Sensory overload occurs when the body is unable to process, organize, and respond to all the incoming sensory input. Although stress is a part of life and growing up, you need to intervene when you sense that it is undermining your child’s physical or psychological well-being.
Signs of sensory processing overload in children:
- Seems restless, tired, and agitated.
- Makes poor eye contact.
- Grades at school begin to fall, and he has less interest than usual in attending classes and doing homework.
- Sudden paleness or flushed, sweaty, or clammy skin.
- Appears depressed and is uncommunicative about how he feels.
- Covers ears to avoid loud sounds or voices.
- Exhibits antisocial behavior such as lying and stealing, forgets or refuses to do his chores, and seems much more dependent on you than in the past.
- Glazed-over look in the eyes or signs of a possible seizure.
- The child develops physical symptoms like headaches and stomach pains.
Preventing sensory overload:
- Offer regular sensory breaks throughout the day.
- Maintain a predictable schedule and routine.
- Use calming strategies and breathing techniques
SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics
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