What is Sensory Processing?
All of us are constantly experiencing sensory processing. Our senses receive key information from our environment, such as noises, scents and light, and this is then organized by our brain to help us effectively navigate our world.
We all sit, as Lemon Lime Adventures so aptly puts it, on a spectrum. Most people are able to block out background noise and concentrate effectively on everyday tasks, however some adults and children may be understimulated or overstimulated by their environment. This is known as a sensory processing disorder.
Some common symptoms of sensory processing include:
- Struggling to adjust to loud or bright rooms
- Bumping/hitting hard surfaces and rougher play than others
- Having an unusual lack of balance
- Feeling the constant need to touch, rub or stroke people
- Fidgeting regularly
- Having a high pain tolerance
Please note that these are only some of the symptoms associated with the disorder, and these may also be indicative of other conditions. Visit The STAR Institute for a full list of symptoms and contact a medical professional for more advice.
Sensory Processing Activities
For people with a type of sensory processing disorder, it can be much more difficult to perform everyday tasks. They may be prone to bumping into things, or appear withdrawn due to a lack of sensory input.
However, another person may be over-responsive and react too quickly to environments and situations that many would find manageable. In order to help people effectively cope with the different challenges that they face as individuals, it is important to provide tailored, enjoyable sensory processing activities for them to participate in.
- Regular sessions in a sensory environment
Creating an immersive, tailored sensory room can really help an individual to engage in positive interactions with their environment. Using a combination of cutting-edge research and our team’s expertise, we are able to create an experience suited to the requirements of a home, school, hospital, assisted living community or other facility. Learn more about the benefits of sensory environments.
- Household chores
Getting involved in household chores can be great for alleviating the symptoms of sensory processing disorders. Let them help with the groceries or carry the shopping bags, as this will encourage more muscle use. Heavier work can help individuals to feel more centered, and it will encourage their processing to become organized before they require more sensory input.
By performing these safe and controlled sensory processing activities, the person may then feel less inclined to participate in unsafe actions like running into objects.
Swimming can be a fun and effective way to receive much-needed sensory input. Not only is it an important life skill, it also uses a lot of muscles at once and it can be a safe and independent activity for them to enjoy. To encourage engagement, consider incorporating visual effects into swimming pools with Projectors and Panoramic Rotators.
It should be noted that not everyone will enjoy swimming- the smell of the chlorinated water can be overpowering for some, and pool sides are often filled with noises.
Baking is a great way to spend time together, and it provides a variation of movements, tastes and textures to experience. Incorporate different activities, such as kneading dough and stirring cake mixture to engage muscles, and use distinctive flavors and scents for a multisensory experience.
- Sensory soft play
There are many benefits of sensory soft play, and it can really encourage users to interact with their environment. By bringing users into a space with soft walls and padded floors, they can explore and build confidence without the risk of injury.
For more expert information and advice on sensory processing equipment, contact our experienced team today at 1-800-882-4045.