Question:

I am a mom having trouble getting a sensory child from bed to breakfast table to actually eat in the mornings. Do you have any sensory diet suggestions that might help? He is tactile defensive and proprioceptive seeking.

Answer:

Getting a sensory child from bed to breakfast table can be a challenge! Here are some suggestions to include in his sensory diet:

  • Have him sleep under a weighted blanket.
  • Use firm pressure when waking him up. Consider giving him a short, deep-pressure massage.
  • Make getting out of bed into a game that provides lots of proprioceptive (heavy work) input. For example, have him get out of bed like a seal would (arms first, dragging legs behind) or army crawl from his bed to the bathroom.
  • Get him up a little earlier so he has time to fully wake up before engaging in activities that can bring out the tactile defensiveness. If you have time, read him a book, or allow him to watch a short TV show while waking up. Have him sit in a beanbag chair or play on a therapy ball while reading or watching TV, so he gets some proprioceptive input that will help modulate his sensory system.
  • Before dressing, give him some deep pressure “squishes” and then offer lots of choices, so he feels some control over what he will wear. Under Armour or other tight-fitting clothing or pressure garments under his regular clothes may be helpful.
  • For the breakfast issues, let him play with an oral vibrator while you finish fixing his food. Again, offer some reasonable food choices to give him some control.
  • Use BrainWorks activity cards to construct a visual, routine-based sensory diet tool for your morning routine.

Best Wishes,
Gwen