sensory overload
Autism | Occupational Therapy

5 effective products for sensory overload

Children with sensory overload will display signs that will let you know that they are not regulated, even if they are not able to tell you themselves. These signs can consist of changes in mood to changes in muscle tone.

You will notice constant fidgeting, restlessness, or that they can not stay focused on a single task. Children with sensory overload may avoid touching others or being touched by others. They can sometimes become so frustrated that they shut down when they can not control their emotions.

Some children will appear confused or display decreased or increased muscle tone. With all the tell-tell signs listed, I wanted to provide you with a few products that I have personally used with my students to help regulate sensory overload.

It is also important to know that catching these signs early will not only help your child self regulate, but can prevent further escalation of suffering from sensory overload.

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links to purchase something at no additional cost to you.

What is sensory overload?

Sensory overload is a result of a child being over-stimulated by their environment. The cause for most children can include the child being stressed, having anxiety, or even fatigue. Sensory overload can also be caused by a reaction from the child’s senses, such as a smell in the room, excessively loud noise, or bright lights.

When a child is experiencing sensory overload, they are having a hard time managing the input from their senses. They are getting so many messages from their senses that their brains can not keep up to process it all. Sensory overload often leaves children feeling overwhelmed, and if left untreated can result in meltdowns in children.

See also  Prewriting Skills: Valuable tips to improve handwriting

So, I’ve listed five products that I use the most in the Occupational therapy (OT) room to manage, reduce, or prevent sensory overload.

Sensory sox

Children love these stretchy body socks! They are perfect for children with sensory processing disorders, autism, and ADHD. Sensory socks provide the ultimate full-body sensory experience, providing children with deep pressure through their joints.

The body sock offers many benefits to children outside of being just fun. They help to improve body awareness, balance, spatial awareness, and motor planning. Sensory sox provide a sense of calm within your child while releasing stress during playtime.

If you are looking for a fun way to manage sensory regulation, you can purchase a sensory sox here.

Sensory swing

Therapy swings are very beneficial for children with sensory processing disorders. Swinging benefits both children who are sensory seeking and those who are overloaded with sensory input. Swings provide vestibular and proprioceptive while providing children with a calming experience.

What’s fascinating about sensory swings is that they help improve balance, motor skills, bilateral coordination, and increase body strength during play. If you are looking for a fun way to keep your child engaged while improving gross and fine motor skills, look no further.

You can purchase your therapy swing here.

5 effective products for sensory overload
5 effective products for sensory overload

Sensory peapod

These provide the perfect place for your child to relax while getting relief from sensory overload. Peapods are comfortable, and children love hanging out in them. I have a student who loves to pretend he is in a pirate ship rocking his way to shore!

They provide your child with a hug like calming relief while inside of the peapod. While playing, children are receiving the right amount of sensory input they need via deep touch pressure. Peapods also provide vestibular input when your child rocks the boat. The Vestibular input helps to improve body awareness so that your child knows where they are compared to other items near them.

See also  Stimming in autism: Stopping the behavior is Pointless

These cozy little boats are perfect additions to any sensory room that will keep your kids entertained for hours! If you are looking for something that will provide the right amount of sensory input that your child needs daily, I think you should give this a try. I am positive your child would love it!

You can purchase this fun, cozy boat here.

Weighted vest

A weighted vest is a perfect way for your child to get the needed sensory input on the go. They are used to help support children with ADHD, autism, and sensory processing disorders.

The benefits of wearing a weighted vest include increasing body awareness, improving attention, and focus. Vests help to improve fine motor skills and trunk stability, along with many other benefits you can read here. The weighted vest also helps prevent meltdowns through proprioceptive input, which helps to reduce sensory overload.

Vests are purchased based on your child’s size and age to ensure they are received the appropriate amount of sensory input. Wearing a weighted vest also comes with a wear schedule. The most your child should wear the vest is 15 to 60 minutes before taking it off and allow 30-60 minutes before putting it back on.

Your Occupational Therapist can also recommend a wear schedule for you based on your child’s individual needs. The vest is most beneficial when worn for an entire activity uninterrupted.

If this sounds like something that will benefit your child, you can purchase your weighted vest here.

Seat cushion

If you have a wiggly child, seat cushions work like a charm! Seat cushions are a perfect solution for children who can not stay in their seats!

They help provide sensory input to help your child stay focused while in class or for a seated activity. Children with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, or autism can benefit from a seat cushion. The cushions improve energy levels while strengthening the core muscles that children need to sit upright for long periods.

See also  13 easy activities to improve hand grip in kids

Strengthening core muscles has many benefits in itself. A strong core allows children to improve their posture and increase their ability to sit for long periods at a time.

Having improved posture with the ability to sit longer helps to increase their fine motor skills. Improved fine motor skills allow them to produce better handwriting. Having a strong core will also allow them to participate easier in gross motor activities.

If this is something that may benefit your child, you can purchase a seat cushion here.

Conclusion

Sensory overload is something that we want to avoid and can be avoided with the right products. The products that I mentioned above have been used in my sessions and really help my students by providing them with the right amount of sensory input needed to function throughout the school day.

The products listed above are fun for the students. They give the children additional benefits such as increased focus, attention to tasks, and improved body awareness.

Utilizing these products within an individualized sensory diet can ensure that your child will get the appropriate amount of sensory input needed daily.

If you’ve found this post helpful, please use the share icons and pass it along to someone that may benefit from it. Thanks!

sensory overload

About the author

Erika is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant working in an elementary school setting. She wanted to create a blog and podcast that shows all sides of school-based learning. Her #1 focus is on providing parents of children with learning disabilities with relevant information in hopes of making each day a little more functional. So if you are interested in more content like this, please sign up below.

Similar Posts

44 Comments

  1. These are greats tips and ideas! I love that you focused this around kids because I feel as though it’s harder to recognize sensory overload, among other things, in kids when they don’t yet know how to communicate it to us! and a lot of parents struggle with understanding how to help. Great post!

    1. Thank you! I am happy that I was able to help. I know as a therapist it is hard for me at times when the child is unable to communicate especially when I am just getting to know them. But as I get to know the them better and watch for the “signs” I can help them regulate themselves. Just from everyday sessions, I found that kids enjoy these 5 products the most and that they are very effective in doing what they are designed to do. Thanks for reading!

  2. These seem like some amazing tips, I didn’t even know any of these existed for those suffering from sensory overload.

    When my anxiety disorders used to trigger daily psychosis, I noticed a few times where I maintained it at a manageable level that it felt like my senses were becoming overloaded, then when it got out of hand my senses would hallucinate. I hope these children who suffer with sensory overload don’t also hallucinate like I would

    1. Thank you! Fortunately I have not personally experienced any of my student suffering from hallucinations, but I do believe that they are possible if they experience sensory overload for a long period of time (untreated) and as a side effect of some of the medications that some may take to treat certain conditions.

  3. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have learn this put up and if I may I desire to counsel you few attention-grabbing
    issues or advice. Maybe you can write next articles relating to this article.
    I desire to learn even more things about it! Does your blog have a contact page?
    I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over
    time. Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I
    will revisit yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to
    change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.
    http://nissan.com

    My site … Jim

  4. What’s up, I log on to your blog regularly.

    Your writing style is witty, keep it up! Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme
    of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal.
    I must say that you’ve done a great job with this. In addition, the blog loads very fast for me
    on Opera. Excellent Blog! I’ve been browsing on-line more than three hours as of late, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.

    It’s beautiful worth enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters
    and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will probably be much more helpful than ever before.
    http://newground.com

    my web-site Jack

    1. Hey Jack! Thank you for your continued support! I truly appreciate your kind and motivating words as a new blogger and love your feedback. If there is anything that you are wanting to know more about or simply discuss, please feel free to email me at info@thevirtualbell.com. Thank you!

  5. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful
    information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  6. Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would
    be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  7. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too great.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible.
    I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a
    tremendous site. asmr 0mniartist

  8. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired!
    Very useful info specially the last part 🙂 I handle such info much.
    I was looking for this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck. asmr 0mniartist

  9. You could certainly see your skills in the work you write.

    The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe.

    All the time follow your heart. 0mniartist asmr

  10. Hey There. I found your blog the use of msn. This is
    a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra
    of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  11. Right away I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.

  12. Excellent pieces. Keep writing such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hey there, You have performed an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and in my opinion recommend to my friends.
    I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *