Sensory Processing

How To Approach Sensory Processing Disorder

When the brain has trouble taking in information through the senses- sound, touch, sight, etc.-, it is known as sensory processing disorder.

#BetterTogether is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Chances are you know and love someone with sensory processing disorder. While sensory processing difficulties can be a sign of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), all kids and adults with sensory processing disorder do not have ASD.

The Child Mind Institute notes that those who have sensory processing disorder can be hypersensitive or hyposensitive to sensory stimulation (


Hypersensitivity presents itself in different ways. Kids or adults might not tolerate bright lights or loud sirens well. They may complain about or refuse to wear tight or “scratchy” clothing. A surprise touch or hug from a loved one might cause a tantrum or extreme discomfort. They may bump into things or have trouble keeping track of where their body is in regard to others or objects.


Hyposensitivity may cause a person to seek more stimulation. The need to touch people or textures, little awareness of personal space, and having a high tolerance for pain are all signs of hyposensitivity. Additionally, crashing or jumping activities, fidgeting, and the enjoyment of deep pressure (like hugs or weighted blankets) are also signs.

Approaching Sensory Processing Disorder

There are many ways to support people with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

  • An occupational therapist can help your child to process sensory stimulation over time
  • Sensory Integration Therapy is a way for kids and adults to help regulate their brains to sensory stimuli
  • Weight vests or blankets can help people with hyposensitivity
  • A clutter-free, quiet place is helpful for those with hypersensitivity

There are many different tools for parents, family members, teachers, and therapists to use to assist those with sensory processing disorder. Noise-canceling headphones, chairs that encourage movements, and smaller toys that allow fidgeting can all be beneficial. Additionally, Early Intervention is a wonderful service provided by TuscBDD to assist families in child development.

The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (TuscBDD) has resources for children and adults with developmental disabilities. TuscBDD provides Early Intervention for children birth to three years old, Service and Support Administration for people of all ages, family support services, family mentorship, and more! To learn more about these services, visit the TuscBDD website at

Audrey Mattevi

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