Helping SPD Children Stay Focused

SPD FocusImage courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at

To a child with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), the world can seem bigger and louder than it already is.  Coping and maintaining focus is challenging for the child, as well as parents, educators and caregivers.  The following methods can be used to help a child process the world at his own speed and maintain focus for new and everyday tasks.

  1. Use a printed activity schedule (or picture schedule for younger kids) detailing each of the child’s daily tasks. Being able to anticipate the day’s events before they occur will help the child process each one easier.
  2. Warn or prepare the child before anything that may be upsetting or hard to process. (Ex. Before introducing new textures or turning on anything with a loud noise.)
  3. Reduce or eliminate background noise whenever possible. (Ex. Close doors or windows, turn off other media, keep voice volume low, etc.)
  4. Create a “safe place” where the child can escape to when over-stimulated. (A quiet corner of a classroom, a specific room of the house when at home, etc.)
  5. Choose appropriate clothing that the child tolerates. Many children get a feeling of security from wearing garments that offer gentle compression.  Remove scratchy tags.  Choose clothes without bothersome seams.  A Seamless Compresso-T from SmartKnitKIDS is a great choice for kids with SPD.  The T is made from super-soft material, contains no tags or seams and offers gentle and comforting compression.

*** Note: Every child is different and may react differently in each situation.  Check with a professional should questions arise regarding their behavior.

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