Dysfunctional sensory system is a common Symptom of Autism as well as other developmental disabilities. In this, sometimes one or more senses can either be hypo or hyper sensitive to stimulation and can lead to behaviors like rocking, spinning, and hand- flapping, irritability and hyperactivity.
There are three basic senses that are critical for our survival- tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive. Sensory Integration techniques or therapies of these senses can facilitate attention and awareness, and reduce overall arousal.
In this article, each of these sensory systems will be covered. There also will be a Do-it-yourself (DIY) activity mentioned to overcome dysfunction and improve functioning of these sensory systems. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Anxiety can be a masterful imposter. In children, it can sway away from the more typical avoidant, clingy behaviour and show itself as tantrums, meltdowns and aggression. As if anxiety wasn’t hard enough to deal with!
When children are under the influence of an anxious brain, their behaviour has nothing to do with wanting to push against the limits. They are often great kids who don’t want to do the wrong thing, but they are being driven by a brain in high alert.
If we could see what was happening in their heads when anxiety takes hold like this, their behaviour would make sense. We would want to scoop them up and take them away from the chaos of it all. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they should be getting a free pass on their unruly behaviour. Their angry behaviour makes sense, and it’s important to let them know this, but there will always be better choices they are capable of making. Click here to read the rest of the story
Tactile difficulties occur when the nervous system dysfunctions and the brain is unable to process information through the senses. Some children and adults with this form of sensory processing disorder will be over sensitive to touch. Between 5 to 13 percent of the population is diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.
Common Signs of Tactile Difficulties
Difficulty with having nails cut or teeth brushed
Becomes upset when hair is washed
Dislikes any clothing with tags including clothes, hats, shoes, and complains about the type of fabric and the style
Dislikes getting their hands dirty or messy
Overreacts when they are touched by other people
Oversensitive to temperature change
Over or under reacts to pain
Prefers deep pressure touch rather than light touch
Avoids messy textures
Prefers pants and long sleeves in hot weather
Eyes may be sensitive to cold wind
Avoids walking barefoot
Avoids standing close to other people
May be anxious when physically close to other people
Strategies for Handling Tactile Defensiveness
Use deep pressure
use weighted items including blankets, vest and backpacks
Seek out an OT
Utilize a sensory diet
Minimize time expected to stand and wait in line by having the child go first or last in line
Allow the child to wear a jacket indoors
Encourage the child to brush his or her body with a natural brush during bath time
With the holidays approaching, finding the right gift for someone with sensory issues can be challenging. Fidget toys are great gifts for both children and adults, especially for children diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Fidget toys provides sensory input in a less distracting way. They can help improve concentration and attention to task and also help children and adults focus and remain calm as well as decreases stress and anxiety.Below are links to a variety of fidgets including texture, tactile and visual.