As you can see there are many many overlap of common symptoms of ADHD behaviors between sensory processing issues, and anxiety. This is because they are all part of regulation.
Regulation is not the ability to always remain calm, but it is the ability to take in and process information and feel the emotions and physical and emotional changes that come with the processing of information. It is the ability to manage all of those things. Regulation is the ability of the body to be in balance. That means for your body to be able to process and manage the information it receives including the sensory, emotional, and cognitive or “thinking” information.
A child who is covering their ears may be struggling to process the sensory information at that time. A child who is refusing food may have a body that is overwhelmed with adrenaline and cortisol and other stress chemicals. A child who is unable to fall asleep may be struggling to regulate what is going on between their brain and body, and have difficulty relaxing on their own. A child who is aggressive may be spending more time in a fight or flight response than in a comfortable and regulated state. This can make transitions and new interactions very difficult for them to process.
When you look at this image you may think you see three different “diagnoses”, but if you think of them as all related to regulation, then it can help streamline how you approach all of these behaviors. Follow along @movementmatters if you want to learn more about regulation or comment LEARN for a free webinar all about regulation and behavior