Types of Sensory Disorders


There can be many types of sensory triggers, and any one of them might impact your child. Most types of sensory disorders stem from sensitivities related to the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Common smells, noises, textures, sights, and/or tastes can trigger intense reactions. That’s why they are often called “sensory triggers.”


Some examples of these triggers in the school environment are listed below:


Visual: Projector screens, television screens, a brightly-lit lunchroom, or bright sunlight streaming through classroom windows can produce a sensory reaction.


Audio: Sudden, loud noises such as the bell ringing, kids shouting in the hall, teachers raising their voices, or the hubub of recess can trigger your audio-sensitive child.


Olfactory (Smell): A teacher’s perfume, a specific meal being prepared in the cafeteria, or the flowers blooming on campus may create a negative reaction.   


Texture: Cold metal monkey bars, the sand or wood chips in the playground, or new clothes purchased specifically for the new school year could cause a reaction.

Types of Sensory Disorders

Types of Sensory Disorders

Identifying Their Sensory Needs


Hands down, you know the most about your child. Chances are, you are already quite aware of the types of sensory disorders that trigger your child outside of school – the spray mist in the produce department, the hum of refrigerator, the light trickling in between window blinds. Besides your child herself, no one knows their Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) better than you.


Because of this, you, your family and your friends are already doing a lot to make life less challenging for your child. Be thoughtful about all the little adjustments you make every day. Keeping track of your child’s types of sensory disorders and triggers is a great help. Keep a journal for a week and record whenever a sensory stimulus triggers a reaction in your child – as well as all the changes you put in place to reduce the impact.


Even more, ask around! Ask your child himself (if age appropriate), your other children, spouse, close friends – anyone who comes in contact with your sensory challenged child: What do they notice about your child? Have they been surprised by certain reactions they’ve seen? Have they made any changes to help your child, big or small?


Once you know their needs, you can discuss them with the IEP Team at your child’s school.


What Do I Do With These Questions?


For the rest of this strategy of dealing with different types of sensory disorders, join ExceptionALLY. Personalized guidance for your child is at your fingertips. Log-in today.






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