What Does a Sensory Diet have to do with ADHD and Autism?

Many children today are being diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Asperger, and Autism.  We sometimes focus on the behavior, but never really understand what causes the behavior.

Some children have Sensory Integration Disorder and depending on the severity it can hinder your child’s success in the classroom.   Schools are aware of this problem, but due to limited resources will help only a few students. Most of the burden will fall on the parents in getting the appropriate occupational therapy to help with their child’s sensory issues.

What on earth is a “sensory diet”? No, this is not a diet of only certain foods or certain calories. A sensory diet is a term used to describe sensory activities that are used to treat kids with Sensory Integration Disorder.

ADHD and ADD Hyperactive and Impulsiveness children are related to sensory needs that the child is craving for sensory input.  Medication can help with the attention span or hyperactivity in your child.

SoccerA child with ADD or ADHD Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness needs to get some of the energy out before they can sit down and focus. Some of the things you can do at home or at school are to make sure they get some physical activity. Sports are a great way to tire themselves out.  Joint Compression, playing tag, jumping on a trampoline, push-ups, sit-ups, and working with an exercise ball would be great for them.  When its time for bed and you want to calm them down then I would give them a massage starting with their feet and work your way up, apply lotion to soothe them.

Oral stimulation is another sensory need that a child has and you might see them bite on toys, clothes, and anything else they can to get the oral input that they need.   There are chewy toys that you can buy at Amazon.com or wristbands and chewy pencil tops to give them the input they need at school so kids won’t tease them.

I hope some of these suggestions help you. I know I had to do a lot of these exercises with my son and they really made him feel better.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 602-531-0230 or email me at teresa@teresawelsh.com.  Kids Reaching New Heights focuses on coaching, consulting, advocating, and educating  parents and other caregivers who are trying to help their child succeed in their daily lives.


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