Monday, December 19, 2016

Here is an article on the different between tantrums and sensory meltdowns. 

Here is a link which looks at potential sensory issues: http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/files.royalfree.nhs.uk/Service/Occ_therapy_-_paeds/Do_you_know_me_poster.pdf 

And finally from Madison Schools and Community Recreation some potential interventions:

Options of Sensory Interventions
Auditory – Hyper Sensitivity
 Working in a quiet environment
 Having minimal auditory distractions
 Using a study carrel
 Wearing headphones with soft, slow music
 Using white noise and other soft environmental sounds
 Wearing earplugs or headphones
 Wearing a stretchy headband to cover ears
 Being taught in low-tone and monotonous teaching styles
 Sitting away from hallway or noisy areas
 Warning for loud occasions – fire drills, assemblies
 Listening to predictable and repetitive sounds – use a metronome
 Receiving directions one at a time
 Reducing volumes
 Receiving handouts to supplement verbal information
 Closing the door
 Turning off the radio/TV (background noise)
Auditory – Hypo Sensitivity
 Listening to loud, energetic teachers
 Wearing headphones or radio with upbeat music
 Sitting nearer the source of information – teacher, TV
 Repeating or cueing to verbal directions
 Providing directions in written form
 Tape-recording lectures
 Using an alarm, calendar, assignment notebook, smartphone app for reminders
 Self-talk through task
 Use auditory cues to get attention (bell, clap)
 Talking job in class (make announcements, take roll call)
 Providing for longer processing time
 Humming or singing while working
Tactile – Hyper Sensitivity
 Receive firm, deep-pressure massage
 Inform peers that they don’t like to be touched, encourage personal space
 Use fidgets with a resistance component – rubber bands, clay/putty
 Soft fabrics to rub/pet
 Stand at front/end of line for more space
 Sit in back row or end of the aisle
 Locker at the end of the row
 Remove tags on clothing
 Wear tight fitting base-layer (lycra or spandex)
 Room with a stable temperature, allow adjustment times to temp changes
 Weighted clothing or lap weights available
 Fans pointed to not blow on you
 Introduce textures slowly, allow to wash hands after
 Wear gloves to cook or garden
Tactile – Hypo Sensitivity
 Receive light touches, tickles
 Use fidgets (paperclips, stress ball, rubber band, putty)
 Loose fitting clothing
 Take hands-on classes with labs which allow for exploration
 Use vibration (toothbrush, massager, pen)
 Use gel roller, not ball point
 Cover pencils with sand paper or sticky, provide a “texture mat”
 Use a keyboard to take notes
 Get a thermometer or temp indicator for baths and showers (indicates if water is too hot)
 Do toe raises, jump in place, stand on one foot, etc. while waiting in line
 Offer a variety of seating options, padded chair, bean bag, tri-stool
 Raised line paper
Visual – Hyper Sensitivity
 Wear sunglasses (may also need indoors)
 Use dim or filtered lights
 Wear a hat indoors to block fluorescent lights
 Close curtains or blinds
 Decrease visual clutter (cover bookcases, reduce wall art)
 Use a cut-out frame to isolate printed materials
 Seated away from doors or windows
 Reduce printed material per page
 Provide visual cues for multi-step instructions
 Use room dividers or study carrels
 Use neutral colors in classrooms
 Use clear ziplock bags for visual storage
 Use a designated space on whiteboard for important information
 Limit copying from board to paper
 Provide opportunities for visual breaks
 Provide visually calming things to look at (lava lamp, fish tank)
Visual – Hypo Sensitivity
 Wearing colored, but not dark sunglasses
 Colorful, brightly lit room
 Work under halogen or LED bulbs
 Desk lamp
 Visual schedules
 Provide a brightly colored desk mat
 Provide opportunities in classroom for varied visual perspective (change seats, closer to teacher)
 Use highlighters
 Using a slant-board or 3-ring binder on side for writing
 Placing important items in obvious locations
 Use a variety of fonts on written instructions
 Rearrange objects in the classroom to decrease familiarity
 Labels on drawers or cabinets
 Color code binders or notebooks
Olfactory – Hyper Sensitive
 Use calming smells – vanilla, lavender, banana – in air fresheners, soaps, lotions, or scented school supplies
 Place favorite scent on a piece of material or on the inside of wrist so this can over-ride undesirable smells
 Ask peers or teachers not to wear perfume
 Use non-scented products
 Use the same products over and over (to create familiar smells)
 Visit places with different smells often and on positive terms (like hospitals, dentist office) to learn the location
Olfactory – Hypo Sensitive
 Use alerting smells – citrus, peppermint, pine – in in air fresheners, soaps, lotions, or scented school supplies
 Provide scents to smell (cotton ball in aroma therapy oils or scent products in a small Tupperware)
 Use scented chap stick, lip glosses
 Wear perfume or cologne
 Take a fresh air break
 Use aroma fans or diffusers
 Using scented clay, markers
Vestibular – Hyper Sensitivity
 Move in slow, rhythmical movements
 Sway in a hammock, or rock in a rocking chair
 Gradually build up to heights, speeds, directionality
 Participant in movement activities with consistent speed – swimming, riding bikes
 Use firm touch and heavy pressure when doing movement
 Place objects at arm level to avoid bending
 Place a stool under feet for contact with the ground when seated
 Allow varied positions – desk, standing, beanbag chair – to complete work
 Allow to sit in a chair for “carpet time”
Vestibular – Hypo Sensitivity
 Offer opportunities for fast, irregular, forceful and unpredictable movement (spin on a swing or office chair, jump on a mini-trampoline)
 Receive visual cues during movement activities
 Incorporate uneven surfaces during physical activity – sand, gravel, balance boards
 Perform large movements before small movements
 Breaks to run errands, get a drink
 Provide movement in seating – ball chair, wiggle seat, t-stool
 Incorporate extracurricular activities that naturally include movement
Gustatory – Hyper Sensitive
 Chewing gum, straws, toothpicks
 Using chewlery
 Sucking on hard candies
 Bring a lunch with tolerable foods vs. school lunch
 Provide options to foods to ensure tolerable foods are available
 Intro duce new foods gradually (small bites and portions)
 Introduce foods when distracted, or engaged in preferred activity
 Introduce foods in a specific order, warm then cold, firm then soft
 Reducing strong-smelling foods from environment
 Determine if taste, texture, temp or smell is the issue
Gustatory – Hypo Sensitive
 Chew gum with strong flavors
 Eating strong mints
 Using a vibrating toothbrush
 Using a strong-flavored toothpaste
 Suck from different types of straws (different resistance) – coffee stirrers, crazy straws, bubble straws
 Use a water bottle
 Eat snacks that are spicy, crunchy, sour, or salty
 Use cautions with hot drinks
 Combine bland foods (that might be avoided) with intensely flavored foods
 Use a harmonica, whistle, or other mouth instrument
 Drink seltzer water or other carbonated beverages
 Eat frozen foods before meals
 Use tubing on the end of pencils or pens, or ChewEase pencil toppers
Proprioceptive System – Interventions
 ** Heavy work – any activity that engages the “big muscles” **
 Incorporate heavy work jobs into daily school routine:
o Sweeping
o Vacuuming
o Window/white board washing
o Move AV equipment
o Water plants
o Rearrange or setting up chairs or desks
o Pushing a full library cart
o Moving milk crates
o Taking out the trash
 Wearing a weighted backpack, vest, or blanket, lap weight or hold a heavy book in your lap **
o **OT Guidelines recommend not more than 5-10% of a person’s body weight and not continuous use!
o Check this website for Backpack information that’s great here:
o Here’s a link done by the Cincinnati Children’s hospital on the use of weight or pressure
 Doing exercises that include isometrics, stretching and weight lifting
 Engaging in activities like: swimming, biking, jogging, hiking, climbing, basketball
 Doing wall, desk, chair or regular push-ups
 Wear ankle or wrist weights
 Using resistance bands, resistance tubing or bungee cords
 Wrapping resistance bands, etc. around chair legs
 Incorporate extracurricular activities or PE games:
o Tug-of-war
o Dodge ball
o Basketball
o Batting practice
o Wrestling
o Skiing
o Skating
o Playing percussion instruments
o Martial arts
o Yoga

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