If you have a child with a sensory processing disorder, you can still take your son or daughter camping. To get the most out of the trip, you should make special accommodations so that your child won’t become over sensitized when spending time in the wilderness. Here are some of the best things to do for a child with a sensory processing disorder during a camping trip.
Stick to Open Spaces
Confined spaces are often problematic for children with sensory processing disorders, and you should make a point to keep your son or daughter in open spaces while outdoors. Open fields that are clear of tall trees and thick bushes where your child will have less chances of suffering from claustrophobia or brushing up against anything that could trigger symptoms may work well. It’s best to avoid narrow trails that may seem too confining. Cave exploring should also be avoided.
Spend Time Near Flowing Water
The sound and movement of flowing water can decrease anxiety and help desensitize your child. Spending time near rivers and streams with abundant waterflow that are easily accessible from your campsite can give your child additional security. It’s best to camp as close as possible to a running water source so that you can take your son or daughter there whenever senses start to become overstimulated.
Provide a Safe Space
You should have a designated safe space nook where your child can go for some time alone whenever senses start to become overwhelming. A private tent can be set up so that your son or daughter can enjoy some private time while desensitizing and readjusting to the environment. Camper trailers that are spacious and accommodating also work well for children with sensory processing disorders.
Bring the Right Clothing and Accessories
Certain types of clothing and accessories work especially well for children who have a difficult time processing senses. Understood.org suggests bringing clothes that are extra soft and made with natural materials. Long-sleeved light jackets often work well for keeping children warm without overwhelming the sense of touch. Light gloves and hats can also be excellent sensory barriers. Bright sunlight in the eyes could trigger adverse reactions, and a durable pair of sunglasses can adequately shield the eyes.
Your son or daughter with a sensory processing disorder can still have fun on a camping trip if you take the right precautions. Spending time outdoors doesn’t have to be overwhelming for the senses, and you can do your part as a parent to help ensure that your child has a positive experience.