Sensory Processing

When should I choose this Area of Focus for my Gabadoo?

We have 8 known sensory systems: tactile (touch), auditory (sound), visual (sight), taste, smell, interoception (internal sensations), vestibular (balancing, moving, stabilising our eyes) and proprioception (body position, body awareness, grading movements).

Within these sensory systems, we all have our own sensory preferences and differences. However, sometimes these differences can impact on a person's emotional well-being, attention, behaviour or ability to cope in specific environments or with specific tasks. 

How Do I know if Sensory Processing should be the focus of my Gabadoo?

Here are some behaviours you might see at home, you may be looking for support with one or more areas. Remember, this also only includes some behaviours you might see but our Gabadoo Team can help support you with many more.

My child becomes upset with loud noises or finds it hard to cope in busy environments.

My child enjoys making mouth sounds or playing with saliva (i.e. humming, spitting out and sucking, whistling etc.)

My child likes to chew on non-food objects (e.g. pencils, T.V. remote, soft foam etc.)

My child enjoys fidgeting, rocking or/and is constantly 'on the go'.

My child becomes nervous when their feet leave the ground. 

My child dislikes hair cutting, hair washing, nail trimming, certain textures of clothing, wearing underwear or/and brushing teeth.

My child will often tip their head backwards or shake their head from side to side.

My child becomes overwhelmed by smells (e.g. cooking, perfumes, shopping).

My child appears to crave touch, seeking out touch from objects or people constantly. 

My child doesn't like the feel of certain textures on their hand e.g. touching food, slimy textures, paint etc. 

My child finds it hard to interpret internal sensations such as when they are hot/cold, hungry, thirsty, needing to use the toilet etc.

My child enjoys looking at the visual details of objects or things e.g. sunlight through a design, spinning toys, shadows etc.

My child becomes dizzy easily, gets car-sick or/and has difficulty going in lifts, on elevators and/or swings. 

You also want to think about how this behaviour is impacting on your child's ability to cope day to day and include this information in your Gabadoo e.g. My child gets overwhelmed by loud noises so we have to avoid all busy places including family events, shopping centres, play areas etc. 


There is a separate area of focus for feeding & mealtimes so if you are looking for guidance specifically around expanding your child's diet and ability to cope with different food textures, it would be more appropriate to select feeding and mealtimes as your area of focus. 

There is a separate area of focus for designing sensory spaces so if you are looking for guidance specifically around choice of equipment, identifying a suitable space at home or at school or/and how to use equipment,it would be more appropriate to select sensory space design as your area of focus. 

There is also a separate area of focus for gross motor skills so if your main focus is your child's balance skills or motor coordination, when completing your Gabadoo, select gross motor skills as your area of focus. 

If you are completing a Gabadoo because your child struggles to concentrate with specific tasks, it might be more appropriate to select concentration as your area of focus. 

There is also a separate area of focus for if you are looking for support around your child's sleep routine. Therefore, when completing your Gabadoo, select bed-time routines as your area of focus. 

What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?

As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!

After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:

Family & Home Life:

Description of your family & the structure of your family including siblings, pets or any extended family who are living in your home.

The space available within your house and outside spaces including a garden, farm or playgrounds. Include noise pollution in your area if this is relevant.

Your daily routine including school hours, drop offs, child-care and free time in the evening and at the weekends so our team provide activities that are achievable for your routine. 

Strengths and Interests:

What does your child like to do?

What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?

What type of activities do they seek out?

What are some of their sensory preferences (e.g. swinging, tickling, climbing, cuddling, music, singing)?

Do they respond to praise from adults? 

Additional Information:

What class is your child in at school?

What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School. 

Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to their sensory processing? Or has your child ever had a medical review? If so, what was the outcome?

What have you tried before in terms of sensory strategies or equipment?

What does your child use as their method of communication? e.g. gestures, words, PECs, Lamh.

Make sure to include:

What you have seen at home and how is this impacting on your child or your family?

What would you like to gain from this Gabadoo? 

List your observations in relation to what type of sensory input appears to over-stimulate your child (e.g. loud noises) and what type of sensory input appears to support your child's ability to self-regulate (e.g. cuddles, small space etc.). 

Next include videos and images of your child and their environment:

  • A video clip that shows their whole body when engaging in lots of different activities or engaging in a specific behaviour which is relevant to your Gabadoo. 
  • A close-up video clip of a body part if you want it reviewed by our Team.
  • An image of specific equipment if necessary. 

Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be.

What support will I receive for my child?

Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in the area of 'sensory processing'. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to support your child. 

So, I'm ready to do my Gabadoo, what's my 'Area of Focus'

Sensory Processing - CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

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