Are you tired of constant sibling spats and family blowouts?
Do you wish there was a way to create a more peaceful and harmonious home environment? Look no further – create a sensory processing profile for each family member identifying what rubs each of you up the wrong way!
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of creating sensory processing profiles for your family and provide tips on how to get started.
Say goodbye to sibling spats and hello to a more peaceful home!
Sensory Processing: An Overview
According to recent research, sensory processing can be defined as the neurology of how we feel (1). It involves receiving information through the body’s various senses, organising it, and using it to make sense of and interact with our environment.
This process is crucial for daily functioning and can impact various aspects of life, including social interactions, academic performance, workplace wellness and overall well-being. By gaining a better understanding of sensory processing, individuals can improve their ability to navigate the relationships around them and optimise their sensory experiences.
By understanding each family members unique sensory preferences and sensitivities, you can proactively address potential triggers for meltdowns or tantrums and develop strategies to prevent them.
The 8 Senses
Most people are familiar with the five senses, However, there are three lesser-known senses that also play a crucial role in sensory processing:
- Vestibular: This sense is located in the inner ear and helps us maintain balance and posture.
- Proprioception: Also known as body awareness, this sense helps us understand where our body parts are in relation to each other without having to look at them.
- Interoception: This sense allows us to perceive what’s going on inside our bodies, including things like heart rate, hunger, thirst, and emotions.
Adults and children with sensory processing issues may struggle with one or more of these senses. For example, they may be oversensitive to certain sounds or textures or have difficulty maintaining their balance.
To help identify if you or a loved one struggles with sensory processing issues, it’s important to understand and be aware of how this can impact daily life.
To support each other, I recommend creating your sensory processing profile as an individual and then sharing and exploring with your family or couple their sensory processing profile. This helps identify unique needs and preferences when it comes to sensory input. It can also help identify what you need from your work or study environment.
By creating a sensory-friendly environment and providing appropriate input, we can all improve our ability to regulate responses to different stimuli.
Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a neurological condition that affects the way the brain processes information from the senses. It can impact any of the eight senses, including touch, taste, smell, sight, sound, proprioception (the sense of body position), vestibular (the sense of balance), and interoception (the sense of internal bodily sensations).
Here are 5 key points to help you understand SPD and its impact on the brain’s ability to receive, organise Creating a sensory profile is an important step in understanding Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and the impact it can have on relationships.
- SPD can cause hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to sensory input: People with SPD may be oversensitive or undersensitive to certain sensory stimuli. For example, they may be bothered by loud noises or certain textures of food.
- SPD can affect relationships: Individuals with SPD may struggle with social interactions due to their sensitivity to sensory input. They may avoid physical contact or have difficulty reading social cues.
- SPD can impact daily life: Sensory processing difficulties can make everyday activities challenging. For example, someone with SPD may struggle with getting dressed due to discomfort with certain fabrics.
- There are different types of SPD: There are three subtypes of SPD – sensory modulation disorder, sensory-based motor disorder, and sensory discrimination disorder – each impacting different aspects of sensory processing.
- Early intervention is important: Early identification and intervention for SPD can lead to better outcomes for individuals with this condition.
Creating Your Sensory Processing Profile
By creating this type of profile, you can gain insight into how your senses interact with each other and how they may be impacting your daily life. This information can help you and your family to identify areas of difficulty, as well as strategies for managing these challenges more effectively.
Additionally, having a better understanding of one’s own sensory needs helps foster healthier relationships by allowing all parties to become aware of potential issues that could arise due to SPD-related differences in perception or communication style.
Ultimately, gaining insight into SPD through creating a sensory profile allows for greater self-awareness and improved communication between partners, family members, and even work colleagues – which are essential components for any successful relationship.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have SPD, it maybe beneficial to seek out professional evaluation and support from occupational therapists who specialise in treating this condition.
Start with the following four questions to build a sensory profile:
1. What are your/child/partner’s strengths?
It’s important to identify your/ families /child’s strengths and interests. As parents this can help you provide the necessary support and encouragement to cultivate their passions. Consider if your child enjoys spending time outdoors, engaging in imaginative play, or listening to music as examples of their interests. Knowing these preferences can help you create an environment that fosters their growth and development.
2. What contributes to dysregulation for each of you?
Understanding what activates emotional dysregulation and identifying effective soothing techniques is crucial for every family member. It’s essential to keep in mind that each person has a unique sensory profile map. Being aware of these differences can improve communication within the family.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you become agitated or anxious in crowded environments?
- Are you uncomfortable with physical touch, or do you seek it out frequently?
- Do you have trouble adjusting to sudden changes in lighting, such as going from a dark room to a bright one?
- Do you complain about the texture of certain foods or clothing materials?
- Do you find it challenging to concentrate on tasks that require sitting still for long periods?
- Do you repeatedly engage in repetitive behaviors, such as tapping your foot or clicking a pen
- Are unexpected schedule changes difficult for you to manage?
- Do cluttered visual stimuli cause you distress or discomfort?
- Do you prefer certain textures or consistencies in your food and drinks over others?
- Do you feel drained after socialising either in person or on the phone or via zoom? Or participate in group activities for an extended period?
3. Are you looking for ways to improve your or your family’s sensory experience?
Look no further than these alternative sensory toys and equipment.
- Experiment with different types of sensory tools and equipment, such as weighted blankets, compression vests, or stress balls.
- Encourage physical activity through swimming lessons, bike riding, or trampoline play.
- Use natural lighting sources like windows and skylights to create a soothing atmosphere in your home.
- Offer a variety of food textures and flavors to expand your child’s palate while also accommodating their sensory needs.
- Be conscious of clothing material and fit. If you have children allow your child to choose their own clothing and accessories within certain parameters that meet their sensory needs (e.g. soft fabrics, loose-fitting clothes).
- Develop a consistent daily routine that includes regular breaks for rest and relaxation.
- Use visual aids like picture schedules or checklists to help your family understand expectations and manage transitions.
- Work with your child’s school to implement sensory-friendly strategies in the classroom, such as noise-canceling headphones or fidget toys.
- Join support groups or recreational programs specifically designed for children with similar sensory needs.
- Create a designated space in your home or garden for calming activities like reading, drawing, listening to music, or just chillaxing. If need be – create a booking schedule or some general do’s and don’ts for the space so each family member’s personal time is not accidentally invaded.
- Brain Music: This type of music is specifically designed to stimulate different areas of the brain through sound frequencies that correspond with different brainwave states. It can help promote relaxation or alertness depending on the desired effect.
Reducing Sibling Spats
Helping your kids create their sensory processing profile can have numerous benefits, including reducing sibling spats. By understanding each child’s unique sensory preferences and sensitivities, you can create a more harmonious environment that meets everyone’s needs.
For example, if one child is sensitive to loud noises while the other thrives in a noisy environment, you can find ways to provide both children with what they need without causing conflict. Additionally, creating a sensory processing profile for each child can help you identify potential triggers for meltdowns or tantrums and develop strategies to prevent or manage them.
By taking a proactive approach to sensory needs, you can reduce stress and anxiety for everyone in the family and promote a more peaceful home environment. So don’t hesitate – start working on your kids’ sensory processing profiles today!
Celebrate uniqueness & raise awareness.
Remember that every family is unique, and each member may respond differently to various types of sensory input. It’s essential to experiment with different options until you find what works best for your family members. This way, you can ensure that everyone’s needs are met and that they feel comfortable and at ease in their environment. Don’t be afraid to try new things and see what resonates with each family member – you might be surprised at what works best for them
A Sensory Processing Profile Compatability Party
By exploring your unique sensory processing profile you will be better equipped to understand your and your family’s sensory needs.
Once you have all completed your profiles – a small celebration can be a fun way as you compare your profiles with each other. You’ll gain valuable insights into your and your family’s sensory preferences and sensitivities, allowing you to make informed decisions about the types of environments, activities, and equipment that work best for you as an individual.
With a deeper understanding of your and your family’s sensory processing profile, you can improve your overall well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, and achieve greater success in all areas of life as well as improve communication with those that matter to you. If you are a parent or caregiver you are supporting them develop these skills and tools which they can take into adulthood.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to unlock your full potential – start creating your sensory processing profile today.
Support Organisations for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological condition that affects the way the brain processes sensory information. It can cause difficulties with everyday activities and impact social, emotional, and academic development. Finding support from organizations can be helpful for individuals with SPD and their families. Here are some support organizations in the UK and USA:
Reference: (1) Miller LJ. Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder. New York: Penguin Group; 2006.