We’ve carefully selected these blogs because they’re actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information. If you’d like to tell us about a blog, nominate them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We’re constantly using our senses to absorb and understand the world around us. The senses send signals to the brain, which interprets them and responds. Someone with sensory processing disorder (SPD) may receive overly weak or strong signals from one or more of their senses.
We still don’t know exactly what causes SPD, but it may affect any of the senses. That means it may alter your sight, taste, touch, hearing, smell, proprioception (bodily awareness), and vestibular (motion control and coordination) abilities. SPD can influence life in many areas, from everyday activities to personal relationships.
Many people with SPD receive a diagnosis in childhood. According to a University of California, San Francisco study, 5 to 16 percent of school-age children have SPD. Signs of SPD vary widely depending on the sensory system involved. You may notice some signals like irritability or picky eating as early as infancy. Always speak to your child’s pediatrician about specific concerns.
These blogs are great places to learn about SPD and find continuing inspiration. They’re full of parenting strategies, sensory activity ideas, and other educational information.
Here are our picks for the best sensory processing disorder blogs of the year.
Many children with autism may also have SPD. Autisable aims to connect the community around autism, Asperger’s, and associated conditions. Join the community or browse their content for helpful advice and educational info. Posts discuss issues like understanding SPD and helping your child succeed in a mainstream school environment. They also cover news and legislative updates as well as research.
Tweet them @Autisable
The Star Institute is dedicated to advancing understanding, awareness, treatment, and continuing research for SPD. The nonprofit’s site provides a wealth of research and education for both parents and health professionals. Their blog highlights helpful info, like insight into your child’s transition to adolescence with SPD. Posts also offer advice on issues like refusing treatment and reducing mealtime stress. As a bonus, they offer several free resources.
Tweet them @STARInst_SPD
ILS is a company that uses a multisensory approach to improve quality of life. Through music, movement, education, and language, they promote positive outcomes for many disorders, including SPD. Their blog covers a wide array of topics relating to neurological health. Check out their “Doctor Is In” series for the latest medical news and advice. Read their case studies for a glimpse into people living with other conditions.
Tweet them @IntListSys
Jennifer Hughes has two children living with SPD. She started the Sensory Spectrum to centralize SPD, autism, and Asperger’s resources. The site provides information for parents and children with the disorder. Hughes writes posts herself and invites guests to blog. She also links to other publications. Posts include news, education, and advice. The blog also offers activities to help with different senses. They delve into associated behaviors like meltdowns as well. Check out her tools and resources. They’re organized by sensory type.
Tweet her @SensorySpec
Lauren Drobnjack and Claire Heffron believe play helps children grow strong physically and mentally. As pediatric occupational and physical therapists, they know the fundamentals of healthy childhood development. They share their insights with you, including milestones and what to look out for in different stages. Look to their sensory resources and insider tips on helping children overcome common obstacles. Find tons of ideas for physical or mental exercises in their suggested activities list.
Tweet them @inspiredtree
Heather Greutman is a certified occupational therapy assistant. She’s passionate about homeschooling and child development. Her blog includes homeschooling education and a broad spectrum of childhood development matters. She also focuses on autism, ADHD, and SPD needs. Find lots of suggestions for hands-on activities and even printable resources.
Tweet her @growhandsonkids
Chanda Jothen is a mom of two, physical therapist, and the brains behind Pink Oatmeal. The blog is home to a wide variety of child development education, advice, and ideas. These include activities like play and yoga. Pink Oatmeal also offers up brain breaks, ideas and games to get kids moving. Look to her gift guide for toys or products that help develop motor skills. Of note: She offers some free printable activity cards. Others are available for purchase. She dips into other mom areas too, like breastfeeding and nursery decor.
Tweet her @PinkOatmeal
Sarah McClelland started Little Bins for Little Hands because of her son, Liam. He lives with Asperger’s, ADHD, and SPD. McClelland’s site is a repository for STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — activities. She highlights how simple experiments can exercise all the senses. She also posts ideas for other sensory play activities, like Lego and homemade slime. McClelland offers a glimpse into how these activities have helped her son. Check out her guide for learning with Lego.
Tweet her @SarahLiitlebins
Sharla Kostelyk embraces the imperfect side of parenting. She’s raising seven children, five with developmental conditions. She offers a frank perspective on parenting children with SPD or anxiety, from shopping tips to handling judgement from others. For a fee, you can access her community. It offers support, resources, and a private Facebook page.
Tweet her @chaosandclutter
Julie Nixon promises that her simple ideas bring profound results. She posts on a variety of family topics, like homeschooling, her faith, and natural living. She also posts about SPD education and therapies. Nixon also shares how some tools and activities have helped her eldest son, who has SPD. Her advice may help you avoid meltdowns and help with everyday tasks like putting on clothes. She pulls together a variety of voices, linking to other SPD blogs and sites.
Tweet her @MyMnMLife
Alisha Grogan is a mother of three and an occupational therapist. She started Your Kids Table in 2012 to share sensory processing and childhood eating advice. Grogan posts tons of feeding techniques and interactive activities to help children enjoy mealtime. She also posts about sensory processing activities and other parenting topics. Check out her list of favorite resources that include books, tools, toys, and products. Grogan also offers free workshops.
Tweet her @YourKidsTable
Christie Kiley is a pediatric occupational therapist and mom. She recommends the best homemade and store-bought developmental toys and warns against others. Kiley’s posts also highlight some everyday household activities great for motor development. Posts tackle helping kids learn self-care skills, too. Check out her free guides and activity recommendations.
Tweet her @mamaotblog
The L in this blog’s name is for learning. Dyan Robson, mom of two, shares crafts and educational activities for children. Her posts offer tools and resources for children living with hyperlexia and autism. She also includes free weekly planners for parents of children with autism. For a bit of tech advice, look to her app recommendations. Check out her sensory hacks, play recipes, and crafty ideas, like making your own quiet books. Robson also fosters a support community via Facebook and offers a newsletter when you receive the weekly planner.
Tweet her @andnextcomesl
Catherine is a journalist passionate about health, public policy, and women’s rights. She writes on a range of nonfiction topics, from entrepreneurship to women’s issues as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in Inc., Forbes, The Huffington Post, and other publications. She is a mom, wife, writer, artist, travel enthusiast, and lifelong student.