How Occupational Therapy Can Help Children with SPD

Amisha Gandhi

14 December 2021

Occupational therapists help individuals acquire or regain skills that allow them to perform daily activities and thrive. And while occupational therapists are often associated with hyperactive disorders or learning difficulties, people often neglect how helpful they can be when it comes to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Indeed, occupational therapy’s effects on SPD is under-documented to the point that people rarely ever think of occupational therapy as a means of dealing with SPD. 

To help remedy this, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief discussion on this subject. If this is something that you want to learn more about, read on to know how occupational therapy can help children with SPD.

What Is SPD?

Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a condition that affects the way the brain processes sensory information. Sensory information includes things like what you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. SPD can affect all of your senses, or just one; this disorder is different for everyone. SPD usually means that you’re overly sensitive to stimuli that other people are not; this can make you feel overwhelmed in daily life. In some cases, it can also mean that you have to have more stimuli in order to notice something. While this is already worrisome as it is, it becomes an even bigger problem when you consider that children are more susceptible to SPD.

Does Your Child Have SPD?

Before anything else, it’s important that you are able to confirm if your child has SPD or not. This can be rather tricky due to the way that SPD manifests in children. And while some common symptoms such as difficulty focusing or sitting still are rather easy to spot, this isn’t always the case. Here are other ways that SPD can manifest in children:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Resisting hugging or cuddling
  • Delayed motor skills
  • Sensitivity or overreaction to stimulation, such as expressing disdain towards certain noises, smells, or touches
  • Clumsiness
  • Craving rough-housing, tackling, or other overtly physical games
  • Seeming overly distracted in the classroom or when learning new tasks

If your child is experiencing any of the things listed above, it would be wise to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible.

How Occupational Therapy Can Help?

Occupational therapists evaluate children with symptoms of sensory processing disorder and work with each child and his or her family to develop coping mechanisms and treatment plans. They provide a play-based approach using various stimuli, including swinging, therapeutic brushing, climbing a ladder, jumping, water play, and navigating an obstacle course with varied surfaces.


Hopefully, this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you best understand how occupational therapy can be used to assist your child in dealing with SPD. Now that you know how useful it can be we suggest looking into facilities so that you can pick the one with the best occupational therapy services.

If you are looking for a trusted facility that offers paediatric occupational therapy in Blacktown, look no further than our expertise here at Cloud Nine Therapy Services. We are a newly launched child-centred occupational therapy practice located in Blacktown specialising in sensory processing challenges, autism, dyslexia and learning difficulties, attention deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), among other things. Contact us today and let us discuss your children’s learning options.