Sensory Diet and Special Needs Kiddos

Last week one of my friends, Dean Bohl, was looking for feedback about ideas concerning a Sensory Room for a special needs ministry…a very beneficial idea for many children with autism and sensory processing needs! 

Once you have what you need for a sensory room, what next?  Well, it’s time to put the child on a “sensory diet!”  What on earth is a sensory diet? Is it a diet of only certain foods or certain calories. No! 

A sensory diet is a term used to describe sensory activities that are used children with autism, ADHD, or Sensory Integration Disorder.

Just as your child needs food throughout the course of the day, a child with autism, ADHD, or SPD needs sensory input, and opportunities for getting away from stimulation, spread out over the morning.  A “sensory diet” is a carefully designed, personalized activity plan that provides the sensory input a child needs to stay focused and organized throughout the morning.  In the same way that you jiggle your knee or chew gum to stay awake or soak in a hot tub to unwind, children need to engage in stabilizing, focusing activities, too.  Young children, teens, and adults with mild to severe sensory issues can all benefit from a personalized sensory diet.

Here’s a resource for you that identifies a handful of sensory diet activities that could be incorporated into your child’s Sunday morning church routine:

Sensory Diet Ideas

Michael Woods is married to the love-of-his-life and a father of three wonderful boys, each one on the autism spectrum.

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About MakingRoomASD

Father to 3 boys on the autism spectrum.

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