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  • Writer's pictureIan Shepstone

What Is Sensory Overload?

Sensory overload, an overwhelming and distressing experience for many children, can manifest in various ways, such as discomfort, anxiety, irritability, and loss of focus. It arises when the brain struggles to process and integrate an abundance of sensory information from both the body and the environment.

In addition to discomfort, crying, anxiety, irritability, and loss of focus, sensory overload can manifest through the following signs:

1. Avoidance Behavior: Children experiencing sensory overload may actively avoid certain environments, activities, or social interactions to protect themselves from overwhelming stimuli.

2. Heightened Sensitivity: Even mild sensory inputs like a gentle touch or soft sounds can trigger strong reactions in children struggling with sensory overload.

3. Unpredictable Responses: Sensory overload may cause children to react unexpectedly to various situations, making it challenging for parents to anticipate their emotional responses.

4. Physical Symptoms: Children may complain of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical discomforts as a response to sensory overload.

5. Hyperactivity or Hypoactivity: Some children may display hyperactive behavior, seeking constant movement and stimulation. In contrast, others may exhibit hypoactive tendencies, seeming withdrawn or unresponsive.

6. Fixation on Specific Objects or Activities: Children with sensory overload may fixate on certain objects or activities that provide them with comfort and predictability in the midst of sensory chaos.

7. Limited Tolerance for Changes: Any deviation from routines or unexpected changes in their environment can trigger heightened stress and agitation.

8. Heightened Emotional Sensitivity: Sensory overload can intensify emotional responses, leading to increased sensitivity to criticism or rejection.

9. Disrupted Sleep Patterns: Children may experience difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep due to the lingering impact of sensory overload on their nervous system.

10. Challenges with Transitions: Moving from one activity or environment to another can be particularly challenging for children experiencing sensory overload.

At Sprout Family Chiropractic in Plymouth, MI, we have witnessed firsthand how sensory overload affects kids, hindering their developmental milestones and potentially leading to long-term health issues. As pediatric chiropractors, we are dedicated to helping children find relief and restore balance in their lives through gentle and effective chiropractic care.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Sensory Overload

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) lies at the core of sensory overload, a condition often linked to Autism, ADHD, and other neurological challenges in kids. To grasp the true cause of sensory overload, understanding the crucial role of the nervous system is vital.

The nervous system serves a tripartite function: perception (receiving input from the environment), integration (filtering and processing information), and action (executing appropriate responses). However, in children struggling with SPD, their nervous system is unable to properly perceive and coordinate their surroundings, leading to an excessive influx of noxious stimuli.

The Subluxation Connection

Subluxation, or the misalignment of spinal joints, plays a significant role in sensory overload. By interfering with the nervous system's ability to receive and integrate neurological information, subluxation contributes to the overwhelming experience children face.

Dysautonomia, a state of excessive sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system activity and suppressed parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) function, is a common occurrence in children with sensory overload. This imbalance creates an environment where even everyday occurrences like bright lights, loud noises, or certain textures trigger an intense response.

Building a Calm Oasis with Chiropractic Care

At Sprout Family Chiropractic, our approach to sensory overload centers on addressing the root cause and restoring balance to the Autonomic Nervous System and Vagus Nerve. By activating and stimulating the parasympathetic calming side of the nervous system, we help children better manage sensory inputs and experience reduced stress and anxiety.

Using cutting-edge technology, our Neurologically-Focused Pediatric Chiropractors conduct in-depth consultations and INSiGHT Scans to detect subluxation and dysautonomia. The NeuroSpinal EMG Scan, particularly important for children with sensory overload, measures stress and tension within the body, a phenomenon known as nociception or "Noisy Brain Syndrome."

Restoring the Symphony of Sensory Processing

The balance between nociception and proprioception is crucial for sensory processing. Proprioception, associated with movement and position-based input, is essential for optimal brain development in children. Subluxation disrupts this balance, allowing nociceptive stimuli to overwhelm the brain.

By addressing subluxation and dysautonomia, we aim to restore proper sensory processing, helping children find calm amidst the sensory storm. Our unique and specialized chiropractic care offers a holistic solution that goes beyond symptom management, providing children and their families with a better quality of life without the need for drugs or constant avoidance of stimuli.

Discovering Relief with Us

If your child experiences sensory overload or other neurosensory-related challenges, Sprout Family Chiropractic is here to help. Through our caring and compassionate approach, we seek to empower your child to thrive, reach developmental milestones, and unlock their full potential. Experience the difference of Neurologically-Focused Pediatric Chiropractic care and embark on a journey towards a brighter future for your child.


Sprout Family Chiropractic is located in Plymouth, Michigan

We specialize in pediatric and pregnancy focused Chiropractic care

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