Here Are 6 Ways To Help Comfort A Child With Sensory Needs

If you have a child with special sensory needs, you may be at a loss at how to help comfort them.

The room is either too loud or too quiet. The lights are too bright, or not bright enough.

And it may seem like no matter what you do, your child is still upset. But if you try these tips below, you just might find a solution (or two) that actually work.

Having a child with sensory needs may have its challenges, but these 6 tips may help soothe their discomfort:

1. Weighted Blankets:Certain children love pressure and never seem to get enough. While it’s not realistic to hug your child at all hours of the night to give them the pressure they desire, enter in the weighted blanket!

Weighted blankets come in all sizes and materials. Sleeping with one feels like you are literally being hugged, and can comfort a child who is in distress.

You can buy them, or even make them yourself.

Keith Zivalich, who runs a weighted blanket company in California, spoke on the benefits of owning a weighted blanket.

Forbes reported:

“That extra pressure on the body is helpful for kids of all kinds, but particularly for kids with autism and sensory processing disorder,” Zivalich says. The added weight, he says, causes the brain to release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that improve moods and induce a calming effect.”

2. Noise-Canceling Headphones:Noise-canceling headphones can be a mother’s best friend. Some children are so sensitive to loud noises, they often walk around with their hands covering their ears.

But by simply using noise-canceling headphones, your child is free to run around and be around large groups of people – without being bothered by the noise.

Make sure you get the kind that are big enough to cover their ears and are adjustable to fit the size of their head.

Or, instead of buying large headphones for a small child, consider purchasing headphones designed for children who hunt or shoot. Headphones designed to muffle out the loud sounds of gunshots will certainly muffle out everyday noise.

And, they are lightweight too!

3. Preferred Food Textures: If your child is sensitive to food textures, they may only eat one or two things, literally!

All it takes is the wrong shape, texture, smell, or color to set your child off during mealtimes.

But don’t give up. You can work around your child’s food preferences and still ensure they are getting enough healthy vitamins and nutrients.

If your child prefers the thick texture of a liquid, consider making smoothies with kale, spinach, or other leafy greens mixed within.

If they prefer the hearty texture of a casserole, you can easily sneak in carrots, broccoli, or other veggies.

Some children prefer certain condiments such as ranch or ketchup on everything. You can make homemade condiments that are actually healthy (and not full of sugar like most store-bought items) to encourage your child to eat.

You can also try the “first/then” technique such as “First, eat your carrots. Then, you can have your pudding”.

And remember, easy does it! Don’t try to introduce too many new foods at once.

4. Motion Power: Do you remember rocking your little one to sleep? That same back and forth movement works on kids too.

Some children crave movement and will do anything to keep moving. Simply being in a swing outside or a moving hammock may satisfy that need.

If you don’t have one at home, consider taking your child to the park, and utilizing the playground equipment such as the swing set or merry go round.

5. Musical Toys: While some children are sensitive to noise, other children crave it all the time!

Consider investing in a slew of different toys that light up and make sounds. The comforting sound of a familiar rhyme or song might just make all the difference in your child’s world.

Many children crave the repetition and enjoy exploring new toys with different sounds and voices.

6. Quiet Time: Sometimes, your child just might need time alone. If your child gets overstimulated by being around other children or drained from large crowds, they may simply need time alone to regroup.

Designate a quiet area in your home for your child to relax. It could be their bedroom or another quiet area where they are free to lie down and rest.

Give them time alone, and limit distractions or interruptions. You may find out a quick 20 minutes of downtime is all your child needs to rejoin the social gathering again!

Having a child with sensory needs may be a challenge, but if you try the tips listed above, you’re sure to find a solution that works for you.

Experiment with one or all six of the suggestions listed above, and feel free to modify or adjust to match your lifestyle.

You might find a simple fix can improve the quality of life for your child, and bring more peace to your home!

Have you tried any of the items listed above to help soothe your child’s sensory needs?

Are there other items you’d recommend to other parents?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.