Our Top 5 Tools for Sensory Seekers
As an Occupational Therapist, I see a stack of kids each week who are sensory seekers. This simply means that their bodies are seeking more than the average amount of sensory input. Sensory seekers are often running, jumping, tapping, wrestling, bumping, crashing, climbing, chewing, humming, clapping, energy filled bubbles!
It can be super tricky for a sensory seeker to get enough input into their body to allow their body to be calm enough for their mind to focus on a task. My favourite tools are all about giving their body LOTS of input so that their sensory needs are met and they can focus on other things like learning, playing and having fun!
My favourites are:
1. Compression clothing: It's wearable therapy! The beauty of compression clothing is that it provides the muscles with lots of deep pressure (sensory input) all day long! So many kids I work with never want to take their compression clothing off because they love how it helps them feel more calm and focused.
2. Elastic: This is the cheapest and easiest solution for kids who struggle to stay on their chair for school work or dinner time. Grab a piece of elastic and tie it around the base of the chair so they can stretch the elastic with their feet, giving them lots of strong sensory input and helping them to sit in the chair for longer.
3. Pencil Toppers: When I was at school the tops of my pencils were chewed to pieces! It was how I focused. The deep pressure in the mouth and jaw muscles is a commonly used strategy by parents and kids alike. Pencil toppers feel a lot nicer than plastic or pencil though and they are a little more hygienic!
4. Wobble Cushions: Soooo great for those dreaded "floor" times at school. Pop one of these on the floor and see the difference! I love watching how kids can now concentrate on the story or conversation because their sensory needs are met by the awesome bumpy texture and wobbliness of the cushion.
5. Gym Balls: These are just a whole bunch of fun and so versatile. Sit on a gym ball to allow extra movement when concentrating, or improve your core strength and fill your sensory system with input through some fun exercises. My latest favourite in therapy sessions is coming up with gym ball dances! If you could only be a fly on the wall it would be your new favourite too😁
There are so many amazing resources out there and I'd love to hear some of yours!
Until next time.
Creative Occupational Therapist at Inspire Ability