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Sensory Calming Quicklist

Quick List of Organizing Sensory Activities to fit into Daily Schedules

Sensory input is a natural calming drug for the brain, we all need it to stay calm, focused, and feel "put together"

But children with Sensory Processing Disorder need it like food and water, therefore we call it a SENSORY DIET

Calming and Organizing Input:

One of the best quick calmers is DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING!  Combining diaphragmatic breathing with deep pressure on their head and shoulders can be a great calmer anywhere, anytime!  Ask your therapist for details on how to do this properly and check out our YOUTUBE channel tutorials!  

  • Vestibular: linear swinging or gently rocking back and forth- very home and school should have a swing!

  • Proprioceptive: wearing weighted vests, joint compressions (including wheelbarrow walking and jumping), vibration, creeping and crawling, jumping, "row, row row your boat" pulling and pushing on joints, weighted vests or other weighted activities, trampolines, pushing weighted laundry basket or carts.

  • Plenty of aerobic movement activity- dancing, gymnastics, sports, running, playground play is essential for several hours a day in a child's life!  Take away electronics on school nights, and limit to 30 minutes on electronics for every 1-2 hours of movement!  Safety netted trampolines are wonderful if safe!  

  • Oral motor: chewing firm and crunchy snacks, sucking on a straw in a water bottle, chewing SPRY healthy gum, vibration toothbrushes, oral chewies, etc. can help with focus and organization. 

  • Calming spaces: it is very important that a child with SPD have a way out of an environment that causes them stress. If a child has a "calming corner" or a "calming space" option, then they may be able to self-regulate and you can avoid a total meltdown.  

  • Examples of calming spaces:  Massage mat with vibration with a weighted blanket, rocking chair with vibration massage choices, a tent area with calming fidget toys or vibration mat,  reading corner behind a bookshelf, under a table with pillows or bean bag chair, rocking chair in a corner behind a curtain, a small tent, or a swing that only goes in a linear direction the classroom are great ways to provide a calming time.

  • Let them have a way of telling you they need a break as well before a meltdown occurs such as a "stress pass" on their desk or a sign for "I need a break" they use. 

  • Posture: make sure that the desks and chairs are at the right height for each child, feet touching the floor all the way (not on toes), elbows resting comfortably on desk without humped shoulders, 90 degree rule for all joints.

  • Seated options: inclined writing boards to help with posture, as well as Gymnic Move N Sit seat wedges, vibration battery operated lumbar supports, weighted vests, bouncy bands for legs and proper pencil grips to stay seated and focused for harder fine motor and table top tasks.  

  • Use multi sensory approach to teaching new skills: remember all senses when teaching.

  • Remember the children learn best when NOT stressed.  Check out "No Drama Discipline" techniques and use a sensory and movement, hands on learning rich learning environment!

     

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