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Exploring Sensory Integration Struggles: Checklists and Resources

Some children who appear to have great difficulty focusing and attending to tasks are actually struggling with sensory integration. Their sensory system sends errant signals—for example, their nerve endings shout “Pain!” when the tag on their shirt touches their skin. Or they cover their ears when they hear unexpected sounds because their sensory system tells them that the noises are too loud.

These children are bombarded and overwhelmed by their inner environments, which can make learning much harder for them. If your child exhibits a number of symptoms in the checklist below, then check out the resources at the end of the post for creative ways to help your child succeed at (and enjoy) learning!

Do any of these sound like my child?

Difficulty with auditory integration:

  • Sensitive to loud noises
  • Struggles with language skills
  • Dislikes being in groups to the point of avoiding most group situations
  • Struggles with transitions and changes of any kind

Difficulty with taste/food texture integration:

  • Bothered by certain food textures, such as lumps in yogurt
  • Won’t eat meat
  • Is a very selective eater, preferring mostly carbohydrates
  • Dislikes it when food on the same plate touches

Difficulty with touch integration:

  • Finds clothing tags an irritant
  • Dislikes non-soft clothing, such as jeans
  • Must have sock seams “just right”
  • Grinds teeth
  • Walks on their toes for extended periods of time
  • Dislikes their hair being touched, combed, washed, or cut
  • Strongly dislikes doctor visits

If you think your child might have a sensory integration challenge, check out the following resources suggested by HSLDA’s educational consultants.

Resources to help your child with sensory integration struggles

  • If you suspect your child is struggling with sensory integration difficulties, it’s a great idea to talk with your family medical provider and make an appointment to see a pediatric occupational therapist (OT).
  • You can learn more about your child’s struggles and find lots of practical exercises, activities, and other resources here:
  • Dianne Craft’s Brain Integration Therapy Program equips parents to use daily exercises along with once-a-week brain training sessions to make permanent connections between the two sides of the brain and correct processing issues (home based and parent administered).
  • Brain training with music—here are a few options to get you started:
  • Nutritional therapy—integrative medical doctors and nutritionists may be able to connect you with helpful resources.
  • Chiropractic treatment may be helpful on an individual basis.

Would you like specific guidance in helping your child with a learning struggle? The Educational Consultants are here for you! HSLDA members can call or email us, and we will respond personally. (Not a member? You can join today!)