At home ideas for oral sensory seekers
At home ideas for oral sensory seekers
Activities for oral sensory seekers, A sensory processing disorder exists when the sensory information is not processed correctly by the nervous system. In such cases, the sensory information may either not be detected or may not be organized into appropriate information.
As a result of this, various symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety disorder, motor clumsiness, behavioural problems, etc. This in turn leads to poor socialization, school dropout, and overall failures. Sensory issues pose themselves as a great challenge for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents. Many times, parents are not aware of what the disorder is about what they can do about it.
Thus, as a Speech-Language Pathologist, it becomes very important to empower the parents with loads of ideas and inputs on how this issue can be tackled at home and how activities can be carried out. Activities for oral sensory seekers
The sensory procession disorders can pose themselves in various forms. Few children can have issues with visual signals, auditory signals, tactile/touch signals, oral sensory issues, etc. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, oral sensory issues are of particular interest to us.
Few signs of a child who has oral sensory issues are as under:
- Poor eaters
- Refuses to eat food
- Preference to particular food texture
- Food residue in the mouth
- Crying during mealtime and prolonged meal time
- Dropping of food from the mouth
This article aims to empower parents and caregivers with tools to overcome the sensory issues at home with things that are readily available at home. This article would also give insights into how simple things at home can be used as therapeutic devices when used systematically. There are certain rules/guidelines which one needs to follow to make the teaching-learning process easier.
Here are a few points to remember:
- Start slowly and introduce new things one at a time.
- Make this teaching process more playful for the child.
- Always go by the child’s likes and dislikes.
- Reinforce every positive attempt.
- Do not punish the child.
- Always remember, it’s a systematic procedure and therefore has to be slow but equally paced.
- Integrate the activities throughout the day instead of having it just once or twice.
Here are some of the activities which can be done at home. Feel free to use your imagination and creativity to add to these ideas.
Oral sensory activities during snack time.
The most powerful material that we have got with us is food. The best way to give a good oral sensory input to the kids is to have a variety of textures, flavors in the food we are giving. As mothers, we have the great ability to manipulate food in different ways to add flavors and also different textures. Here are few ideas which are feasible, healthy, and work wonders with children.
- Hard food: Here you can include vegetables like carrot, radish, beetroot, fruits such as apple, pear which would ensure the child is biting and chewing the food adequately. Make sure you are giving bite-size to the children when you start. Avoid giving too small pieces since it would have choking tendencies.
- Chewy food: A lot of dried fruits such as raisins and dates would help the gums and teeth with adequate amounts of chewing exercise. These will be the safer options compared to the use of chewing gum. Besides, these are also very nutritious. Only a word of caution is to check if your child has any food-related allergies.
- Crunchy food: Nut, cereals, puffed rice, rice/corn flakes, popcorn which are not only crunchy but also interesting, attractive to children, and healthily enhance our taste buds.
- Food Temperature: Choice of homemade ice cream, Flavoured yogurts, puddings, purees, slush, juices that are chilled or frozen. Contrary, you can use warm items like hot chocolate, warm water, etc.
- Sucking: Hard candies/ homemade sugar/jaggery candies can be used which enhances sucking. Adding natural colors and flavors would usually make appreciate it better.
2. Oral sensory activities during play time.
A lot of activities can be done to enhance oral sensory input without using any specific toys. The magic here is play. So what we need to do here is to involve the children in certain play activities. The beauty of these activities is that they can be carried out anywhere and everywhere. Some of the activities are:
- Blowing cheeks: You can do it and ask the child to do it. This is usually fun when family members are involved.
- Blowing games: Blowing bubbles, playing with soap bubbles under supervision. We need to be careful here so that the children don’t put the soap water in the mouth.
- Imitating tongue movements: You can make various tongue movements and ask your child to imitate the same. If the child is not able to imitate, assist them. You can also use a mirror for this as children like to look at themselves in the mirror.
- Playing wind instruments: Popular choices would include flute, whistles, mouth organs, etc.
- Other games: Blowing balloons candles, thermocol balls, bits of paper, etc.
You can also encourage them to participate in other activities based on their interest. Some activities which can be incorporated are singing activities, humming a particular tone, imitating a tone verbally, whistling thought mouth, making funny sounds, etc. As parents you are free to use your imagination and creativity to carry out these activities. Always remember every child is different. What works for one child may or may not work for other. Activities for oral sensory seekers
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