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Sensory Processing Symptoms for Teens

Children with sensory differences ... painting the world beautiful.  

Sensory Processing Symptoms for Teens

Jeanette Loftus 

two teens who have sensory processing disorder playing basketball Sensory Processing Symptoms for Teens
Teens are often overwhelmed with increased responsibilities, new experiences and overwhelming emotions. A teen with Sensory Processing Disorder will struggle even more with these challenges.
Teens who have sensory processing disorder are constantly trying to understand and cope with their sensory difficulties. It can be a constant struggle for them.
Sensory input may be overwhelming for most teens who struggle with sensory differences and it can cause them to have anxiety. Some teens may be sensitive to different sounds and smells but others may seek out intense sensory input.
An effective sensory strategy for dealing with sensory processing disorder for teenagers would be to create a sensory friendly and calming environment. This can include making changes to their bedroom. It could be helpful t0 reduce clutter, using white noise machine or using some sensory tools like noise-canceling headphones, fidgets or a weighted blanket.
Parents should work with their child's school to create a sensory friendly environment for their teen like providing a quiet space for breaks and including sensory breaks throughout their day. Sensory processing disorder is often associated with younger children but it can also affect teenagers and adults too. This can have a significant impact on someone functioning.
It could be very beneficial for teens to learn new techniques and ways to cope with their sensory differences. Breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques and yoga can help teens regulate their sensory input which will reduce their anxiety or sensory overload. It is so important for a parent to encourage and support them when finding new ways to cope. This can significantly improve their life and ability to cope with sensory difficulties. 
Sensory Calming Activities For Teens
Chewing Gum
Nature Walk
It is so very important for teens who are struggling with sensory differences be surrounded by  supportive professionals, family and friends. It would be beneficial for them to attend support groups, seeing a therapist or connecting with other teens who struggle with sensory processing disorder.  
When teens have a a very good support team around them it can make a significant difference in helping the, cope with their sensory processing disorder, build self-confidence and resilience. 

Teens are going through a lot of physical, cognitive, and emotional changes so sometimes sensory challenges can be overlooked. It is important to be aware of sensory processing disorder symptoms because early intervention can help your teen cope and mange their sensory differences. 

Teens with sensory processing disorder can be very sensitive to the sensory input around them in their environment. They may avoid crowded spaces, social crowded events and noisy environments that can be overwhelming for them. Teens with sensory challenges may struggle to regulate their emotions and have unexpected emotional outbursts. Teens who have challenging sensory symptoms may also have difficulties when falling asleep or staying asleep because of their sensitivity to sensory input.

Sensory processing disorder is different for everyone and not all teenagers will experience the same symptoms. If you notice these symptoms with your teen, it is important to consult with an occupational therapist for an assessment. 
If you suspect that your teen may have sensory processing disorder, here is a basic checklist of some sensory symptoms that you can look out for

- Difficulty in new environments or adjusting to new routines
- Avoidance of different smells, tastes or textures 
- Dislikes for crowded or noisy events and places
- Sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises
- Struggles with fine motor skills or hand-eye coordination
- Difficulty with grooming or hygiene 
- Unusual reactions to touch, overly sensitive to touch or seeking out rough touch
- Difficulty filtering out background noises or sensory input 
- Resistance to changes in routines
- Difficulty with transitions and adapting to new situations
- Avoiding social interactions or difficulty with socializing
- Difficulty expressing emotions or regulating emotional responses
- Sleep disturbances
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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. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!