. 

It is a healthy race to the finish where a special covered treat awaits!

Each DINNER WINNER tray provides eat-as-you-go action that helps even the fussiest eaters make it through a meal. 

The tray divides into eight portions, with an extra covered portion for dessert.

Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder or Autism can have sound sensitivities and hearing protection can be a very helpful tool for them to use.  Hearing sensitivities can have an impact on a child and how they function at home or in their community. Adults can also have hearing sensitivities too. Most people who have hearing sensitivities will avoid places they know are overwhelming or too loud. 
What may appear to us as not loud, could be very loud for a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder. A noise that is low for us could cause a child to have sensory overload. A child could feel comfortable in some environments without using noise reduction headphones while others it could be too much for them. 

Expandable breathing ball For Kids & Adults
Relax and calm your mind & body with this expandable breathing ball techniques that is designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation

Expands from 5.5" to 12" Hold in front of your belly, take deep breath in while expandable breathing ball, exhale slowly while contracting the sphere.

Can be used for kids or adults with anxiety, calming in classroom, fidget or mindful breathing exercise.

Fine Motor Skill Toys
Get back to basics with this classic lacing toy that inspires learning, creativity, & fine motor skill development. The large, chunky plastic beads and easy to handle strings are blazing with color — and just right for curious little hands!
Want to encourage your toddler's learning and development without skimping on the fun?
3 Bees and me jumbo linking beads is a timeless toy for preschoolers and toddlers that delivers hours of engagement while helping your child cultivate essential skills. 

Gaiam Kids balance exercise Stability Yoga Ball Kids Alternative Flexible Seating for Active Children in Home or Classroom
Perfect for sitting, playing, or improving stability and balance through exercise, this child size balance ball is an essential for active, high-energy kids as it reduces restlessness and fidgeting while promoting a healthy posture and getting the 'wiggles out'. 
When used as a seat or desk chair. The exercise ball promotes constant movement that increases blood flow to the brain, leading to better focus and concentration in class or at home. 

Children with Sensory Processing Disorder are hyposensitive and hypersensitive. A sensory seeker is hyposensitive, and an avoider is hypersensitive. A seeker may enjoy an electric toothbrush while an avoider may want a really soft bristle toothbrush when brushing their teeth. Most children who have SPD are sensitive to the taste of toothpaste and will want non-flavored toothpaste
Let your child choose a flavor toothpaste or the type of brush they would like to try. Each child is different. You may need to try different sizes, different bristles, different flavors, no flavor, or different colors. 
This unflavored toothpaste was initially developed as a result of autistic children who have sensory challenges with taste. 

Ark's Tran-Quill Vibrating Pencil (1 Z-Vibe® Handle with Pencil Tip attachment) This ultimate sensory tool to work on handwriting skills! ARK's Tran-Quill™ Vibrating Pencil has a smooth, gentle vibration that provides sensory input to the hand without affecting the actual writing/drawing. The vibration, texture, and weight of the handle can help increase focus and concentration, improve rote muscle memory, normalize writing speed, increase hand strength and dexterity, and decrease the grip force used to hold the crayon.
Perfect for homework, note-taking, and more. Highly recommended for individuals with sensory integration issues and/or poor fine motor control.

Weighted vests and pressure are great for proprioceptive sensory input and calming when your child is on the go.

The deep pressure sensory input from weighted vests and pressure vests can give a child’s body the pressure they crave.

Deep touch pressure can reduce anxiety, improve attention, decrease hyperactivity, improve body awareness and assist with self-regulation.

Wearing a pressure vest or a weighted vest feels like wearing a gentle hug.

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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