As a parent of a teen with sensory issues, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure how best to support and help your child. It can be challenging to navigate the world of sensory processing disorder (SPD), especially when your teen isn’t coping well. Here are a few tips and resources to help you manage your teen’s sensory needs.
Enroll them in mental health therapy.
Your teen may be looking for someone to talk to about their mental health. A teen mental health treatment center can help your teen handle sensory processing issues effectively. This type of center provides information and resources about treating sensory issues and support for families and teens affected by them. A residential mental health center also offers access to a directory of therapists specializing in this area. Once a therapist has been chosen for your teen, it is crucial to meet with them individually and often. This will allow both you and your teen to get an idea of what will be involved in therapy and whether it seems like the right fit. It’s also important for the therapist to understand the home environment to make useful suggestions on how best to support the teen outside of therapy sessions. Alternatively, group therapy sessions may also help your teen connect with others with the same issues, which is ideal if they’re feeling alone. Connecting with peers with SPD may help encourage safe relaxation techniques and help them develop positive self-talk.
Take them to a silent disco.
Silent discos are becoming a trend among people with sensory noise issues. A silent disco is a type of party where people listen to music through headphones. Instead of a DJ or live band playing music, participants choose from a library of songs that they can hear through their headphones. A silent disco’s environment is calm and quiet, which can be soothing for those who struggle with sensory overload. Check out any silent disco San Diego offers to take advantage of this fun activity.
Regular discos and dance clubs are extremely loud, which overwhelms those with SPD. Silent discos offer the complete opposite environment. Additionally, the staff is friendly and welcoming and happy to answer any questions or provide assistance as needed. Silent discos also offer various themes, allowing teens to find something that interests them. Many of them also have various resources, such as books and materials that can help learn about and manage sensory issues.
Select sensory-appropriate clothing.
When choosing clothes for teens with sensory issues, look for natural fabrics such as cotton or wool, as these are less likely to cause skin irritation or sensitivity. Avoid synthetic fabrics such as polyester, as these can be itchy and uncomfortable. Also, be mindful of the fit of clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can be uncomfortable and restrictive, while loose-fitting clothes can be cumbersome and challenging to keep in place. Seams, buttons, and zippers can also be irritating and uncomfortable for teens with sensory issues. Look for clothes with minimal details, or choose clothing that can be easily removed or replaced without causing too much discomfort. Some of the best clothing choices for teens with sensory issues include:
- Loose-fitting pants or sweatpants
- Cotton T-shirts or tank tops
- Soft, comfortable socks
- Well-fitting and breathable undergarments
- A comfortable coat or jacket
- A soft, supportive hat
- Shoes that are easy to put on and comfortable to wear
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what clothing is best for teens with sensory issues, as the best choice will vary from individual to individual. Starting with these options is an excellent way for your teen to test their needs and choose the right clothing.
These resources and ideas can help your teen with sensory issues and improve their quality of life. By providing your teen with the necessary tools to better understand and manage their sensory needs, you can help them feel more comfortable and confident in their skin.