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jdcaldwell
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23 Dec 2011, 11:44 am

My 7 year old son has mild Aspergers and severe Sensory Processing Disorder. Right now he is jumping into couches, spinning like a whirling dervish and running into walls. The school sent home a list of "sensory activities" for him to do, but it's mostly just a list of vague names for the activities they do and doesn't say anything about what the activity actually is, so it is less than useful for me. I'm trying to figure it out but I seem to be doing it wrong and end up only making it worse. Does anyone have any activities they do with their child when they need sensory breaks?
Thanks!



KakashiYay
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23 Dec 2011, 12:45 pm

We had an OT eval last week and she was thrilled to see how much sensory crap we already have.

Indoor trampoline
Sit 'n' Spin (look into weight limits)
we used to have a swing in the doorframe but she hates swinging, oddly enough
we wrestle on my big bed and she can jump/ get tossed into piles of pillows
lots of different textures and weights of pillows and fabrics for feeling

we do a lot of play with dry pasta, rice, beans, etc- fun for dumping and scooping and mixing in with trains and dinosaurs
shaving cream, lotion, finger paints, pudding, etc
different kinds of clay, doughs, putties, etc.

We *need* a chin-up bar, as she loves to hang, and a weighted vest and lap pad, but other than that, her sensory diet is pretty solid.

I *highly* recommend an OT eval to establish a good sensory diet, as not all sensory kids are the same. Mine is hyposensitive and sensory-seeking, so we do different things than a hypersensitive and/or sensory avoidant kid would enjoy and benefit from.

I also suggest The Out-of-Sync Kid Has Fun- it's the sequel to The Out-of-Sync Kid, which is good for explaining sensory issues, but lacks actual ideas for games and activities. OoSK Has Fun is chock full of really cool ideas for all kinds of kids of all ages.


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jat
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23 Dec 2011, 12:50 pm

If you have (or have access to) a trampoline, that would be great! Some people like the mini-trampolines - it's best if they have a stabilizing bar to hold onto, so the child (or adult) doesn't fall off while jumping. Swings are also good for lots of kids; some like rocking chairs. Some children like pressure of being "hugged" between large cushions, like coe uch cushions, with gentle pressure being applied by an adult leaning on the top cushion. Sometimes, the weight of the cushion is enough. Some children like being brushed with soft brushes - an OT can show you how to do this properly. In fact, an OT (who understands sensory processing disorder should be able to give you lots of ideas for activities at home!

You might want to call school and have the person who sent you the information elaborate.



SylviaLynn
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23 Dec 2011, 1:15 pm

Right now it's snowing outside so my daughter is jumping on the couch. Oh well. It's a cheap couch so I don't care.

A mini-trampoline has been useful. Piles of pillows or a beanbag chair to crash into, or even jump off a table or chair onto. She likes cornstarch and water. She likes sand, or rice. If she needs to spin, then she can spin. I'll just move stuff out of her way or send her outside.

I don't know. If there's something she seems to do no matter how much I tell her not to, then I figure there's a good reason since she's generally not a disobedient kid. So, I try to channel her sensory needs into an appropriate place or method rather than just saying no.

Your kid is spinning because he needs vestibular stimulation. He's crashing to get proprioceptive (where his body and joints are). He might think it's great fun to get buried in pillows or stuffed animals, or have a bean bag dumped on top of him.

Check out the Out of Sync Child has Fun. It's a book that's been recommended but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.


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blondeambition
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23 Dec 2011, 2:43 pm

In addition to all of the above great suggestions, I would suggest a jump-o-lene (see below) for winter months (it can be kept indoors) and an outdoor swingset for warmer months.

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.js ... Id=4043817

Some people also use crunchy foods or gum if the child has the need to chew.

I actually do lessons with my kids while they do sensory activities.


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Last edited by blondeambition on 23 Dec 2011, 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mama_to_Grace
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23 Dec 2011, 7:45 pm

My daughter likes to be a hotdog. I roll her up tight into a blanket and press all over her "applying mustard & ketchup". There are other variations like putting her between 2 couch cushions and she becomes a sandwich,



Bombaloo
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27 Dec 2011, 4:30 pm

I posted this list a while back so this is a repeat for anyone who saw that other post. Hopefully some of this is more specific and helpful for you. Our OT gave us this list and has helped show us how to do things we have questions about.

SENSORY DIET
Naturally Occurring Activities Within the Home Environment
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
Gently challenge but never force a child to perform an activity, only encourage with positive feedback/language.
Don’t have child lift more than 15% of body weight either carrying or in a weighted backpack.
Use activities that are fun and motivating for a child.
Reward child if performing chore-like activities with an allowance or reward chart to work towards a goal (new toy etc.). Chores give a child a sense of contribution and belonging to the family.
To be effective these activities should be interspersed throughout a child’s day to be effective; usually no more than 60 minutes between activities.
A sensory diet is effective in assisting children to self-regulate, motor plan, and improve mood, in part, due to the brain’s release of neurochemicals that calm, focus, and improve mood.

Carry heavy items (baskets with cardboard blocks, groceries for Mom, etc.).
Allow child to chew gum, eat chewy or crunchy foods, or sip water from a water bottle with a straw while doing homework.
Push or pull boxes with toys or a few books in it (more resistance is provided if boxes are pushed/pulled across a carpeted floor).
Fill a pillowcase with a few stuffed animals in it for weight. Child can then push or pull the pillowcase up a ramp, incline or stairs.
Take the cushions off sofas, vacuum under them, then put them back. Can also climb on them or jump and "crash" into them.
Pull other children around on a sheet or blanket.
Roller skate/rollerblade uphill.
Pull a heavy trash can.

Perform household chores, such as:
Vacuum / Sweep / Mop / Dust.
Carry the laundry basket.
Wipe off the table after dinner.
Carry buckets of water to clean with or to water flowers/plants/trees.
Clean windows or the front of appliances using a spray bottle.
Scrub rough surfaces with a brush.
Help change the sheets on the bed (then toss the linens down the stairs).

Pull a friend or heavy items in a wagon.
Push a friend in a wheelbarrow.
Drink thick liquids (as in milkshake, applesause, or slurpy) through a straw. The thickness of the straw and the thickness of the liquid can be varied to change the degree of heavy work (sucking) required.
Carry heavy cushions.
Have pillow fights.
Play in sandbox with damp heavy sand.
Have the child "help" by pushing chairs into table after a meal.
Push a child's cart filled with cans and then put the cans away on a low shelf so that the child has to be on hands and knees (a weight bearing position) to put the cans away.
Participate in activities such as gymnastics, horseback riding, wrestling, karate, swimming (can also have child dive after weighted sticks thrown in pool).
Bathe the dog.
Wash the car.
Jump or climb in inner tubes.
Fill up a child's suitcase with heavy items (such as books) and push/pull the suitcase across the room.
When traveling, let child pull own small suitcase on wheels.
Go "shopping" with a child’s shopping cart filled with items, or have child push shopping cart when you go shopping.
Go "camping" with a heavy blanket pulled across a few chairs. Child can help set up and take down the blanket.
Have the child help rearrange his/her bedroom furniture.
Have child put large toys and equipment away.
Participate in climbing activities (such as playground equipment).
Swing from the trapeze bar.
Push against a wall.
Fill up big toy trucks with heavy blocks, push with both hands to knock things down.

Participate in sports activities involving running and jumping.
Have the child color a "rainbow" with large paper on the floor or with sidewalk chalk outside while child is on hands and knees.
Play "cars" under the kitchen table where the child pushes the car with one hand while creeping and weight bearing on the other hand.
Walk up a ramp or incline.
Make wood projects requiring sanding and hammering.

Play wrestling: pushing game where two people lock hands facing each other and try to see who can push and make the other person step back first. Use other body parts also, but be sure to have rules (no hitting, no biting, no scratching, one person says stop then both stop).

Have two children sit on the floor, back to back, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. They interlock their arms, and then try to stand up at the same time.
Play "row, row, row your boat" both sitting on the floor, pushing and pulling each other.
Open doors for people.
Do chair push-ups.
Play jumping games, such as hopscotch and jump rope.
Jump on a mini trampoline.
Bounce on a Hippity Hop ball.
Play catch with a heavy ball, or bounce and roll a heavy ball.
Do animal walks (crab walk, bear walk, army crawl).
Stack chairs.

Perform yard work, such as:
Mow the lawn.
Rake the grass/leaves.
Push the wheelbarrow.
Shovel sand into a wheelbarrow, push the wheelbarrow to a spot, dump out sand and use a rake
to level it out (functional for filling in low spots in backyard).
Dig dirt to help plant flowers.



mumbe
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28 Dec 2011, 3:06 pm

hi he sounds like a sensory seeker. What we were told to do is meet my ds sensory needs in appropriate ways. So for example only jumping on the trampoline etc. Heavy work is really important like the others said so get him pushing and pulling. So if you are out get him to open the doors, fill your shopping trolley, walk the dog if you have one. Also crawling is very calming and swinging. But it would be worth your time seeing an OT. Maybe take some data first to get the most out of your visit. Morning/: calm, hyper or low arousal etc The OT should write a sensory diet for your child. When we go to OT I always take notes so I know what to do at home and I find if we do the OT everyday we make progress.

My OT said my ds needs a sensory break every 20 minutes in school. Are they doing OT in school? Also we do OT before school. The other tip we got is sucking from straws is really calming too.

We are also thinking of swimming before school. At the moment we only manage swimming once a week. But we are also planning to get a dog.

Are there any OT free talks where you live? I am in Ireland and we have parent education on different ASD topics etc. Best of luck.

Best of luck.



momsparky
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28 Dec 2011, 10:08 pm

It's funny, we've had some evaluations but DS was never categorized as a sensory-seeker or sensory-avoidant. We do know he's got proprioperception problems that fall just below the threshold for therapy, and he is avoidant in some ways and sensory seeking in some others.

We filled a cooler with dried beans when he was little, he used to play in there a lot, and he likes playdough and modeling clay - but not sticky things like mud or bread dough. We tried a yoga ball (we live in a small house) for the bouncing/crashing - but DS threw it at me once, so it had to go away. Another small-space sensory item we tried: a round balance board; it's amazing how much calmer DS is when he stands on that thing.

We've also tried foam earplugs for the sound sensitivities - he's managed to deal with his sound sensitivity enough that he was able to sit through the school's holiday concert and a movie without intervention this year, but we started by taking him to movies with a heavy hoodie, foam earplugs, and a guarantee that I'd put my hands over his ears...and built from there.