Mental Health and Calming Rooms
There is so much more to the world of ‘Sensory’ than people may originally think. A ‘Sensory Room’ is an...Read article
A Sensory Processing Disorder is a mental condition that affects how your brain receives signals from your senses.
People with sensory processing disorders may find themselves oversensitive to sights, sounds, textures, flavours, and other sensory inputs, making everyday experiences overwhelming. They might even lead to a Sensory Overload when their brain feels overstimulated by the sensory information around them.
Sensory Overloads are not too dissimilar to an anxiety attack. If you’re experiencing a sensory overload, it’s best to take yourself to a quiet, calm area, so your senses can balance out and restabilise.
Sensory processing disorders affect children and adults alike and negatively influence their social, personal, and professional lives.
Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to manage your sensory processing disorder. Carry on reading to find out.
Are you Hypersensitive or Hyposensitive?
Hypersensitive people are likely to have an extreme response to sensory inputs that pass by neurotypical people, whether that’s noticing sounds that other people may not; reacting negatively to being touched, even by people that they know; or excessively worrying about their safety in large crowds.
Hyposensitive people lack sensitivity to their surroundings. Because of this, they can be very active, constantly on the move to seek sensory stimulation; they might feel a need to touch their surroundings, including people, which can sometimes come across as inappropriate to others. Hyposensitive people can also have issues with personal space and come across as a little clumsy and uncoordinated.
Maybe you’re both.
Some people with sensory processing issues show signs of both hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity and can behave in one or both of the following ways:
People with sensory processing issues have difficulty processing sensory information, which can quickly become frustrating and confusing. It can be a struggle to adjust to new surroundings, prompting feelings of stress and anxiety; because of this, it can take longer for people with sensory processing issues to settle into new activities or situations.
Those who are under-sensitive may avoid touching and handling objects, which can consequently impact their motor skills development.
Over-sensitive people can have difficulty socialising if they feel anxious or irritable around other people. Whilst under-sensitive people may be too rough or full-on with others, making others feel uncomfortable and could, unfortunately, lead that person to be excluded from school.
Poor self-control is another issue a person may face when they feel overstimulated or anxious; they may have trouble controlling their impulses, leading to random outbursts of behaviour, like running off or throwing something.
Helping somebody with a sensory processing disorder is no easy task. It’s not something that can be controlled, managed, or changed; it needs to be supported.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can support someone with a sensory processing disorder to help make them and their life easier. Here are a few ideas to try and help: