Supporting Grandchildren with Sensory Needs

sensory sensory tips
a child sitting on an elderly mans lap sitting beside an elderly woman

As grandparents, playing a supportive role in your grandchild's life is a unique and rewarding experience. When your grandchild has sensory needs due to conditions like Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), ADHD, or others, understanding and supporting them becomes even more crucial. This guide aims to empower you with knowledge and simple strategies to support your grandchildren with sensory needs.


Understanding Sensory Needs


Sensory needs arise when a child's brain processes sensory information differently. They may be overly sensitive (sensory avoiding), under-responsive, sensory seeking, have poor coordination, are clumsy or have difficulties picking out the detail in everyday activities and miss lots of things. Here's a guide to help you provide effective support:


Creating a Sensory-Healthy Environment


As a grandparent, you can create a comforting environment for your grandchild. This includes:


Calming Spaces: Designate a quiet, cozy area in your home for your grandchild to retreat to when overwhelmed.

Sensory Activities: Engage in activities that align with their sensory preferences, whether it's calm, tactile play or more vigorous physical activities.

Routine and Predictability: Establish a predictable routine when they visit, which can provide a sense of security.


Effective Communication Strategies


Listen and Observe: Pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues from your grandchild.

Collaborate with Parents: Work closely with the child’s parents to maintain consistency in managing sensory challenges.

Educate Yourself: Utilise resources like the free sensory guides and Amazon bestselling books such as "Raising a Sensory Child with Ease" for deeper insights.


Activities to Enhance Sensory Experiences


Outdoor Activities: Nature walks, gardening, or playing in a park can be great for sensory exploration.

Arts and Crafts: Creative activities like painting or clay modeling can be soothing and engaging.

Storytelling and Reading: Sharing stories can be a calming and bonding experience.


Navigating Challenges Together


Patience and Understanding: Sensory needs can be unpredictable. Stay patient and understanding.

Seek Professional Advice: Don't hesitate to consult with specialists like occupational therapists for tailored guidance.




Supporting a grandchild with sensory needs is a journey filled with learning and love. Your role as a grandparent can significantly impact their sensory experiences and overall wellbeing. Remember, each child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Stay observant, be creative, and seek professional support when necessary.


Schedule a Zoom Consultation


If you wish to discuss specific strategies or seek personalised advice, you can book a free 15-minute Zoom consultation with me. I'm here to help. Click here to schedule your call.



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