Sensory diets

They can be kind of overwhelming at first.  When you are not only trying to understand what your child has, but how it affects them day to day. Then you are given something so new to incorporate into your life called a sensory diet.

Once you learn more about sensory processing disorder (SPD), you can see just how it is unique to your child. You can learn your child’s signs of overload, meltdowns and when they need a break.

You can then anticipate these things and use whatever tools you ha
ve to help them keep their body in a calm state or homeostasis.

This is how the sensory diet helps.  

So we are back to, the Sensory diet.

What works for one child will not be the same for another.  And so the sensory diets are as unique as the child’s needs.  

We all have our arsenal of sensory items.  And depending on the age of your child, the items will look very different. I know ours has changed to be more age appropriate for Elizabeth as she is 19 years old.

But let’s face it, we all have our favorite, “go-to” items.  Even though this is true for us, I am now adding one more to our arsenal. And his name is  Snowy Hooty Owl  – and his name is just as cute as he is.

Hooty,sensorydiet

HOOO, HOOO, HOOO Doesn’t love me!?

But he serves many purpose:

He looks like a regular stuffed animal which are very light weigh by nature, but he is weighted so he feels good to hold and offers some nice pressure sensations.

He is scented so it is very nice to hold close to your face, another sensory bonus ( please know that he is lavender scented for those with any allergies).

His fur (not feathers) is ultra-soft and makes you want to hold him.

But the best part is that he can be made to change temperatures.  By putting him in the microwave for the allotted time, he can be warmed up before use or he can be used at room temperature. ( Important to note: follow time limits when microwaving)

When Elizabeth first saw him, she liked him right away.  She said it was because his eyes were so cute.  Then she picked him up and felt him, she hugged him and pronounced him “nice to hold”

So we went over to the microwave and I tossed him in as Elizabeth laughed and said “Mom, you can’t microwave a doll.”  To which I needed to explain that he was very special and could be microwaved but that all the other stuffed animals absolutely could not be.  Call that a teachable moment.

Anyway, out he came, nice and warm and smelling quite nice. I handed him to her and she hugged him again and said she was going to take him with her to her room to listen to music.  Which she did.

I went up to put some laundry away and peeked in to find her laying on her bed, music playing and Hooty in her arms.  

Success!

So Hooty made it the fold of sensory items.

It was about three days after Hooty arrived that Elizabeth was looking, acting and behaving like she was overloaded.  I could see it and when I asked her about it, she agreed and said “Mom, I need a break.”  

“Perfect!” I said. (I love the self-advocacy)  

She headed upstairs and when I followed, I asked her if she knew what she wanted or needed.  She said her vibrating pillow (please see previous blog about Senseez pillow for more) and her music.  So being the Hooty has just arrived on the scene, he was not first in the line-up yet, I offered him to her.  

She smiled as she remembered little Hooty, and she said that sounded good to her.  

So I was happy that he was something that she could use in a time of overload.  Whether it was his weigh, smell, feel, or cute face…it fit with the need she was having.

Truthfully, little Hooty has been a bit of a source of contention because Michael wants Hooty in his room too!  So perhaps we will be ordering another Hooty soon.  

Michael can pick a different animal because there are several to choose from.  

If you think this sounds like something you can add to your child’s sensory diet to help with their sensory needs, take a look at the website.

 

I have to say, I kind of want one too!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

 

Michele

 

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