I'm Just a Sheep!

I’m Just a Sheep!

“I’m just a sheep!” – the line uttered today by The Sensory Seeker. He is anything BUT just anything. It was actually a comical line and just perfect for his well-timed, well-spoken delivery. Seeing him on the centre stage, in front of everyone, performing just like any other child. In fact not even every child could do that, and some did not have any lines. He did so well singing all the songs and the actions too.

I'm Just a Sheep!To think I was worried about him starting at a mainstream school – and now here his last Christmas play – I wish he never had to leave. The support of the school has been amazing, but I cannot praise my little boy enough. He works so hard, but also gives life his all. He is so happy and tries to please those around him too (even though he does not quite understand that not everyone wants his hugs or kisses all the time!). He is on his 4 times tables – having already mastered his 10s, 5s and 2s and is blending his sounds to read.

I'm Just a Sheep!

This year he has coped with Christmas much easier – now he knows numbers, days and months a bit better. In fact he’s only been tempted twice to open his LEGO advent calendar ahead of the days! As I say, he’s touching people a bit more but generally coping much better (even if he does keep talking about Easter). We have only just put some (Christmas)  lights up (the Christmas decorations usually go up before the 1st December). In fact it is only after this first Christmas performance that we have really felt the change (trying to open his door and trying to get out of his seat belt whilst his dad was driving on the motorway). We usually don’t allow computer games until the weekend but we are finding that they are helping to stabilise him (and we are allowing him to play as a reward).

How are you finding the build up to Christmas and do you have any tips on coping?


Egg Carton Christmas Trees

Egg Carton Christmas Trees

Egg Carton Christmas Trees are good because they are so simple to make, utilise fine motor skills, are inexpensive (using recycled materials) and make great ornaments – which am sure will then enhance your child’s self-esteem.
Egg Carton Christmas TreesYou will need:

  • 1 egg carton (not the plastic sort)
  • paint
  • paint brush
  • paint pot
  • water
  • things to stick on
  • glue
  • glue spatial
  • glue pot
  • needle and cotton
  • scissors


  1. Cut out the egg cartons into individual cups.
  2. Simply paint the egg cups green and allow to dry.
  3. Thread the painted cups together tying a note in the underside of the cups and leaving enough string to hang them.
  4. Decorate with stickers, paper – or whatever you fancy for your tree.
  5. Hang it up.

Egg Carton Christmas Trees

Christmas and The Sensory Seeker

Christmas is a great time for the Sensory Seeker as there’s just so much stimulation for him. I think as he is getting older it is much easier for him to handle. For instance he has more of a concept of time. He has learnt the days of the week and that certain things happen on certain days (for example after school clubs, roast on Wednesdays at school etc), plus he is now learning to tell the time in his maths lessons. He understands now that there is a build up to Christmas and then a long wait before the next one (he used to wake up every day thinking it would be Christmas again). 6 and half is such a magical age anyway that I am sure this one will be truly magical.

Egg Carton Christmas Trees

Other Christmas Related Posts

Reindeer Food and Other Christmas Sensory Ideas

Visiting Friends and Family at Christmas when your child has Sensory Issues

The Sensory Seeker makes Christmas Tree Biscuits

Reindeer Christmas Crafts

Christmas Cards and The Sensory Seeker

Christmas Crafts for The Sensory Seeker

Making Christmas easier for The Sensory Seeker

The Sensory Seeker makes Hot Chocolate Santas Teacher Gifts

When every day is a bad day




LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the Hotel

LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the Hotel

LEGOLAND Windsor has always been for me a place that really caters for those with special needs. We visited for this year’s Brick or Treat on Halloween and LEGO NINJAGO fireworks – deciding to stay in the LEGOLAND Hotel rather than going home.

LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the Hotel

LEGOLAND Windsor and Additional Needs

The first time we ever visited was because an Autism forum were having a meet up and all agreed it was the best place to meet the needs of their kids. Well this must have been about 9ish years ago now and it has never let us down yet. They offer a ride access pass so that those who cannot queue can still access the rides. This is for 10 rides but we have never done 10 yet (in fact the last day we managed 3 rides!). Also I believe this is down to the understanding nature of the staff. For more information please see my previous post: Disability Access Guide to UK theme Parks.

LEGOLAND Windsor Hotel in General

With the introduction of the LEGOLAND Hotel I think that LEGOLAND Windsor is even more accommodating for those with additional needs: Even those who are not guests can visit the floor with Bricks restaurant on – which also has additional Xboxes and an indoor play area. This gives a place to escape from the crowds a little. I noticed that the general toilets had paper towels rather than hand driers, and the toilets in the rooms had toddler seats built into the seat too.

For guests of the LEGOLAND Windsor Hotel there is (obviously) the benefit of having a room. This is super themed in LEGO, with clues to solve to open the safe (to reveal a LEGO gift) as well as a box of LEGO to play with (great for fine motor development).  The rooms have LEGO TV for the children in their room (and another tv for the adults). The beds had light switches by them – but you can also take the key card out to stop the lights from working (our Sensory Seeker just kept flicking it on and off!!!)

LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the HotelThere was entertainment provided in the morning and night time on the floor which is level with the LEGOLAND Resort. There’s a LEGO themed swimming pool inside the hotel (which also helps calm the Sensory Seeker). The towels are provided and it is communal changing rooms of a good size (5 of us fitted in with plenty of room); with refundable lockers at £1

Breakfast is included in the price of the stay and is an all you can eat buffet. There’s a section which is lower down so that children can help themselves. There’s a good range of foods available – meeting the needs of even the fussiest* of children. Hotel guests are able to enter the LEGOLAND Resort** earlier than normal the next day – beneficial to those who are unable to cope with crowds.

See also my previous post when we stayed at The LEGOLAND Hotel for Junior Brick Builders Week

How the LEGOLAND Hotel was beneficial for the Sensory Seeker on Fireworks night

Although LEGOLAND continue to elevate the problem of large crowds dispersing from the park after the fireworks, this can still be overwhelming for those with additional needs. We felt that staying overnight would make the situation easier for us. On staying I also discovered some other benefits.

LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the Hotel

First of all the hotel gave us a place to recover. If the Sensory Seeker had over done it (or become over stimulated) we could take him back to the room away from the crowds. That is not to say that the room wasn’t further stimulating but he could watch LEGO TV to help him calm down. If your child needed to sleep during the day this is also provided it as an option. As we went for Halloween it allowed our Sensory Seeker to dress up and have face paint on in the evening – which he would have found too much to have on all day. It meant that we did not need to carry around additional things (such as spare clothes in case he had an accident) as the hotel is located within the park. It also allowed us to take additional things like light up bands for the fireworks – but equally ear defenders or sweets could be left there. You may be interested in my previous post on Sensory Processing Disorder and the Auditory Sense to see whether fireworks may be a problem or not. When it came to the Firework display there was a hotel guests viewing area in the Driving school – meaning that the Sensory Seeker had somewhere to run around and not be crowded in.

LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the Hotel

Conclusion of The Sensory Seeker at The LEGOLAND Windsor Hotel for Fireworks night

The Sensory Seeker had an amazing time and has not stopped talking about it. He is very familiar with LEGOLAND Windsor which I think helps. He actually collected his brick for going 5 times this season. He was super thrilled that he is 1.2m tall and can go on all the rides. There were a few teething problems (such as being turned away from the disabled queue because a ride was closing for the fireworks and the sheer amount of people trying to move after the fireworks) but all in all I think that LEGOLAND Windsor strive to improve the situation. The main problem I can see is if the fireworks are too much then you are unable to go back to the hotel. We were able to do the “after dark” challenges and collect limited edition pop badges before going to dinner at Bricks. It took the boys ages to get to sleep as they were just so excited! I would definitely recommend this and do it again – it certainly was a nice change from Trick or Treating. We were also pleased to see that Brick or Treat was on until November 2nd so the boys were still able to participate in the Halloween activities that LEGOLAND had put on for the Half Term.

LEGOLAND Windsor, Brick or Treat, Halloween, Fireworks and the Hotel

You may also be interested in my post about visiting Disneyland Paris with Sensory Processing Disorder (where there was also fireworks).

Other bloggers who have additional needs in the family who stayed at the hotel at the same time as me are Purple Ella and Our Little Escapades who may offer a different view point to mine.

*disclaimer hopefully! ** Note that only a few rides are open at this time though.

This is not a sponsored post. I paid for my own Merlin Annual Pass and room at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. All words and opinions are my own.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London and The Sensory Seeker

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London and The Sensory Seeker

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co is a restaurant influenced from the famous 1994 film Forrest Gump. A must for any fan of the film and/or seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. remains the only restaurant chain based on a motion picture property. We were reluctant to go as we are not big seafood fans but were invited as part of an experience to visit Ripley’s Believe it or Not! London. Having researched before going that there was indeed non-seafood options on the menu for the children I agreed to go.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London and The Sensory Seeker

Initial Impressions of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London

Straight away you see the iconic bench and box of chocolates from the film, and can sit and have your photo taken (I completely missed this though as it was popular and The Sensory Seeker would not have had the patience to wait). The restaurant was up some stairs which meant that The Sensory Seeker had plenty of movement before having to sit down. There is access for wheelchair users also.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co and The Sensory Seeker

We sat in a booth with a table in the middle and bench seating either side. There was plenty of space and the height of the table was just right for eating. We had already decided what the children were eating but a menu was given to us anyway. On the table was a bucket which very usefully contained kitchen roll – I am assuming this was because of the amount of finger food consumed –  but came in really handy when The Sensory Seeker knocked his drink all over the table. The children were given activity sheets and crayons straight away – which was a big help in keeping them settled during the short wait for the food. It was a great sensory experience with so many visual touches from the film all around, and the children’s food came presented in a little boat. The food was taken well by The Sensory Seeker (he opted for the burger and chips) even when he was surprised to see that it came with an orange (which he just let us remove).

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London and The Sensory Seeker

The Food at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London

I think there is a good variety of foods to try to suit all palates:

All kids menu include French fries, fruit and a special treat. My boys went for the Bus Bench Burger (£5.50) and the Holy Moly Macaroni Cheese Pleeze (£4.50; this actually has shrimp in it but we did not realise this from the menu!).

We had a selection of the signature dishes to try:

Shrimp Shack Mac & Cheese: An adult portion of what the children received of Macaroni mixed with sautéed Shrimp, Cheddar, Jack Cheese and Parmesan Cheese. Topped with golden bread crumbs. Deep fried Calamari & Best Ever Popcorn Shrimp – both served with Red Bell peppers and pepperoncinis served with dipping sauces. Run Across America Sample: Bubba’s Far Out Dip and Chips, Chilled Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp, spicy Chicken Strips, Hush Pups and Mama Blue’s Fried Shrimp. Seafood Hush Pups: Tasty Shrimp and Fish with golden corn, deep fried and served with a Remoulade dippin’ sauce. Shrimper’s Heaven: Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Chilled Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp, Fried Shrimp and Japanese style Tempura Shrimp with Fries (plus the dipping sauces). Forrest’s Seafood Feast: Forrest’s favourite meal after a day on the boat! Hand breaded Southern Fried Shrimp, Seafood Hush Pups, Fish & Chips, & Coleslaw. Bubbas After the Storm ‘Bucket of Boat Trash’: Flash fried Shrimp, Fish with Cajun Spices and a steamed cluster of Snow Crab. Served with fries. Shrimp & Veggie Skewers: Large shrimp, skewered with fresh Red Bell Peppers, Red Onion, Yellow Squash and Zucchini, chargrilled and served with Jasmine Rice and a Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce. Dixie Style Baby Back Ribs: Ribs brushed with homemade BBQ sauce, slow roasted to perfection and served with fries. Net Catch Entrée: a twist on Bubba’s Classic! Beer steamed Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp, along with Carrots, Celery, Corn, Potatoes and Sausage all steamed and tossed with Garlic Spice or our Secret Cajun Spice recipe.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London and The Sensory Seeker

Puddings: Key Lime Pie (Garnished with whipped cream. We make this Florida classic from scratch!), Mama’s warm Bread Pudding, homemade Biscuit topped with fresh strawberries and melt in your mouth Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae.

My Verdict of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London

I have to admit that a seafood restaurant is not the first place I would have thought to take my children but glad we were invited. There were options that were not seafood but also seeing me eating it encouraged them to want to try it. The food was beautifully presented and the staff were very attentive (without being annoyingly in your face) – it was the perfect balance for my family. It was a spacious venue and there were television dotted around – also great for holding The Sensory Seeker’s attention. Downstairs is also a gift shop so you can continue your experience when you go home.

13 Coventry St, London W1D 7AB – nearest Tube Station Piccadilly Circus


We received free food in order to review Bubba Gump Shrimp Co London all words and opinions are my own.

X+Y - Film Review

X+Y – Film Review

X+Y is an emotional British drama inspired by a true story. A story of growing up, leaving home, maths, relationships, loss and Autistic Spectrum disorder. Nathan (played by the young and talented Asa Butterfield) who following his diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome loses his dad. He seems to be the one person who really understood Nathan and made him happy. We see how hard Nathan’s mother Julie (Sally Hawkins) tries to understand her son but she fails even to get him to let her hold his hand.

X+Y - Film Review

Nathan is gifted at Mathematics and is spotted by an unconventional teacher Mr. Humphreys (Rafe Spall) and lands a place on the International Mathematical Olympiad UK squad. It is just when you want to scream at your television that not all kids with Aspergers are savants the film comes into its own and shows that in the team Nathan isn’t superior – he’s just average. He no longer feels weird, and in contrast another boy, Luke (Jake Davies) also has Asperger’s and is very different to Nathan. The harrowing contrast between someone on the Autistic Spectrum finding love and being happy, to that of not fitting in to a sad extent. I think that anyone who has been touched by Autism will enjoy this film. I think it does a good job of bringing about awareness of the condition in a watchable way. Be prepared to be moved to tears.

X+Y - Film Review

This film portrays Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Issues well – as Nathan struggles to understand others, communicate and cope with visual and auditory stimulation. I watched this film with my husband and we agreed that we saw some parallels with our own son with Asperger’s syndrome – such as sometimes he just needs to be really pushed to do the things he feels uncomfortable with.

X+Y - Film Review In saying that there were also areas of the film which we felt ignored the fact that Nathan was on the Autistic Spectrum – such as his (and his mother’s) ease at him moving out of home, and the general adapting to changes without any seeming problems.

X+Y - Film Review

This film is a 12 and I think that there are some scenes to that viewers may find emotionally distressing, including scenes of injury and self-harm.

I received a free copy of X+Y for purposes of review. I was also given a book and some maths equipment. All words and opinions are my own.

my curious brain of noise

My Curious Brain of Noise – Sarah Froggatt

My Curious Brain of Noise – Sarah Froggatt

If you ever wanted an insight into why your child (or one you teach) is fine with something one day and not the next; why they are particular about sitting on a particular chair or can’t sit still, or a million other things that puzzle you about their behaviour then My Curious Brain of Noise could be just for you.

The story follows Luca who, amongst other things, has sensory issues. He doesn’t like to sit on the blue mat and likes to sit on a particular chair at school (the one with the white dot). If only people could take the time to listen and understand him it would make his (and their) lives much easier. This story shows the importance of a good school – one that tries to understand, of communicating with the child with sensory issues, of how they feel when their mother gets upset about their behaviours, it tackles bullying in school (because he is just different) and of course how everyday things can affect them so much (amongst many many other things).

my curious brain of noise

My Opinions on My Curious Brian of Noise

I feel that this book is a great insight into Sensory Processing Disorder for those who are new to the condition, whilst also providing a deeper understanding to those already knowledgeable. It really helped me stop and take another look at how things may be for The Sensory Seeker and understand why some of his behaviours come about. It reinforced my beliefs that communication is key. It was extremely well written with a mix of fact, humour and great story telling. Believe me I do not get much time to read and I need to “get into” a book to read it – this definitely had that. I loved the illustrations that not only broke the book up a bit more but further went on to explain what was going on in Luca’s head.

I recommend you go get this book – even if you don’t want to understand Sensory Processing Disorder it is a very good read.

ISBN 9781501025853

Ages 9+

Sarah Froggatt


My Curious Brain of Noise Giveaway!

To have a chance of winning your own copy of My Curious Brain of Noise then enter the Rafflecopter below and answer the question below in no less than 10 words:

What appeals to you most about this book?

UK only. E:31/07/2015
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent this book as the author felt that I may benefit from reading it. All words and opinions are my own.

Sensory Processing Disorder and Mainstream School

Sensory Processing Disorder and Mainstream School

Children with Sensory Processing Disorder may end up attending a mainstream school. This could be for many number of reasons including the lack of availability of special schools, not meeting the criteria for special schools or just wanting them to attend a mainstream school. You may want to just send the child who has sensory difficulties to the local mainstream school so that they mix locally with their peers or you may want to consider what they will offer in terms of help and support.

Sensory Processing Disorder and Mainstream School

Sensory Processing Disorder and Mainstream School things to consider:

I was really nervous about The Sensory Seeker starting at a mainstream school but actually I think it was the best thing for him. He is now going into year 2 and doing really well. I believe this is down to the support of the school.

  1. A school that cares..

For me it was very important for me (as well as my child) to know that the school would talk to me before my son attended, to help alleviate any fears. Unfortunately the primary school my other 2 boys were at did not care and said lots of negative things about my child (and my parenting). It was then that I looked for alternatives (for ALL of them).

  1. A school that understands.

The school that my boys moved to had a good understanding of Sensory Processing disorder and offered suggestions on how they could help. I don’t think the school needs to have previous experience (which they did) but they DO need to listen. I think this is especially important as individuals have different Sensory Diets and therefore will be affected differently.

  1. A school that supports.

I feel that we have been really lucky and the Head Teacher/SENCO has been really supportive. She works long & hard, knows her stuff, researches what she does not know, asks for our input, is always approachable – and found the money required for full time support as needed for our Sensory Seeker. She even has helped with suggestions to help support him out of school.

Sensory Processing Disorder and Mainstream School

Each of the Senses and Problems in Mainstream School

Auditory – how are the classrooms laid out? Is their provision if the child needs extra noise stimulation, or somewhere quiet? Will the teachers shout? How to they handle undesirable behaviour? Will the individual be told off, or just praised for desirable behaviour?

Visual Sense – What are the displays like? Is there too much or not enough stimulation around?

Proprioception & Vestibular Sense – Is there playground equipment? Are there rules? Do the school have any gross motor skills programmes? Will they ensure the child is supported during PE lessons? Does the school have stairs? Will there be additional support with toileting and eating (not stuffing too much food into their mouth so that they choke) and/or getting food all over the place. That the right amount of stimulation is provided so that they do not appear too rough on others.

Tactile – that they have enough input through touch and are given clear rules and guidelines about touching others (without feeling that they are being told off). Help with food (again) to take into account any texture problems as they can be very particular about things touching or the sensations from the food. Help dealing with not getting covered in things (food, paint, mud etc) if a tactile sensory seeker. Also helping to develop peer relationships and explaining why the individual is standing too close/trying to touch/covering themselves in food. Will the school allow the child to bring in sensory aids such as a weighted blanket and/or chewy toy?

Olfactory – Is food cooked on the premises? Are there any other obvious smells? Can the child bring in a hankie or something else with fragrance?

Other Posts you may find of interest:

Obviously I have written this post with my very limited experience of our own Sensory Seeker who seems to be quite mild and coping really well. I would love to hear feedback and suggestions for other parents of children with Sensory Processing Disorder in the comments below. Thank you.

Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

I think that it is obvious from the mere mention of Disneyland that this is going to be a place with plenty of sensory experiences. How someone manages Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder is going to be determined by how they are effected. This post is written in terms of how we helped The Sensory Seeker when we visited Disneyland Paris and an insight into things you may want to consider if planning a visit. The things may also apply to other Disney parks.

Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

How old is the person you are taking to Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder?

We had previously taken The Sensory Seeker in the first two years of his life. Obviously we were unaware of his Sensory Processing Disorder at that time and believed things were due to his age. He pretty much cried and cried the whole time. Obviously we have also learnt a lot more about how to deal with his Sensory issues since but I do think you need to consider the person’s age. And height. As with all theme parks there are restrictions on rides with minimum height requirements. Some children are easier than others to explain this to. Find out which rides they can and cannot go on and plan accordingly.

When to go to Disneyland with Someone with Sensory Processing Disorder

I think you really need to ask yourself what is best for the individual with Sensory Processing Disorder. If they are an avoider then it is going to be much harder for them to cope with peak season for example. Or the added touches of celebrations of Halloween and Christmas may be far too overwhelming. What are their main sensory problems – for example Spring is more likely to have a very high smell from the flowers.

Disneyland with Sensory Processing DisorderHow long is the park open (as it is open much later with fireworks/music/lights display on selected dates not all). If they are of school age and not home schooled I think that you need to consider how missing school will affect them by going at a quieter period. Personally we went in the May half term holidays – this is slightly quieter as French children are still at school. We felt that The Sensory Seeker is behind his peers too far to miss school for that period of time. Also think about how long you are going for. Would it be better lots of days and spread it out, or would one day in the parks suit the individual better and get it all out of the way? Think realistically about what you want to cover. It really helped us that we had been previously so knew which rides to head for. Also check what will be open.

When to tell the individual with Sensory Processing Disorder that they are going to Disneyland

A lot of things I would agree that planning and preparation is key. With Disneyland I don’t feel so much. The Sensory Seeker was told the night before, and even then I feel this was too early. He knows what Disneyland is, it is on the television ALL the time. He was hyped and had trouble sleeping. My only real problem with not preparing him is that he thought that we were going to Disney World and so was disappointed to find a pink castle.

How going to Disneyland can affect those with Sensory Processing Disorder

Auditory – there’s going to be a lot of noise stimulation – from the crowds, music from the carnivals, the rides. This can be a problem for both avoiders and seekers (as they can become overstimulated) – you may want to consider the use of ear plugs or headphones. They could take an i-pod and have their favourite music on it, or some calming down sounds. We also took a Kidizoom Smart Watch as he was able to record sounds into it – which is what helps him calm down (and was great whilst he had to wait). Think about how much noise there will be on each ride – will you need to warn them? Will it have any sudden sounds? Before you go try to work out where the more noise and quiet areas of the park are. Offer breaks and seek solace in the quiet. If your child is not scared of hand dryers then I found that these were quieter and offered a welcome break. Listen to them and give them control about what they want to do.

Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

Visual – You cannot escape the visual stimulation at Disneyland. I couldn’t even begin to list it but the rides and special effects, the characters, the flowers, the Castle, the displays – I could go on.  Again consider the rides – is it dark or are there a lot of light effects. If they are a seeker think about spacing out the stimulating rides so that they do not over stimulate themselves. Sunglasses and hats are good at reducing the visual stimulation for avoiders. Seek places to sit in the shade or where it is darker – such as under trees. If a Seeker cannot get enough visual stimulation whilst at Disneyland (perhaps whilst waiting) then maybe take a toy spinner with lots of colours for them to focus on. This may also help you move on around the park if they get fixated with the visual stimulation in one part of the park/ride. If you take a pushchair (or hire one) consider getting a dark cover for it to block out the light and allow some chill out time.

Proprioception & Vestibular This is really a case of thinking about the rides again. Will they throw out their sense of proprioception – and how will they cope with this in such a crowded environment. Find the space for them if they need to spin around, or run, or allow them time out/let them rock, take weighted items with you if needs be, and consider hiring a pushchair (which isn’t like the “baby” versions). Let them carry the backpack – the weight of it will give them more of an awareness about where their body is.

Tactile – This will differ depending on the weather. Will you have a problem with getting them to wear sun lotion or a hat? Will hot or cold weather be better for their coping? Could they wear gloves/ear defenders/a coat? The Sensory Seeker actually got us to buy a new hat with ears that hang down the sides of his face.

Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

Think about how you cope normally with issues such as labels and textures in clothing. Might this change throughout the day with the different stimulation? Could you take alternate clothes? (We took them in case of a toileting accident too). What will they be like in the crowds? You can visit Guest Services in City Hall to get a green card which will help with queuing/parades/displays etc. Take with you proof of the condition (they recommended a blue parking badge). They will also give a guide to disabilities and are very helpful. This will allow the individual with Sensory Processing Disorder not to have to stand in the big queues. The Sensory Seeker is very much into touching people’s faces and licking them so this card helped a great deal. Again a weighted blanket is good, and/or something to fiddle with.

We took plenty of snacks – try to take ones with a variety of textures. Also think about whether the Character meet and greets are okay for your child or a bit too overwhelming. Alternative watch the carnival as they go by but do not get too close. If you are staying at night it can get very dark but there are also lots of lovely lights around the park.

Disneyland with Sensory Processing Disorder

Note the worst part for me, never mind The Sensory Seeker, was getting through the bag check. It is crowded and people push (so desperate to get into the park). If you book a Disney hotel you get magic hours which means you can go earlier so it is less busy. There are quicker queues if you have no bag so I let my family go through and meet me on the other side.

Disneyland with Sensory Processing DisorderGustatory – check out what foods there are available before you go. You can take things in with you too. There are lots of water fountains about but we knew that The Sensory Seeker would not drink it so took some squeezy in to flavour it.

Olfactory – there are a LOT of flowers and smells from food. You could take your own scent in a bottle or on a cloth. Other than that I am not sure what you could do about it but it is something to be aware of. If anyone has any suggestions about this sense (or any of the others) I would appreciate your comments in the box below please.

Top Tips for Disneyland Paris and Sensory Processing Disorder

  • If you can book the on-site hotel – this will give you the opportunity for breaks, quietness, leaving things (such as weighted blankets) and so you can watch the firework display without it being too crowded/noisy (I say this I have never actually stayed so please check this is accurate).
  • Continue any Sensory Diet and Sensory exercises that you utilise at home.
  • Split up as a family if need be – allowing the individual time to relax or go on rides that suit their needs without the whole day needing to revolve around them.
  • Consider whether rides are proprioceptive (spinny), calming (water), dark or with lots of lights.
  • Listen to them – they may have loved spinning around at the beginning of the day but by the end it may all be too much.
  • Most importantly be flexible. For example if you were planning on staying for the fireworks and they just cannot cope then it won’t be enjoyable for anyone.
  • If you have a Seeker go and visit the big fan in Walt Disney Studios.


Visit Pinkoddy or tips on visiting Disneyland Paris on a small budget.  With special thanks to AttractionTix who made the trip affordable.

Sensory Seeker Progress Aged 6

Sensory Seeker Progress Aged 6

I thought I would give you a little update on The Sensory Seeker. He turned 6 at the end of April and is currently in year 1 of a Mainstream school. In previous years the topic has come up about him staying back a year and we had decided not to. Well I am (touch wood) pleased to say that this hasn’t come up this year. He is making remarkable progress in all areas and we are so proud of him.

Sensory Seeker Progress Aged 6

Speech and Language

He has met his target for Speech and Language of talking about what happens next (although the SALT did agree that this is with guidance from his TA). He still keeps calling girls he but now knows that he should be saying she and does correct himself. He needs to work on “why” questions but I am noticing even more that things are very black and white. For example he was asked why was the girl standing on the stool and he was unable to answer the why because he was too busy explaining that she was naughty and shouldn’t be! His reading and amount of words he knows by just looking at them is coming on in leaps and bounds.

Sensory Seeker Progress Aged 6I think the second pack of the Alphablocks Reading Programme has helped with this. This set introduces the “letter teams” and blending them in a fun way with activities and games – not forgetting those all-important gold stars to reward him when he gets it right. I feel that books each progress well from each other, and the second set from the first. They are interesting and colourful. I do like the flash cards and think that they are very beneficial for The Sensory Seeker as they are so visual.

Diet, Health & Hygiene

Sensory Seeker Progress Aged 6Obviously there was no miracle and he still eats nowhere near as good as his brothers but I can hand on heart say I think that the free school meals provided at school have really helped give him the push to try new things. It is all too easy to give in at home, worrying that your child may starve – but at school there is only the food provided and no other option. He asked for grapes in his cereal this morning and his dad accidentally put milk in the bowl too – BUT he still ate it all.

The Sensory Seeker is regularly using his brown inhaler morning and night, and even reminding me to give it him. We have had far less (toileting) accidents in the day and night – and now even sleeps in his normal pants.

I guess swimming also comes under this section and I am really pleased to say that he is coping well in group swimming lessons now. In fact I do not have to watch him all the time when he has a lesson now and so was really surprised at just how well his swimming ability has come along on our recent holiday.


Well he is super whizzy at maths and is not only counting but making number bonds up to twenty.

Gross & Fine Motor Development

The Sensory Seeker’s gross motor skills are also coming along well if watching him on his Microscooter is anything to go by! He still needs to develop more of a sense of other people’s space but physically he is able to use his body to move well.

He still isn’t holding a pencil properly but can write legibly with support. Given the option he preferred to use a pencil over the tablet which is great news. We keep on providing him with things to help develop his fine motor development. LEGO is a big favourite in our house and it is everywhere and played with every day at all times. It is the only toy I have all over my house!

Busy Busy Things That Go 2000 Stickers Big, Fast, loud and tough!

Sensory Seeker Progress Aged 6There is nothing better than a good sticker activity book to help develop those fine motor skills. This book is just perfect for my little boy with it being packed full of diggers, buses, planes, boats, demolition vehicles, tractors, ambulances, fire engines, trains, scooters and so on. There is a great mix of colouring in, stickers and activities such as mazes, follow the line, spot the difference and observation skills. I love how all the stickers give a lot of free expression and creativity without making any mess.

It was also very beneficial for helping him develop more of a relationship with his older brother (aged 7) as they were both able to share the book, as well as work on it together.

ISBN 978-1-4723-6699-3 £8.00 Parragon Books Ltd


The Sensory Seeker seems to get on well with others and has certain people he asks to play with. I am sad to hear him talk about how other children get invited to each other’s houses and he doesn’t but that could have absolutely no relation to his special needs. He is being invited to parties and no-one is nasty to him. The Sensory Seeker does still need help in maintain play going as he can join in but then doesn’t understand properly how to play by other’s rules.

We were sent Busy Busy Things That Go 2000 Stickers Big, Fast, loud and tough! and  the Alphablocks Reading Programme free of charge for purposes of review. All words and opinions are my own.

Sensory Temperature Issues and Possible Solutions

Sensory Processing Disorder is when the brain struggles with the ability to filter out stimulus from the senses, which  it does not need to function at that time. One of the senses that may be affected is that of temperature. However, sensory temperature issues are not often discussed in their own right. I believe that sensory temperature issues may just be the difficulty at work in many situations, therefore it is best to consider whether there is a problem. This is known as one of the problems with the interoceptive sense.

Sensory Temperature Issues with the Environment

Sensory Temperature Issues and Possible SolutionsThose with Sensory Processing Disorder may struggle for their brains to regulate the temperature of their bodies in the environment, in the same way neurotypical people do. For example those with sensory temperature difficulties may feel hot whilst others feel cold. It may be that they refuse to wear a coat, or in more extreme cases no clothes at all. I have not been diagnosed personally, but often find that when others are cold I feel really hot. Sensory difficulties with temperature can mean that heat can be really unwelcome and make those affected feel ill. Personally my skin goes all tight and itchy, my head hurts, I feel all dizzy and like I cannot breathe. It may be that the individual with Sensory temperature issues is having trouble sweating to cool down (or the opposite they might sweat too much).

It is important to make sure that their behaviours ARE sensory temperature related and not just behavioural (such as just not wanting to wear a coat), or other sensory issues such as due to tactile sensory issues (the coat feels uncomfortable due its texture). The main difficulties The Sensory Seeker has with temperature and environment are the fact that he finds snow too cold (but really wants to touch it) and cannot stand having sun lotion on. Temperature could affect how those with sensory processing disorder/autism react in many situations because the room is either too hot or too cold – including when they are brushing their teeth, refusal to have a bath (which also needs to be the right temperature – some like it really hot, others really cold and others tepid!), eating dinner, going to sleep, etc – make sure that temperature is ruled out!

Sensory Temperature issues with Food

Sensory Temperature Issues and Possible SolutionsWhether food is the right temperature is not just an issue for those with sensory processing disorder. Have you ever been served something you found too hot or cold? You know that if it is too hot you can blow on it (or wait). That if it’s too cold it will need reheating you simply cannot eat it. You also will appreciate that there will always be certain foods that you may prefer hot but will eat cold (in my case it is with pizza).The individual with sensory temperature issues is just the same, but may not have the same “tastes” as you. Also because it is a problem with the brain regulating the sense of temperature, they may not like the temperature to be the same every time! So one day you may cook them scrambled egg and they may like it as soon as it’s cooked, yet another time it is deemed too hot and they wait until it is stone cold before they eat it! We find that The Sensory Seeker is still developing an understanding of temperature (to regulate things himself) and sometimes needs persuading to try the food again (for example if it was previously too hot but now time has passed we know it will be cooler).

Ways to help with Sensory Temperature Issues

Sensory Temperature Issues and Possible SolutionsMy advice would be to really get to know and understand the individual with sensory temperature issues. Ask yourself if it really is a problem, and why – are they going to get ill for example. Think of ways you may be able to get around it for example, it is not very practical for the child to go out without any clothes on, but maybe you could find something very lightweight for them. Consider whether clothing covers the body or not. Those who are easily cold may prefer long sleeves. I cannot stand long sleeves as I am easily hot. What I tend to do is wear layers, with a short sleeved vest top on the bottom (well above my underwear) so that I can easily adjust my temperature that way (quickly). I take a coat that can be easily stored in a bag if there is a risk of it raining. There are special clothes that can be bought to help regulate body temperature, otherwise I have heard that silk and bamboo materials are good. Of course you may be able to manipulate the temperature of the environment with heating and air-conditioning – but this may not suit others, and the individual with the sensory disorder may not like the noise (or feel).

Be patient – can you just wait for food to cool down? Could you reheat food, because they have said it is too cold when normally they like it cold? Somethings I think have to just be accepted as being “difficult” – The Sensory Seeker often asks for ice-cream but then finds it too cold to eat. We just let him try it every time. Maybe one day he will even get the association that ice-cream is cold (and he doesn’t like that).

Do you have any sensory temperature issues or solutions?