Every child with SPD is going to handle a sensory overload differently. This makes sense since the causes can vary, why wouldn’t the outcome?
For ‘J,’ there are so many things that can affect how he reacts to a situation where he’s uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s making a loud noise, other times it’s an actual scream. He could break down crying, get fidgety, act out or sometimes just give me a look where I can see he just needs some reassurance.
Most of the time we can be proactive in situations and deter whatever may affect him. At the very least, we always try to prep him from what he may see, hear or experience in any situation. If you’ve read this blog before, you know he’s huge on routine, so having a heads up to something new is always helpful.
Of course with a scream, people around us (family, friends, strangers) will notice. Being fidgety, acting out or giving us a look can be trickier. We know that he’s uncomfortable and we’re trying to get a handle on it or make it ok while those around us are clueless.
As I’ve talked about before, because SPD isn’t something you can see, people don’t always think through their actions because to them, ‘J’ often appears carefree. Someone we know might invite us to a big party, which is great and usually ends up being fine but we also know that ‘J’ will never be 100% comfortable. Others may play loud music, change up a routine, or try to play around by surprising him. His reaction can definitely run the gamut in these instances from giving a look to an all out meltdown.
When this isn’t a part of someone’s ever day life, it’s not a natural instinct to think through the moves you make. But taking an extra minute to think through actions can make all the difference to someone with sensory sensitivities.