Meeting the Sensory Needs of Your 2e Child

Summary:  Ways to meet the sensory needs of children who have sensory processing disorder. Tips for everyday issues and frustrations such as dealing with clothing and setting up a routine.

Our daughter has been a blessing to us, ever since we flew to China to adopt her as an infant.  

At the same time, having a child or one with Sensory Processing Disorder has been a challenge. 

Can you relate?

Many gifted kids have sensory needs and intensities.  

But we found that ours showed the signs of more than that, and was found to have sensory processing disorder (SPD). That was one of the ways she was twice exceptional.  

And since I have an OT background, we just worked to accommodate things to meet her needs, as best we could.

We knew that our school district did not have a program that would help her deal with her sensory issues and meet her needs.  So we took the plunge and tried our hand at homeschooling.   

Our daughter was a sensory seeker as a little one, always jumping off the couch, doing summersaults across the living room floor, spinning in her dad's desk chair, and seeking out sensory input all day long.

She also reacted to loud noises, did not like to be touched, ie was hyper-reactive to tactile input, and hated the tags in clothes.  And zippers.  And buttons, or anything that put pressure on her body from her clothing.

Solving the Clothing Issue

This was easy for us, as we just went with what seemed to work out best for her.  So it was sweatpants and tee shirts for years.  The other advantage of this, beyond the sensory issue, was that both were very easy for her to put on by herself.

Through trial and error, we went about solving her other sensory needs, one day at a time.  Many families seek out the help of an Occupational Therapist for sensory processing disorder.  But since I was an O.T. myself, we didn't need to do that.

Here are the things that worked well for us.

Meeting Sensory Needs - 

Lots of information on that is here, in a post for younger kids but all the techniques listed apply just as well to older kids, too.  Just scroll down to the section on 

Providing Routine in the Day

Our sensory seeking daughter did best with some structure in her day.  Knowing what was next helped her anxiety.

We set up a simple routine of meals, errands, etc.  We built a rhythm to our days.

Structure was a help.  We also needed to help our daughter to prepare for changes in her life.  Lots of kids with SPD struggle with change.  Ours especially did, with all the changes she had moving to the US and being adopted.

Preparing for Changes

We took time to prepare our kiddo for any changes. 

Kids with SPD often get upset with changes in their routine.  So we let her know ahead of time if we could.  And she got a vote in any changes to physical things, such as rearranging the furniture.  Giving her some control helped her to process the changes and then to feel safe.

Now as a college graduate, we still see the intensities, but the other issues have dissipated over the years, or are well compensated for as she grew.

I was recently asked to write for the top special education site on this topic.  I invite you to click 8 Tips for Homeschooling a Twice Exceptional Student for more ideas and encouragement.

What would you add to this list?   I love reading your comments.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is retired O.T, homeschool blogger, and most importantly is mom to her 2e college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh schoolcollege and 2e 

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