Thursday, August 12, 2010

Starting a sensory diet

If you have a kid with SPD, you probably have heard the term sensory diet

Amazingly enough, to those not in the know, it doesn't necessarily involve food -- at least not at the core of the thing.  What it does involve, varies by child and symptoms/issues and should be created with the help of a occupational therapist. 

Here are just a few of the entries on our daily sensory diet suggested by our OT: 

8 am - Wake up - Jump and crash on bed (who wouldn't want to do this one).

11 am & 2 pm - Heavy Work - Playground, swimming, pushing a shopping cart. 
8 pm - Bath - Deep pressure when assisting with toweling off, assisting with dressing - joint compressions. 

10 pm - Bedtime - Hotdog game (roll in blanket) or other deep pressure. 

We have sensory activities scheduled at 8, 8:30, 9, 10, 11, 12, 2, 4, 6, 7, 7:30, 8 and 10 pm! 

And every 2 hours we are supposed to be doing the Wilbarger Brushing Technique.

And 2x per day 1/2 hour of therapeutic listening

Today was my first day attempting this and I utterly failed. We kept our emotional cool by running errands and having adventures out and about but only after dinner did I remember the diet... so we managed to do 1/2 hour of listening, a few core strength exercises, some work with putty and he'll be headed into a bath, brushing and bedtime routine in just a little bit. Phew! 

I'm pooped and a bit overwhelmed and we didn't even do half what we were supposed to. I feel as though I should quit my job for the next few weeks to keep up with it... but of course that isn't an option... so Dad is learning what to do and next the other caregiver. 

And when school starts, everything will change. For anyone thinking of getting started on a sensory diet, I would advise getting your OT involved to make sure you have the "right" diet activities for your particular child's needs. I would also say that even though it looks a bit intimidating, every little bit helps and if it is gonna help my kids... I'm all for it! 

Happy Dieting!

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