Moms Expertise

7 year old tantrums or Sensory Processing Disorder

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Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. The condition used to be called sensory integration dysfunction. Some people with sensory processing disorder are oversensitive to things in their environment.

When Away from Home
I suggest carrying a portable sensory toolkit for situations that may be stressful. Depending on an individual’s unique sensitivities, some items in the kit may include:


2.Baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat
Ice-cold water bottle with a sport cap for sucking (or an ice-cold juice box with a straw)

3.Chewy snack, such as beef jerky, raisins or granola bar

4.Hand lotion or lip balm

5.A piece of soft fabric such as velour for rubbing on hands, or a stuffed animal

6.Squeeze ball or koosh ball
Soundproof headphones (we bought ours for $10 in the gun section at Wal-Mart)

7.Change of clothes (a long-sleeved t-shirt or sweatshirt and long sweatpants may be needed for tactile input)

8.Carrier for child under 40 pounds such as Ergo or Beco carriers (ergonomically designed to distribute child’s weight to parent’s hips – my 4 year old says it feels like a big hug from me every time he rides in it)

At Home When my son has a sensory, usually at the end of a busy day, I bring out the heavy artillery:


2.Body Sock

3.Silly putty, play dough or play slime

4.Weighted blanket (ours is 8 pounds with a soft flannel backing) or vest

5.Heating pad (very calming when placed on the back of the neck)

6.Back rub or massage seat
Ear, hand or foot massage
Rocking chair, swing, slide or climbing structure.

7.Handheld massage ball
Wooden foot massager (we keep ours under the dining room table to encourage sitting during dinner)
Giant exercise ball for sitting and bouncing.

8.A favorite video or song (works best for under-sensitive people – I recommend the video Biocursion for its abstract images and music)
Lavender essential oil or chamomile essential oil (one drop behind the ears)

9.Chamomile tea (I mix in a drop of honey for my son)
Massage jet for the bathtub ( Pick one up on Amazon.com)

10.Deep hugs or sandwiching between two body pillows

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7 year old tantrums or Sensory Processing Disorder
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