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Why Understanding Sensory Processing is Key to Being Neurodiversity Affirming

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Happy Neurodiversity Celebration Week! Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences.

Being neurodiversity affirming means that we view neurological differences as differences and not deficits. Some common differences seen in neurodiverse individuals include differences in communication, interaction, emotional regulation and sensory needs.

Our goal as neurodiversity affirming therapists, teachers, parents, etc is to embrace and validate those differences and to find the right supports and accommodations to help neurodivergent individuals feel supported.


And this is where sensory comes in.


Sensory impacts us every day, all day long. We are sensory beings and the world is a sensory place. We are constantly being influenced by our sensory experiences.

And the way another person experiences the world is totally valid.


When a child is sensitive to sounds, they are often perceiving that sound at a much greater level of intensity. And if a child is under-responsive to movement, they might need more than just a 30 second movement break to regulate their sensory system.


When we see big reactions to sensory input, we can change our thinking from “they are just overreacting” to “they perceived that input at a greater intensity”.


Understanding and validating sensory differences is an important step to embracing neurodiversity.


If you are an SLP interested in learning more about how to use sensory strategies in your speech session, click here to learn more about the Inside Out Sensory Certificate Course for SLPs. If you are a parent of an autistic child or child with sensory needs, click here to learn about the Inside Out Sensory Communication Program for Parents.



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