Being a child with sensory needs can make even the simplest things like combing your hair or getting dressed feel challenging. Sometimes making small adjustments can make the everyday struggles easier.As a parent, you can feel helpless as you watch your child struggle. Using the strategies below, you can make life easier for your child and cut back on sensory meltdowns and day-to-day battles.
Here are some tips that can help with those everyday battles:
- Use a visual schedule. This allows the child to know exactly what to do and what’s coming next. It can ease the pain of transitions and lessen the chance of meltdowns. For some kids, they need the tasks broken up into smaller steps, so look for a visual schedule that breaks things down.
- Give warnings for upcoming transitions and allow for extra time so that your child can adjust. Be sure to allot margins in your day to allow for this and to reduce stress on both you and your child.
- Offer sensory breaks throughout the day. This gives your child the necessary sensory input. Sensory breaks also make good transition bridges.
- Use a Sensory Triggers Log to help you identify your child’s sensory triggers. This will allow you to avoid them or make changes to your child’s environment to accommodate them.
- Work on giving your child an emotional vocabulary so that they can express their feelings.
- Teach your child calming breathing techniques.
- Meet your child’s sensory needs during the day with sensory activities and heavy work opportunities. This will not only help them all day long, it will help them sleep better at night.
- Don’t die on the clothing mountain. Let your child wear what’s comfortable to them. Be a sensory detective to discover why certain articles of clothing bother them. This will help you find solutions.
- Have your child use a vibrating toothbrush. Not only will this add more sensory input to their day, it will decrease oral sensitivity and eventually lead to less battles over food.
- Teach your child about sensory processing and the 8 sensory systems so that they can better identify their needs and voice them to you.
Bonus tip: Carry a pack of Post-It notes with you in your purse so that you can cover the automatic flush sensor on toilets in public bathrooms. No more surprise loud noise for your child to contend with!
I love this list so much because it has some actionable strategies that you can start using right away.