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Episode 30: Understanding Sensory Processing and Why It’s So Important with Rachel Harrington
Today’s topic is one that I did not know much about before walking into this interview with Rachel Harrington. Rachel is breaking down what sensory processing is and why it’s so important to understand as parents. She shares how sensory challenges show up with our children and what we can do to best support their needs. Some children will only wear certain fabrics or eat certain foods. Others may be extremely sensitive to sounds. Or maybe you have a child who constantly needs to be chewing on something. Rachel is going to explain the why behind these preferences and behaviors.
Rachel is a Pediatric Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant who is dedicated to helping children with different abilities feel confident in their own skin. She began her sensory journey by designing fashionable, innovative weighted vests to give children the ability to regulate their sensory needs, while fitting in with their peers. She lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, young son, and dog, and can be found outside hiking, playing games, and not taking life too seriously!
Rachel is the co-host of the All Things Sensory by Harkla Podcast, which aims to educate and equip parents, therapists, and educators with the tools and information to understand sensory integration. She holds her Autism Certificate, as well as additional continuing education in Handwriting Without Tears, Primitive Reflex Integration, Sensory Integration, and more!
Rachel shares tips, tricks and strategies about sensory processing on her Instagram to help parents and therapists better understand the sensory system!
In this episode we discuss:
- What different sensory processing challenges look like
- Early warning signs of sensory processing in infants
- What to do if you are concerned with your child’s sensory needs
- Suggested sensory based activities based on age
- All Things Sensory by Harkla
- Digital Courses
- The Sensory Project WEIGHTED VESTS
- Z-Vibes | All Tips, Kits, & Accessories
- Sit ‘n Spin Activity Toy
Connect with Rachel:
- Instagram: @thesensoryproject208
- Podcast Instagram: @allthingssensorypodcast
- All Things Sensory Podcast
Connect with Lynzy:
- Join the Motherhood Meets Medicine community at patreon.com/motherhoodmeetsmedicine
- Instagram: @motherhoodmeetsmedicine
- Sign up for the weekly newsletter here
Questions answered in this episode:
- What is sensory processing and why is it important?
- When we’re talking about children, what can some sensory processing challenges look like?
- Do kids go through phases where they have tactile preferences?
- What are some early warning signs of sensory processing in our infants?
- When is the most common time for their parents to notice they’re having sensory challenges?
- What should a parent do first if they have concerns with their child’s sensory issues?
- What are some of your favorite sensory based activities for infants and toddlers?
- When a child is diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder will they have it for life or grow out of it?
- Do sensory issues typically run in the family?
- Do you notice sensory processing disorders are typically related to other diagnoses or stand alone?
- What are some activities that would be good for children that are constantly fidgeting in school?
- What are you looking for to see if your child has adverse reactions to vestibular input?
- Other than fidgeting, what are some signs your child has sensory issues when they enter school?
- How do you handle when your kids’ sensory needs are the exact opposite of yours?
- Why do you think there’s an increase in the amount of children with sensory processing disorder these days?
- Is it common for children to continue chewing on things at around 7 years old?
- How does sensory input help during a tantrum?
- Is leaving music on all day over stimulating?