Our sensory systems need input to keep us alert, similar to how our bodies need water or food. Certain types of movement and sensations help to calm and balance us so that we can move, learn and play.
Many children who have difficulty regulating their response to certain sensory experiences can become overloaded and overwhelmed quickly. As a result, they can become distressed and find it difficult to calm themselves down.
Different activities will work for different children and you know your child best. Choose a combination of some or all of the activities. Discuss with them when it's ok to be active and noisy and when it’s important to be calm.
The main types of sensory input that are calming and regulating are:
Please be aware that for children and young people deep pressure or light touch can be triggering for them and therefore it would be best to use a different type of strategy. You can speak to your child's Occupational Therapy team about this.
Children's Occupational Therapists work with children from birth to 18 (or 19 if attending Complex Need schools). If your child or young person is under the Occupational Therapy teams, you can speak to them about any questions you may have.
If you think your child requires specialist support, please speak to their GP.
If you have any questions about your child or young person's general health or development, you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
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