Enriching Your Child’s Sensory Environment Within Their Typical Routine
When addressing the sensory needs of your child it is important to be under the guide of professionals with a strong working knowledge of Sensory Processing, Sensory Pressing Disorder, and its effects on the child’s responses and self-regulation. Understanding; what sensory stimulation causes what neurological effect, the child’s neurological thresholds, and the support of neural plasticity, is the basis for Implementing Sensory enriched environments that are individualized.
The need for a “Sensory Diet” is often discussed. (Sensory Diet is a “prescribed” group of sensory geared activities scheduled into the child’s day to help with adaptive responses, attention, socialization etc.)
We recognize how stressed and overwhelming a day can be for any parent much less the parent of a young child with significant Sensory Processing Issues. Embedding sensory rich activities into your child’s regular routine is a great way of enriching their environment. Remember to follow up with your professional and provide feedback. Remember pairing sensory stimulation can greatly enhance their effect. (example; olfactory plus deep pressure tactile etc.)
Here are some great examples of enriching your child’s typical routines. Remember sensory enrichment must be geared to the child’s individual need and suggestions should be discussed with your professional and constantly monitored and tweaked as needed.
Hugs can happen anytime during the day when you are with your child. Anytime you greet your child or before they transition to their next activity. Enhance hugs with a quick firm rubbing on their back and place a scented cream or spray on your neck or collar.
Consider the fun of Letting you child blow a kazoo, whistle, etc. to alert that it is meal time. Warm up with a clapping game and consider playing instrumental music in the background, sit on a wiggle cushion, or use a weighted lap pad. Use straws for oral sensory input sucking different thicknesses (liquid, jello, shakes). Allowing young children to eat finger foods on their own enables them to differentiate between textures and tastes. Explore the use of different utensils. Helping with food and table preparation for mealtime (pulling out the chair and setting the table, food preparation, stirring, smelling, making choices) can all help develop their motor planning skills as they receive enriched sensory stimuli.
Bath time activities:
The use of tactile and fidget toys along with bath bombs and pleasant-smelling bubble bath soaps all help enhance their sensory experiences. Toys can include blowing bubbles through a straw, sponges, measuring and pouring, bath bath crayons and shaving cream, and so much more.
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