Understanding and Supporting Children with Sensory Processing Disorders

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects how children interpret and respond to sensory information from their environment. Understanding and supporting children with SPD is crucial in creating an inclusive and nurturing childcare setting. At Whiz Kidz Delahey, we are dedicated to providing a supportive environment for all children, including those with sensory processing challenges. Here’s how we approach understanding and supporting children with SPD.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory Processing Disorder is a condition where the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes through the senses. Children with SPD may be over-sensitive or under-sensitive to sensory stimuli such as sounds, textures, lights, and movement. This can affect their ability to participate in everyday activities and impact their behaviour, emotions, and interactions.

Recognising Signs of SPD

Children with SPD may exhibit a range of behaviours, including:

  • Over-sensitivity: Avoiding touch, being easily startled by loud noises, or showing discomfort with certain textures.
  • Under-sensitivity: Seeking intense sensory experiences, such as spinning, jumping, or touching everything.
  • Difficulty with Motor Skills: Clumsiness, poor coordination, or difficulty with fine motor tasks.
  • Emotional Responses: Frequent meltdowns, anxiety, or difficulty self-regulating emotions.

Recognising these signs is the first step in providing the necessary support for children with SPD.

Creating a Sensory-Friendly Environment

A sensory-friendly environment can help children with SPD feel more comfortable and engaged. Here are some strategies we use at Delahey Whiz Kidz:

  • Calm Spaces: Designating quiet areas where children can retreat if they feel overwhelmed. These spaces are equipped with calming tools like soft pillows, weighted blankets, and dim lighting.
  • Sensory Tools: Providing a variety of sensory tools such as fidget toys, textured materials, and noise-cancelling headphones to help children self-regulate.
  • Routine and Structure: Maintaining a consistent daily routine to provide a sense of predictability and security for children with SPD.

Individualised Support

Each child with SPD is unique, and their needs can vary widely. We work closely with parents and specialists to develop individualised support plans tailored to each child’s specific sensory needs. This may include:

  • Sensory Breaks: Incorporating regular breaks throughout the day to allow children to engage in sensory activities that help them self-regulate.
  • Adaptive Techniques: Using adaptive techniques and tools, such as visual schedules and social stories, to help children understand and manage their sensory experiences.

Educator Training and Awareness

Our educators receive ongoing training to understand SPD and how to support children with sensory processing challenges effectively. This training includes:

  • Recognising Signs: Identifying the signs of SPD and understanding how it affects children’s behaviour and learning.
  • Implementing Strategies: Learning practical strategies to create a sensory-friendly environment and support children’s sensory needs.
  • Collaborative Approach: Working collaboratively with parents, therapists, and other professionals to ensure a cohesive approach to supporting the child.

Engaging with Parents and Families

Effective support for children with SPD involves close collaboration with parents and families. We maintain open communication with parents to share observations, discuss strategies, and ensure consistency between home and the childcare setting. By working together, we can better understand each child’s needs and provide comprehensive support.

Promoting Inclusion and Empathy

Promoting an inclusive environment where all children feel valued and understood is a core principle at our centre. We encourage empathy and understanding among all children by teaching them about differences and fostering a culture of acceptance. Inclusive activities and discussions help children appreciate and respect each other’s unique needs and experiences.


Supporting children with Sensory Processing Disorders in childcare requires understanding, patience, and a tailored approach. At Whiz Kidz Delahey, we are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment where every child can thrive. By recognising the signs of SPD, creating a sensory-friendly environment, and working closely with families and professionals, we ensure that children with sensory processing challenges receive the care and support they need. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our approach to supporting children with SPD, please feel free to reach out. Together, we can create a nurturing and inclusive environment for all children.

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