This is Part 2 of the 2-Part Series on Sensory Integration

 

If your child has sensory integration issues, below are some suggestions for specific ways to help with sensitivities to each sense. Be sure to check out post 1 in this series, Sensory Integration.

Having a scheduled routine for your child should include regular activities of recreation (gross and fine motor), educational learning, leisure activities, and social interaction. Over time this will calm an over-active child or arouse an under-active child. It can reduce self stimulation behaviors, ease negative reactions to sensory experiences, and foster a more productive child.

 

Tactile

To calm down a hyper-sensitive child:

  • If your child says that a particular touch “hurts”, acknowledge that they do not like it and stop touching.
  • Be aware of what type of clothing they are uncomfortable in. Try removing labels, using soft fabrics, avoid noise-making material, etc.
  • Put a weighted vest on your hyper-sensitive child
  • Brush his/her arms, hands, legs and back
  • Interact with play-doh, silly string, kinetic sand, or play foam to satisfy the tactile needs of your child.


To arouse a hypo-sensitive child:

  • If your child likes a particular touch, such as gently rubbing his/her back or scratching his/her head, continue the action and note the reaction it causes in your child (if it calms them down, excites them, etc.).
  • Find what type of clothing they are comfortable in. Try cotton, or terry cloth.
  • Allow your child to sit on a bean bag chair or a spiky/bumpy cushion
  • Practice brushing on arms, hands, legs and back
  • Play with shaving cream, water beads, or honey to heighten the senses of a hypo-active child.
  • Use Tactile Discs (for hands and feet) or pin art to engage your child with a variety of textures.



 

 Visual

To calm down a hyper-sensitive child:

  • Limit visual distractions hanging from walls or ceilings
  • Store loose items in containers to reduce the temptation to touch them
  • Label baskets and shelves with pictures to make finding items easier
  • Use graph paper to assist with writing
  • Use lamps for soft lighting instead of fluorescent lights

To arouse a hypo-sensitive child:



 

Auditory

To calm down a hyper-sensitive child:

To arouse a hypo-sensitive child:

  • Provide instructions one at a time to help your child succeed.
  • Incorporate pictures along with verbal directions
  • Give your child time to listen to their favorite music
  • Play musical instruments or a keyboard



 

 Smell

To calm down a hyper-sensitive child:

  • Do not wear any scents in lotion, perfume, or soap if it provokes an adverse reaction in your child
  • Be aware if certain laundry detergents or soaps may irritate your child

To arouse a hypo-sensitive child:



 

Taste

To calm down a hyper-sensitive child:

  • Ensure that your child is eating a fully nutritious diet. Attempt to incorporate healthy foods in smoothies or juices.
  • If your child has an aversion to a particular food, begin by allowing him/her to touch it, then hold it, touch it to their lips, then lick, then put in mouth, then chew, and then swallow. It is alright if the process is slow.
  • Allow your child to play with toys that are similar in texture to foods you desire him/her to eat.

To arouse a hypo-sensitive child:



 

Proprioceptive

To calm down a hyper-sensitive child:

To arouse a hypo-sensitive child:



 

Vestibular

To calm down a hyper-sensitive child:

To arouse a hypo-sensitive child:

  • Sit on a vibrating pillow or exercise ball.
  • Jump on a trampoline
  • Massage your child with Tickle The Turtle massager
  • Reinforce the use of the dominant hand
  • Sing songs that correlate with rhythmic movements.
  • Go to the park and help your child spin on the merry-go-round, hang upside down, swing, slide, walk on a balance beam, climb a ladder, etc.


Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

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