One of the number one questions I get weekly is:
“How can I support one child’s sensory needs when it is dysregulating to another family member?”
And this is a fair question.
There are 6 of us in my house and inevitably when you get a group of people together, there are going to be differences.
My number one tip is to know your needs and know their needs.
There are 2 sensory thresholds: a high threshold (needs more input to meet their needs) and a low threshold (needs less input).
And it’s important to know who has a high threshold and who has a low threshold.
If you want a refresher on sensory thresholds and the different sensory patterns - check out this episode we did on the Sensation Patterns: Sensation Patterns Live Show
Once you know who has a high threshold, and who has a low threshold, you can begin to set up your day so everyone gets their needs met.
Here are 4 Strategies for Surviving Sensory Differences Under One Roof:
1. Space - Give everyone their own space (not necessarily room) that provides them access to their optimal environment.
Example - someone with a low threshold may prefer to be in a quiet room vs a high threshold may need to be outside more during the day.
2. Schedule - Don’t expect everyone to always be on the same schedule or do everything at the same time. Try and let your kids set their own schedule on what works best for them.
Example - at bathtime one child may prefer to be alone while another may want someone with them.
3. Strategies - Decide what sensory strategies will work best for each person to help them regulate.
Example - those with a low threshold may like cuddles, which is very calming; whereas a child with a high threshold may prefer tickles which are more alerting.
4. Self-Advocacy - teach your family members about their needs so they can advocate for what they want. Don’t always rush in to “save” your kids.
Example - be a play monitor, not a play director. Model phrases like “I don’t like that” or “I want more” and give your kids the opportunity to advocate for themselves.
To hear more about how we can survive with multiple sensory differences under one roof, make sure you check out our Making the Shift Live Show. Making the Shift Episode 55.