Children and families

Sensory processing difficulties (SPD)

If a child experiences any of the following, and this results in a big impact on their life this may be an indication that they have sensory processing difficulties:

  • Difficulties concentrating in school - see our attention and concentration page for further advice.
  • Cannot sit still and fidgets a lot
  • Struggles with food textures, tastes or smells and has a limited diet
  • Has difficulty wearing certain textures or dislikes tags and seams
  • Experiences regular meltdowns
  • Struggles to manage their emotions

How to get help

If you are a parent or carer:

Support for children with sensory processing difficulties is received through parents attending SPD awareness sessions and do not require a referral. They are delivered by the Children's Occupational Therapy Service in partnership with ADDvanced Solutions and cover the following topics.

  1. An introduction to sensory processing difficulties
  2. Emotional regulation and Praxis/DCD
  3. Sensory strategies
  4. Sensory related eating difficulties

You must attend the first session before moving on to other sessions. You must book each session separately.

Book a session

Contact ADDvanced Solutions - a referral is not required.

What happens next?

Supporting your child with the use of sensory based movement, sensory tools, environmental adjustments (otherwise known as sensory strategies) can have a positive impact on their participation, so we encourage you to attend these sessions.

Sessions will provide you with an awareness of sensory processing difficulties and strategies which you can use to help to support your child. Try the strategies out at home and keep using them as long as they continue to help. Strategies work best when they are integrated into a child’s daily routine.

After attending the sessions, speak to your child’s school about what strategies can be put in place in school as a consistent approach across all environments is most beneficial.

Attending the SPD Awareness Sessions is the first step of the pathway for SPD support. If more support is required, this can be offered once parents have attended the sessions and trialled the strategies recommended in the sessions for a minimum of 3 months.

If you are a school or education setting:

If you need support for a student in your school, you do not need to make a referral in the first instance. Please book on our SPD in education training by emailing

If you need further support after completing the training, you can submit a referral to support implementation of strategies and sensory circuits. We will need to know the date of the training and the strategies you have implemented so we can process your referral.

Video: Introduction to sensory processing