Part of our program is to encourage special needs families to engage in everyday activities, reduce isolation and enhance social settings. Many special needs families avoid attending social functions due to significant symptoms of their child’s sensory processing disorder. A child with a sensory processing disorder has a low threshold for sensory stimuli which means it does not take much for them to become easily overwhelmed, overstimulated, irritated or avoidant. This over-responsivity is known as “sensory defensiveness” because the child often defends themselves with an emotional or behavioral response, avoidance or attempts to minimize exposure. This overreaction to auditory information contributes to difficulties with self-regulation and can lead to the inability to deescalate. This limits a child’s willingness to play, interact with peers, explore, and feel safe or comfortable in their environment.
Many special needs families avoid social gatherings all together to prevent sensory overload. However, all families should enjoy social gatherings no matter their circumstances. That is why it is imperative to have a “safe sensory place” for special needs families to retreat in the event of a sensory overload incident.
Aid Another is committed to creating as many safe sensory spaces for special needs families as possible. The designated space will be designed to facilitate therapeutic alliance and provide opportunities for engagement in prevention and crisis de-escalation. This space will contain multi-sensory equipment, the ability to use noise reduction headphones, tactile input activities such as playdoh, funny foam, coloring/drawing, finger-paints and sensory toys such as spinning toys, light-up toys and stretchy or squishy toys.
Aid Another hopes to provide sensory grab bags filled with sunglasses, lollipops/candy, squishies, and fidget toys for families to take to help deescalate sensory overload when out and about. Please consider donation to this cause!