For some children sights, sounds, touch, smell, taste and movement come all too fast, too hard, too loud and way too intensely for their nervous system. They often appear like a deer in the headlights from someone accidentally bumping into them or a plate falling onto the floor. If you know a sensory over responder, you might benefit from some easy to use strategies to help them neutralize their responses to an onslaught of sensory information.
It might be the proprioceptors in the muscle joints, but sensory sensitive individuals seem to respond really well to deep pressure. For some, it might be rolling them up in a mat, getting a massage, wearing a [easyazon_link identifier=”B00GQDAV3Q” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”speciism0f-20″]pressure vest[/easyazon_link], crawling into a tight space, or getting a great big bear hug. Start out gently by applying pressure and take notice as to how much or how little is desired.
Moving acts as a sensory filter and can really reduce the outbreaks and tantrums that can come from a sensory over responder. Make sure every day is full of regular movement breaks. Try a [easyazon_link identifier=”B007V66RGW” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]trampoline[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B0041EGT0Q” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]ball pit[/easyazon_link], hike, [easyazon_link identifier=”B007GQ0YKC” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]climbing structure[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MW7J3IO” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]obstacle course[/easyazon_link], playing Simon says or playing toss. Heavy work like taking out the garbage, mopping, sweeping and stacking chairs can also get in some great movement and accomplish a lot at the same time.
Stimulating the vestibular system can be quite calming. Rocking, spinning and swinging can have a soothing affect on individuals with sensory needs. Try a calming net or [easyazon_link identifier=”B008L9Z5E8″ locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]hammock swing[/easyazon_link] as well as an active platform or [easyazon_link identifier=”B00076OC8S” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]strap swing[/easyazon_link]for a whole body swing workout. Try a two point or single points suspension swing for different types of vestibular stimulation.
The eyes are often over looked when it comes to a sensory calm down, but take a look at your walls. If they are over stimulating, they may be setting off a whole series of reactions. If you are offered the opportunity to paint, choose cool soothing colors. In addition, if your child is exposed to overhead lighting, consider using [easyazon_link identifier=”B00BCOMJDY” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]light filters[/easyazon_link]. You may want also look at some therapeutic lighting such as [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NAJJ88I” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]bubble tubes[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B002GD16Q6″ locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]fiber optic strands[/easyazon_link] or even getting a [easyazon_link identifier=”B001B4KG2Q” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]fish tank[/easyazon_link].
Ever heard the expression “Music to my ears?” Music, in particular classical and environmental music, can have a dramatic affect on the nervous system. Use music at intervals or your child will acclimate to the sound. Try [easyazon_link identifier=”B0000058HV” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]Mozart[/easyazon_link] during homework or when concentration is needed. You may also like to try using a [easyazon_link identifier=”B000E4UBEW” locale=”US” tag=”speciism0f-20″]metronome[/easyazon_link] set between 60-72 beats per minute. The gentle rhythmic reminder mimics the heart beat and can have an organizing yet soothing affect.
The skin is filled with millions of proprioceptive receptors that can sense touch and in response to touch can create a calming affect. Try providing soft materials such as carpet, fleece or chenille. Choose clothing like pressure t-shirts made from cotton. Grab a sensory bin and fill it up with pellets, objects or rice or flour. Then let your children explore. Last, don’t forget the benefits of water, bathing, showering, swimming and dancing in the rain! Water acts like magic touch. If your child has an aversion to water, hand them an umbrella or start with a wet washcloth or towel until they acclimate.
If your child is over stimulated by sights, sounds, touch, smell, taste and movement, your sensory over responder just might benefit from the easy to use strategies mentioned above to support self regulation.