Sensory Processing Disorder: Summer Challenges

Summer is here! But with it comes quite a few challenges for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Today, we’re looking at SPD summertime challenges and how you can manage them to help make this the best summer ever!


What is SPD?

SPD stands for Sensory Processing Disorder. Children and adults with this disorder have difficulty processing sensory stimuli, including things they see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. Each season presents its own unique challenges for individuals with SPD, so your family’s strategies and goals might shift slightly with each new season.



It’s important to note that it’s not just children with SPD who have difficulty with certain aspects of summer. Children with autism, ADHD, and other sensory issues might have the very same problems with the taste, feel, sounds, smells, and sights of summer. The following tips and suggestions can apply to any child struggling to cope with the summer months' crowds, excitement, and unique circumstances. 

Summertime Challenges for Kids With SPD


Summertime is an exciting season for kids and adults alike. The weather is excellent, there’s more quality family time, and there are many options for exciting events and gatherings. There are also several holidays and opportunities to grill, celebrate, and watch fireworks.


But summer presents quite a few challenges for children with SPD:

  • A disruption to the familiar routine
  • Increased temperatures and sometimes intense heat
  • More celebrations and get-togethers with more neighborhood noise
  • More visits from family and friends–a disruption to the home environment
  • Vacations that involve unfamiliar environments
  • Possibly more daytime activities than usual, especially if on vacation
  • New bedtime routines now that school is out
  • Long periods in the car or plane when traveling

It can be frustrating to realize the very things intended for fun and enjoyment can also be a source of anxiety and discomfort for your child. Luckily, you can take steps to help children cope with summertime and all its potential stressors.

Tips for Enjoying Summer With SPD


Summer crowds, noises, and unpredictability can be a lot for a child with SPD. It’s not hard to understand how they might feel inundated by the surge in new activities, people, smells, and sounds. Fortunately, you can empower your child to enjoy the summer months with these easy, accessible tips.

  1. Pace yourself - Summer presents many opportunities for exciting new outings and events. But sometimes, we plan too much for ourselves, and our kids, in one day. Remember, you don’t have to have something planned every hour of your vacation. You might enjoy your downtime the most! Pacing yourself will go a long way to help your child enjoy themselves.|

  2. Keep the routines you can - Summertime can involve new places, new faces, and new bedtimes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with some of your previous routines! For example, you can keep the same bath routine, the same bedtime routine, the same mealtimes, etc. Consistency makes everything more bearable.

  3. Talk it through - Never underestimate the power of communication! Before you head out for your event, celebration, or vacation, sit down to talk it through. Your child might have questions, and your answers can help put them at ease. Help them know what to expect, what they can look forward to, and why you think this adventure might be the best one yet!

  4. Make a self-regulation tote - Create a bag, tote, or backpack full of items to help your child self-regulate. This is a super fun exercise, and your child will probably be eager to contribute! Include items like healthy snacks, ear coverings or earbudsa weighted lap pada fidget toy, etc. 

CONCLUSION: SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER SUMMER CHALLENGES


Summer can get a little hectic! Kids with SPD can be intimidated by unfamiliar routines and general unpredictability. But you can help them make the most of summertime by holding onto some sacred habits, pacing family activities, and building the best self-regulation backpack ever.


The Sensory Scout community is a place where parents from all over the world can get together to share stories, access exclusive discounts on sensory products, and support one another with encouragement and hope. Join our Facebook Group today to connect with others, explore blogs, and more.

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