For many families, hearing that their loved one has a neurodevelopmental condition can be overwhelming. To those unfamiliar with conditions like Autism and ADHD, the prospect of living with lifelong sensory issues and behavioural difficulties is daunting and leaves parent/carers facing an uncertain future for their children.

There are very few statutory services available to families until a formal diagnosis is made and as the assessment process can be lengthy (and stressful!) this is often the time when they need practical support the most! Families don’t know where to turn and parents/carers frequently tell us they felt isolated and lost, unsure how to best support their child.

Awareness of neurodiversity is slowly improving however, there is still a lack of acceptance due to misunderstandings and the stereotyping of neurodivergent individuals.

Many families feel excluded from mainstream activities and public places as the noise, pace and size of groups is too much for their youngster to cope with. The emotions of a neurodivergent youngster are often heightened and as sensory triggers can lead to a “meltdown” (either physical or emotional) this can result in difficult situations when in public.

Families not only have to deal with the challenges of caring for a youngster with additional needs but they often worry about onlookers wrongly interpreting the physical responses of their over-stimulated neurodivergent child (such as screaming, biting, hitting or throwing things) as bad behaviour when, it is their way of telling us they are struggling with the environment around them. Even their harmless stimming (hand flapping, swaying, repetitive noises etc.) attracts unwanted attention from curious strangers.

As a result, most parents dread being judged by strangers so being in public can be an anxious, stressful experience – something as simple as popping to the shop, eating out or being in a busy play park can be a minefield for families living with neurodiversity.

SensationALL was founded with the aim of filling that gap for families in the northeast of Scotland who are unsure how best to support their child or young person. We make it our mission to provide inclusive play and social opportunities that are tailored to the sensory and behavioural needs of youngsters with additional needs while sharing our knowledge and expertise with parent/carers who want to learn more about neurodiversity.

We believe everyone has a right to be accepted as they are and have access to fun, beneficial recreational activities that is suitable for their needs. Our specialist team of staff are committed to sharing practical techniques and strategies for individuals and their families to use in everyday life that will make them more resilient and able to cope with overpowering emotions. We aim to empower them with skills that enable them to reach their full potential in life.

Rebekah’s story:

One of our families, who found SensationALL after struggling to cope with the prospect that all four of their young children have Autism wanted to share their story recently.

Each of the children have different sensory and behavioural needs which makes parenting extra difficult and going out in public is not an easy thing for them. Thanks to our family soft-play sessions, they can all come together to enjoy quality time in our soft play and sensory facilities. Plus, their eldest Kaleb, has benefited from attending Chill-oot, our self-regulation programme that promotes emotional awareness for youngsters and teaches them coping strategies for when they are overwhelmed.

Watch: Rebekah tells her story in her own words.

SensationALL provides social groups, sensory play sessions and advisory services to those of ALL ages with ALL conditions and for ALL members of the family. If you would like more information about any of the services available you can read more here or email us at