Sensory processing symptoms can impact children and adults, affecting the way the brain processes senses such as smell, taste, sound, and touch. Some individuals who suffer from sensory processing symptoms will only be slightly bothered by triggers, while others find it hard to maintain a normal life. 

As a parent, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of sensory processing symptoms, to identify if your child might be struggling. In this article, we will explore six signs that your child may have sensory processing symptoms. (1)

#1 -Trouble With Clothing Textures

One common expression of sensory processing symptoms is difficulty feeling uncomfortable textures. When dressing your child in street clothes for school or sports, you may find that it turns into a consistent fight. It is one thing if your child simply does not want to attend the activity, or wishes to stay in “dress” clothes, but it is a completely different thing if your child does not want to wear appropriate clothing due to texture discomfort. If your child experiences extreme discomfort as a result of putting on clothing such as jeans, khakis, or tight-fitted shirts, this may be a sign they are struggling with sensory overload. 

#2 – Difficulty With Light Exposure 

Let’s face it, we could all use an extra hour or two of sleep! Opening up the blinds in the morning is not always the most pleasant experience. However, if you were a child constantly suffering from light exposure such as in a mall, classroom, or indoor sporting area with fluorescent lighting, this could be a sign that they are suffering from sensory processing symptoms. 

Your child may react by kicking, screaming, or crying, as a result of being exposed to uncomfortable lighting indoors. These should be taken into consideration and shared with your child’s psychiatrist upon your next visit. (2)

#3 – Bad Reactions to Loud Noises 

Some children (and adults) find it hard to be in the presence of loud noises. When evaluating your child for signs and symptoms of sensory processing symptoms, it is important to take into account if this is a preference or a deeper-rooted issue. Just because your child does not like loud music in the car or concerts does not mean that they suffer from sensory processing symptoms. Sudden sounds such as screaming at sports arenas, music in stores, or car horns when driving can be extremely upsetting to those who live with sensory processing symptoms. (3)

#4 – Scared to Engage in Physical Activities 

If your child has a fear of engaging in physical activities, this may be a sign that they are suffering from sensory processing symptoms. Trying a new sport for challenging exercise for the first time can be intimidating for any child. However, if your child is lashing out in extreme ways as a result of being prompted to swim with friends or go on a playground, these are behaviors that should be documented. 

#5 – Difficulty Sleeping or Focusing 

Children who suffer from sensory processing symptoms can oftentimes find it difficult to sleep or focus. This is because their mind is so bogged down from being overstimulated by the environment around them. Even in a dark and quiet room, children with sensory processing symptoms can still experience discomfort. This is yet another symptom to make a note of and bring up with your child’s doctor. 

#6 – Fear of Transition or Change 

Transition and change can be uncomfortable for all of us. However, if your child is lashing out from typical milestones such as moving classrooms in a school or having to try a different lunch food, this could be a sign that they are suffering from sensory processing symptoms. These kinds of day-to-day changes are bound to occur on a regular basis. So, it is important that your child gets the help that they need in order to navigate everyday life in a way that is manageable for them. 

We hope this article helped you discover signs and symptoms that may indicate your child is struggling with sensory processing symptoms. To seek guidance from a professional, contact NeuroBehavioral Associates today and gain support. 


  1. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) – FamilyDoctor.Org
  2. Sensory Processing Disorder – HealthLinkBC
  3. What Is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)? – Twenty One Senses