Navigating Childhood Trauma and Sensory Challenges in Your Child's Education

Posted August 16th, 2023

As parents, we want the best for our children's development and well-being. It's important to recognize that when a child goes through distressing experiences, such as trauma, it can have lasting effects on their growth. One of these effects is sensory dysregulation, which can impact how your child processes and responds to things they see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. In this article, we'll dive into sensory dysregulation, how it relates to childhood trauma, and how it can affect your child's education.

Understanding Sensory Dysregulation

Sensory dysregulation might sound complex, but it's about how your child's brain handles the information it gets from their senses. Think about it like this – when your child's senses (like seeing, hearing, and touching) don't work together smoothly, it can cause some difficulties. For example, they might be extra sensitive to certain sounds or not notice things they should. This can make it hard for them to concentrate, pay attention, and participate in school activities.

Effects on Learning

Attention and Focus: Imagine your child trying to read a book while someone is playing music loudly nearby. It's tough. Well, sensory dysregulation can make it hard for your child to ignore distracting sounds or sights. This can make it tricky for them to focus on what their teacher says or does in class.

  • Emotional Regulation: Sometimes, when your child's senses are overwhelmed, it can make them feel emotional or jumpy. This might affect how well they can control their feelings. And when they feel too emotional, it's harder for them to learn and join in with their classmates.
  • Memory and Learning: Just like how you might struggle to remember things when stressed, sensory dysregulation can make it harder for your child to remember what they're learning. When their senses are all over the place, their brain is too busy to store new information.
  • Making Friends: Your child's senses can also influence how they connect with others. If certain sensory things bother them, they might avoid places or people, making it harder to make friends and get along with teachers.

Supporting Your Child with Sensory Dysregulation

How can you support your child's sensory needs at home?

  • Sensory-Friendly Environment: Creating a calm and comfortable space for your child can help. This means having quiet spots, reducing things that distract them, and using tools like fidget toys or headphones to make learning easier for them.
  • Sensory Activities: Sometimes, doing activities that involve their senses can help your child feel more balanced. Simple things like squeezing a stress ball or taking short movement breaks can make a big difference.
  • Understanding Trauma: If your child has experienced trauma, it's important for their teachers to know. Teachers can create a safer place for them to learn and grow by using techniques that understand and respect their feelings.


Childhood trauma and sensory challenges can affect how your child learns and interacts with the world. By understanding sensory dysregulation and its impact on education, you can work with teachers to create an environment where your child can thrive. By making small changes like providing sensory-friendly spaces, engaging in sensory activities, and fostering understanding, you're helping your child overcome obstacles and embrace their full academic and emotional potential.

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We are here to support you and your child on your educational advocacy journey. Whether you have questions, need guidance, or are ready to take the next steps in advocating for your child's rights, our team at Wings to Learning Advocacy LLC is just a phone call or email away.