Previously, I talked about behaviors often displayed by people who seek sensory input. Today I will provide some strategies or ways to provide your child with additional sensory input in order to help meet that need. For kids that require a lot of movement, remember to limit activities that require sitting and keep those activities brief (5-10 minutes, depending on your individual child). When sit...ting is necessary, provide opportunities for movement
within the activity. For example, if the child has to sit during a church service, allow them to take breaks to go down the hall with you to get a drink, or simply explore the hallways for a few minutes. If your child has difficulty
sitting through a story, provide opportunities to move throughout the story. For example, if the story has a bunny in it, allow them to get up and hop like a bunny before turning the page. Throughout the day, ask your child to transition to different activities by using animal walks. For example, “It’s time to brush your teeth. Should we hop like a frog or crawl like a cat to the bathroom?” These animal walks can be done throughout the entire day and provide your child a great deal of additional movement. Some children love firm hugs or they can be
seen jumping from furniture or crashing their bodies on the floor or into walls during play. These children may enjoy playful pillow fights, or heavy blankets during story time. They may also enjoy “being a hot dog”. Allow them to lay down on one end of a blanket while your roll them up like a hot dog. Another idea to try, is what I call “steam roller”. Your child lays flat on his or her belly with their arms and legs out. Use a large bouncy ball or an exercise ball and roll it over their body slowly. If your child is able, they can tell you the amount of pressure they prefer. If you are in need of some specific strategies, please private message Bringing Therapy Home and we will brainstorm ideas together!
~Sarah Eller, occupational therapist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist