Raising a child with high sensory needs is full of challenges as well as triumphs. During the time that your child has been at home, you have had the opportunity to discover what helps them stay calm, and entering daycare introduces a new way to stimulate their development. Whether your child is sensitive to certain sounds or is a sensory seeker, use these strategies to help them adjust to their new daycare center.

Provide Insight Into What Works For Your Child

Children with sensory processing disorder respond to stimuli in different ways, which means that there is not a one-size-fits-all plan for helping them in the classroom. While your child's teacher gets to know their personality, it is helpful to share with them the things that help soothe your child such as using a weighted blanket during nap time. From allowing them to use a fidget toy during a read aloud to giving them a quiet space to play when the noise levels get too high, your child's teacher can partner with you to make sure that they are comfortable in their new environment.

Anticipate and Prepare For Transitions

Preschool classes are full of transitions throughout the day that can pose a challenge for children with high sensory needs such as having to stop playing in centers so that the class can begin preparing for lunch. Talk to your teacher about ways to help your child anticipate these transitions such as using a visual aid or timer before it is time to stop an activity. It is also helpful to give your child advanced warning of changes at school such as a new teacher coming to the classroom when its possible.

Practice Self-Regulation Strategies At Home

Children of all abilities often struggle with independence when they first enter preschool, and teaching social skills is a huge part of your child's daycare program. Ask your child's teacher about the skills that your child is working on such as learning to share or express themselves appropriately. Then, practice these skills at home so that your child can benefit from consistency.

Children with sensory processing needs can successfully adjust to the preschool environment when they are surrounded by support from their family and teachers. By partnering with your child's teacher to help your child find ways to cope in a new environment, you can look forward to seeing them thrive in their transition to a preschool setting.