I found this great resource for parents - The Coffee Klatch (thecoffeeklatch.com, on twitter @thecoffeeklatch). They have a lot of videos/audio clips with world renowned experts talking about issues related to raising kids with special needs. Some are short and others are over an hour, and cover a variety of topics. I was drawn to this particular audio clip about sensory over-responders because, not only do I work with some kids who have these difficulties, but my son is also sensitive and tends to over respond to stimuli. I found it helpful professionally and personally. This clip is only about 15 minutes long and lists some helpful suggestions for managing a child who over responds to sensory input. Here are some highlights:
Not everything bothers a child who struggles with this, some might be sensitive to sound or touch or taste, but just because they are sensitive in one area doesn’t mean they’ll be sensitive in others
Have a noise sensitive child use earmuffs
Rhythmic rocking or gentle rocking on an exercise ball might be soothing (I want to try this one with my son!)
Prep them in advance if you know it will be something that will cause some distress
Help your child recognize what’s happening and problem solve the issue together - they might come up with a way to solve it that you never thought of
It’s okay to take a break! If it’s too loud or too crowded, give yourself permission to leave for a few minutes. This is exactly what happened on my son’s first day visiting preschool!