What is a Sensory Defensive to Do in an Overstimulating World?

too loud too bright

Do clothing labels bother your child so much that you have to remove them? Does your child find many different foods repulsive? Do loud, sudden, or piercing sounds startle your child? Does your child beg for sunglasses even on a cloudy day? Does your child panic when he has to go down an escalator or […]

6 Tips to Help with Gagging and Sound Irritation

Gagging and Sound Irritation

Does your child cover their ears and yell when they hear someone chewing food? Do they react to the sound of coughing and sneezing? Does your child gag when they watch people eat?  Are they able to chew and swallow food without retching? There are two sets of symptoms to describe gagging and sound irritation. The latter […]

Vacations and Tips for Traveling with Your Sensitive Child

Sensory Travel Kids

In Traveling with a Sensory Seeking Child we explored strategies to support your child on vacation if he or she is a sensory seeker, but what if your child is sensitive, more of a sensory avoider. Some children have nervous systems that are easily overwhelmed. They may demonstrate sensory defensiveness and/or poor sensory regulation/modulation. As […]

Sensory Integration Experiences through Art

Too Much Glue

Art can be a great way for kids with special isms to get sensory experiences they crave and enjoy.   It can also be a good place for children with sensory integration challenges to be introduced to new materials and develop a stronger tolerance for various materials. Ideas For Kids Who Love Sensory Experiences Tape  Some […]

4 Steps to Discovering Happiness with a Sensory-Defensive Child

sensory defensive

Suppose that you are in my class and I am sharing some vital information with you. Now, also suppose that I have dropped a spider down the back of your shirt, where he is to remain for the next hour. I assure you that he is not poisonous and that you should just ignore him. […]

Identify Your Child’s Sensory Needs


If you think your child has possible sensory issues or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), then you need to get your pediatrician to refer you to an Occupational Therapist (OT)–preferably an outpatient/clinic based therapist that is qualified in Sensory Integration therapy. That therapist can give you (the parent/caregiver) a questionnaire to fill out to gather information […]

Recognising Sensory Overload


Last week, I went to pick up some Chinese food at our local Chinese restaurant. While I was there, I noticed a little girl, probably aged about six, standing next to the lobster tanks near the door. She had her eyes tightly closed, her teeth were clenched and her hands were covering her ears. I […]

Helping Teens Help Themselves: Five Tips for Sensory Success


During my years as a school-based occupational therapist, I consistently observed the following: younger kids, like preschoolers through third-graders, love coming to O.T. Often their peers will ask me why they don’t “get to go” to O.T. and the kids on my caseload feel special to be receiving this extra attention. As they get a […]

Sensory AND Behavior: Addressing Difficult Behaviors from Both Perspectives


A seven year-old who insists on wearing the same outfit everyday. A five year-old boy who frequently hits and kicks his parents during hair and teeth-brushing. A tween with autism who becomes aggressive during transitions at school. Should these actions be treated as sensory problems or as behavioral issues? Sensory or Behavioral? My answer to […]

BrainWorks Special Showcase: An Unparalleled Sensory Diet Tool

Brain Works Exercise Band

As a parent of a child with sensory issues, I have spent the past few years pouring through books, websites and recommendations for a simple at-home system that our family can use to consistently empower our son to select appropriate activities to regulate his sensory system.  While my research has led me to discovering a […]

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