On my last post, I shared signs of sensory processing disorder (SPD) for you to keep an eye out for in your child. Besides meeting with your pediatrician, getting evaluated and receiving proper treatment from a learning center or specialist (available at Learn 2 Focus!), your children can also benefit from appropriate sensory experiences – all conducted right at home.
Research shows that sensory rich environments can greatly improve symptoms of SPD for children. Here are 5 solutions that you could introduce to your child; bear in mind that each child may react differently, so you should monitor results and try out different solutions. For some children, if they are old enough, give them a head’s up that their home routines may be changing.
1. Bathing. Introduce a new washcloth or bath brush and try a variety of soaps and lotions for bathing. You could even play on the wall with shaving cream or bathing foam, and after bath, rub his or her body with a lotion you both like.
2. Baking. Are you a baker? Lucky family! Let your child help out by mixing ingredients, especially if you’ve got thick batter that will really work those muscles. If kneading or any kind of dough shaping is required, encourage your child to help mix, roll or knead the dough with their hands.
3. Grocery shopping. Let your child help you push the cart (as long as the weight is within their capability and not too heavy). Let your child help carry groceries from the cart and put them away into your car. Whether your child is easily overwhelmed or underwhelmed - HEAVY WORK WORKS!
4. Mealtime: Encourage eating of chewy foods and drinking out of a straw. Try having your child sit on an air cushion to allow some movement. A weighted lap blanket may be helpful as well.
5. Errands and appointments: Before you go to the hairdresser for your child, try massaging the child’s head or scalp, or try having your child wear a weighted hat. For dentists, give your child chewy foods or introduce vibration to the mouth with an electric toothbrush. Remember, be sure to give the child ample warning before any changes in routine or any unscheduled trips or errands, as many children with SPD need predictability.
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