Back to School sensory diet ideas

Today’s newsletter, which I’ll archive very soon, is about back-to-school sensory diet activities that involve proprioceptive input and what’s called “heavy work” (think pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and climbing). Of course, a sensory diet at school has to be tailored to the individual child and should include activities for oral and tactile input, withdrawal from stimulation, and other elements. Ideally, you’ve got access to a sensory smart OT to help you design it and cooperative teachers, administrators, and cafeteria and playground supervisors to help the child implement it. In my newsletter I’ll talk about how to help ensure that happens.

Meanwhile, I just had to share a link to Hartley Steiner’s blogpiece on the sensory diet at school that was set up for her son Gabriel who is not a sensory seeker and yet, like all kids with SPD, needs sensory input throughout the day to stay regulated and be able to focus well. I urge you to take a few minutes to read her extremely helpful description of a sample sensory diet.

One suggestion she made is to involve the child in janitorial type activities. I think this is a fabulous idea because first, of course, it gives the child needed input. Second, it helps the child feel good about himself because he’s able to contribute to the school in a very real way. I would love to see more schools implement groups like the old “AV clubs” where certain kids took on the responsibility of moving AV equipment around (I’m old enough to remember big black and white TVs with rabbit ears on metal carts). I think it’s a good thing to have kids feel connected to their school and be able to take pride in their contribution–and as I say, it makes for really helpful sensory input.

What sorts of activities does your child do at school as part of her sensory diet? Do share!

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2 Comments

Filed under back to school for sensory kids, boys in school, exercise and movement for sensory kids, Moms of kids with SPD, playground issues, schools, sensory integration dysfunction, sensory processing disorder

2 responses to “Back to School sensory diet ideas

  1. Jaimie’s Grade One teacher was awesome. Jaimie is primarily an avoider but needs ALOT of proprioception. Jaimie brought her Bottle Buddies to school to show her teacher and the teacher got her to make some for school. Jaimie carried them to the bathroom with her, helped out in the library putting carts of books away, carried full tubs of craft stuff from the shelves to the craft tables, etc. We’ve been so fortunate. Once her school, teachers and principal ‘got’ that Jaimie needed this input every 60 to 90 minutes and, most importantly, WHY, they’ve done everything possible to help Jaimie get it.

    Chynna

  2. nancypeske

    Gee, I didn’t think of the library. Ours is closed most of the time (budget cuts) but of course, shelving books would be great.
    What are bottle buddies?

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