Last month in The Under-Responsive Side of SPD, Part 1, I talked about the sensory modulation continuum and the specific needs of children with “isms” that are under-responsive to sensory input. This month, I’d like to provide you some answers to common questions about meeting the needs of our sensory under-responders.
Q: How often do under-responders need sensory input?
A: Toddlers and preschoolers need constant sensory input. Most kids will get this input on their own through play as long as we limit access to television and encourage active and creative play. In general, most 5-10 year olds do well with 10 minutes of physical activity every 60-90 minutes. Once kids are about 10 and older, a 10 minute sensory break every two hours works for most to meet their need for intense input. Additionally, ongoing access to sensory tools can serve to keep a child modulated between sensory breaks.