Before we get into Sensory Defensiveness, it’s a good idea to review Sensory Integration. As discussed in previous blogs, Sensory Integration involves how the human body receives and processes stimuli from its eight senses. If someone’s central nervous system has trouble processing sensory information, that is referred to as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
Signs of Sensory Defensiveness Disorder
Signs of Sensory Defensive Disorder include:
- Fearful or avoidant of movement
- Has a noticeable response to being touched unexpectedly (an emotional OR physical reaction)
- Sensitive to loud noises and responds by covering ears
- Intensely affected/distracted by clothing tags, fabrics, and textures
- Picky eating including a strict diet limiting colors, flavors, textures
- Resistant to everyday grooming like washing, bathing, brushing teeth, clipping nails, brushing hair, etc.
- Experiences sensitivity to light
- Very concerned about getting dirty, particularly hands, face, feet
Your sensitivity to your child’s reactions and preferences is paramount because many people write these symptoms off as someone being “overly sensitive.” For the individual with Sensory Defensiveness, their responses are genuine, and their feelings are valid.
How Can Parents Help With Sensory Defensiveness?
Luckily, there are several ways you can help your child manage Sensory Defensiveness so they can live life to the fullest and enjoy everyday experiences. An Occupational Therapist can help you develop a “sensory diet” that supports your child’s unique needs as they continue developing and growing.
You’ve probably heard that weighted objects can help sensory children with regulation. If you have a child with Sensory Defensiveness, deep pressure touch therapy can help improve symptoms and support positive improvements.
Therapeutic deep pressure activities include:
- Using a weighted blanket
- Bear hugs from a trusted loved one
- Compression garments like weighted vests
- Use of a pressure foam roller or therapy ball
- “Sandwiching” your child between two soft pillows
Sensory Scout offers a wide array of innovative sensory products that provide deep pressure therapy. Our deep pressure therapy products include weighted blankets, Gravity Lap Pads, and Cozy Cocoons to soothe, calm, and support your child’s unique challenges and needs.