Tag Archives: sensory processing disorder

Why a trip to The Forest is good for those with Sensory Processing Disorder

Why a trip to The Forest is good for those with Sensory Processing Disorder

The Forest is a great place for someone with Sensory Processing Disorder and visiting a Forestry Commission site means that there are toilets, a café, parking and a park too. Suitable all year round both day and night, here are some of the reasons that I believe that it is a great place for Sensory Seekers and Sensory Avoiders.Why a trip to The Forest is good for those with Sensory Processing Disorder

Why a trip to the Forest is good for SPD and The Visual Sense (vision/seeing)

Visually there is so much to see in The Forest, but without it being too much (with the colours being mostly shades of green and browns). I do like how each time The Forest can be visited it may be different as the seasons change, giving something new to look out for, whilst providing that security of routine. Likewise The Forest gives the option of moving into the shade/dark or coming out into the open for more light. The Forest also has opportunities for getting really up close to things – as well as viewing them from a distance. You could even visit on a dark evening and take glow sticks.

Tonight's late night activity involved heading to the forest for a picnic dinner and stickman games.

A post shared by Joy Gloucestershire UK (@pinkoddy) on

Why a trip to the Forest is good for SPD and  The Auditory Sense (Hearing)

The Forest is a great place for the auditory sense because it can be so quiet – or so noisy depending on how you need it. Listen to gentle sounds like leaves crunching, birds, taping twigs, the wind, water – or for those that need it, make loud noises!

Why a trip to the Forest is good for SPD and The Proprioception (Sense of body position, from information received through the muscles, and joints – force, speed and control) 

The Forest gives them the opportunity to explore Proprioception – allowing different body positions using fallen/cut trees, or (carefully) hang from a branch, exploring going fast or slow, and even things like pouring water into a cup – as it does not matter if it spills over on to the floor.Why a trip to The Forest is good for those with Sensory Processing Disorder

Why a trip to the Forest is good for SPD and The Vestibular Sense – Movement and Balance/Gravity

The Forest is great for a Seeker in the Vestibular sense – with plenty of places to jump, spin, do star jumps, skip, hop, dance, play tag and run about. Do be careful with them taking excessive risks with climbing though – however we found that most of the trees were not climbable with the lower branches removed. The Forest is also suitable for taking bikes and scooters too. There is plenty of opportunity to practise their co-ordination, gross and fine motor skills. Or there’s the option of Go Ape.

Why a trip to the Forest is good for SPD and Olfactory (smell)

I think that The Forest is good in terms of smell as there are scents to enjoy/experience but it is not overwhelming. If more smell is required you could bring a scent with you that they can hold and sniff when needed.

Why a trip to the Forest is good for SPD and Tactile (touch)

The Forest offers lots of things to touch (mainly on their own terms too). There are trees, leaves, mud, water, flowers, mushrooms, stones, moss, pinecones, acorns, etc, etc. If you are feeling really brave (and I suggest spare clothes) why not let Seekers go barefoot – and splash in muddy puddles. If they are avoiders you can gently encourage them to try a range of new textures and sensations on small parts of their body and slowly build it up (eg start with finger tips until they can touch it with their whole hand). Seekers will be happy to walk around carrying as many sticks as they can too!Why a trip to The Forest is good for those with Sensory Processing Disorder

Why a trip to the Forest is good for SPD and Gustatory (taste)

Of course it is best not to eat things that you do not know what they are – but The Forest is a perfect place for a picnic and there are tables provided. Bring their favourite foods and make the day more special.

Can you think of any other ways a trip to The Forest is good for those with Sensory Processing Disorder?

For more information if you wonder if your child has Sensory Processing Disorder please read this post.

 

I receive free parking passes and material from the Forestry Commission. Words and opinions are honest and my own.

my curious brain of noise

My Curious Brain of Noise – Sarah Froggatt

My Curious Brain of Noise – Sarah Froggatt

If you ever wanted an insight into why your child (or one you teach) is fine with something one day and not the next; why they are particular about sitting on a particular chair or can’t sit still, or a million other things that puzzle you about their behaviour then My Curious Brain of Noise could be just for you.

The story follows Luca who, amongst other things, has sensory issues. He doesn’t like to sit on the blue mat and likes to sit on a particular chair at school (the one with the white dot). If only people could take the time to listen and understand him it would make his (and their) lives much easier. This story shows the importance of a good school – one that tries to understand, of communicating with the child with sensory issues, of how they feel when their mother gets upset about their behaviours, it tackles bullying in school (because he is just different) and of course how everyday things can affect them so much (amongst many many other things).

my curious brain of noise

My Opinions on My Curious Brian of Noise

I feel that this book is a great insight into Sensory Processing Disorder for those who are new to the condition, whilst also providing a deeper understanding to those already knowledgeable. It really helped me stop and take another look at how things may be for The Sensory Seeker and understand why some of his behaviours come about. It reinforced my beliefs that communication is key. It was extremely well written with a mix of fact, humour and great story telling. Believe me I do not get much time to read and I need to “get into” a book to read it – this definitely had that. I loved the illustrations that not only broke the book up a bit more but further went on to explain what was going on in Luca’s head.

I recommend you go get this book – even if you don’t want to understand Sensory Processing Disorder it is a very good read.

ISBN 9781501025853

Ages 9+

Sarah Froggatt

Limeylimericks.com

My Curious Brain of Noise Giveaway!

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I was sent this book as the author felt that I may benefit from reading it. All words and opinions are my own.

Sleep and Sensory Processing Disorder

Sleep and Sensory Processing Disorder

Sleep and Sensory Processing DisorderSleep is possibly the most significant factor with our son’s Sensory Processing Disorder, and when I say sleep I mean lack of it. Have no fear that he has burnt off the calories he has eaten because he doesn’t eat much or keep still. In fact even when he is playing a computer game he is jumping up and down. At almost 6 he still cannot sleep throughout the night. The paediatrician told us that she thought if we could manage to get him to sleep better, then it would help all other things fall into place. We have now managed to establish a good bedtime routine so that he is able to fall asleep every night. The trouble The Sensory Seeker has is staying asleep.

Things to consider about Sleep and Sensory Processing Disorder

What is keeping them awake? Is it the noise? The visuals? The tactile? This could be because of the lights (do they need a light on? Or is there some sunlight seeping in that is annoying them?), textures – are their pyjamas annoying them or are they not getting enough tactile input?), are they disturbed by noise of others? Or is it too quiet? Is it too hot or cold? Do they have enough pressure on them (from blankets) or too much? Is their pillow soft enough? Or too soft? Do they need a tidy environment or one with lots going on?

Things that can help with Sleep and Sensory Processing Disorder Prior to Bedtime

Once you have established what it is keeping them awake you can try to work towards trying to resolve it. Think about all the things that happen in the run up to bedtime that affect their senses. Think about all the things that the individual with Sensory Processing Disorder requires and try to match those needs.

Developing a routine and a consistent way of doing things is helpful and can reduce the impact of over-reacting. Organisation can give the child a sense of control over their day. Avoid television or computer games an hour or two before bedtime and provide a quiet winding-down time, with a low-key story. We have a bath routine, which then follows brushing teeth, getting into pjs and a story. We did start with a short story and a song, as his attention has expanded we have been able to make this longer. As he has become more and more interested in things we have been able to engage him more easily too (such as with his current LEGO book). You could also try providing a snack that can provide slow-release nutrients through the night to avoid a drop in blood sugar.

Sleep and Sensory Processing Disorder – The Environment

Think carefully about the environment you are trying to get them to sleep in, and again try to adapt it to their needs. If it is too noisy then would they sleep with ear plugs in? Could you reduce the noise (shutting the door, not flushing the toilet at night)? Is it the birds – is there a window open? If there’s not enough noise is it possible for them to sleep with a radio on? Can you adjust the temperature with central heating or blankets? Are they comfortable in the bed – the mattress/pillow/pjs/blankets – could you help them with a weighted blanket or by surrounding them with teddies? Tuck them into the bed with their blankets. Could you cut out light with blackout blinds, a thick curtain or an eye mask? Or how about one of those tunnels that goes over the bed. How is the room decorated – what colour are the walls – is there too much information on them, or not enough?

The Sensory Seeker and Sleep

he is disabledWe are finding that The Sensory Seeker does sleep much better than he used to but still wakes throughout the night. We have kept him in “night pants” at night because he still wets in the day, and is not ready to be dry at night. We have tried to leave him in pants (as he is aware that he is getting older and does not want to be a baby) but this was further disturbing his sleep, which I agree is further adding to his problems of concentration and so on the next day. We have tried him in his own room and he kept coming in to us. So now he is sharing with his brother (on the bottom bunk) but still he is unable to sleep throughout the night. I think the main factor is noise that disturbs him but cannot be sure.

Please if you have any further tips on Sleep and Sensory Processing Disorder then add them below.

Sensory processing disorder and visiting at Christmas

Visiting family and friends at Christmas with Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing disorder and visiting at ChristmasChristmas is a time when we go visiting a lot of family and friends which can be difficult for individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder. But when it comes to Sensory Processing Disorder techniques to help with Christmas, what works for one individual will not necessarily work for another. You need to look at the individual’s Sensory Make-up – each of the seven senses (vision (sight), tactile (touch), auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), Vestibular (movement & gravity), olfactory (smell) and proprioception (sense of body position, from information received through the muscles, and joints – force, speed and control) and whether there is a problem filtering with too much, too little or a mix of the two) and determine what their individual needs are based on that.

Problems visiting Family & Friends for individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder at Christmas

The individual with Sensory Processing Disorder may very well not like change: The brain is already struggling to make sense of the World without added pressures of it constantly changing. At Christmas people often go visiting friends and family that they do not see regularly, which can be hard on the individual with Sensory Processing Disorder. Added to that is the environment can be greatly heightened with lights, noise, and extra people – which can be quite an overload for the resister or they may want to touch, hug squeeze more (for example) if they are a Sensory Seeker.

Sensory Processing Strategies for Coping with visiting family and friends this Christmas

Planning. If possible know as much about what is going to happen as you can. This means you can prepare. Knowing how far it is, how long you will be, what will happen, who will be there will greatly improve the likelihood of smooth visiting.

How far: Will they need something to keep them calm on the journey. We have a ds, tablet and in car dvd player.  If there is an unexpected long journey with have apps on our phone. Although this is advice for any child to stop them becoming bored when visiting family and friends, for those with Sensory Processing Disorder it can help them calm down and remain focused.

How long: Knowing how long visiting will last can help better prepare the individual with Sensory Processing Disorder. Make sure you explain things in terms they understand; for example with the use of time. It would be no use telling our Sensory Seeker that we would be visiting until 7pm, but he would understand if we told him that the visit would end by bedtime. It also helps prepare for whether other things need to be packed – do they need to take an activity, favourite toy, ipad/ds, etc – are they likely to have an “accident” and need a change of clothes packing, will they need something to ensure they eat/drink – like a special cup? Are their Sensory Issues likely to become a problem whilst they are there? Do you need to take things to help deal with those issues whilst still there (will you need a weighted blanket/lappad with you, head phones, eye mask/sunglasses, squeezy, chewy or favourite toy.

What will happen whilst visiting and who will be there: if you can talk to them before you go then they can be prepared. If it is a party situation then it may be noisy – music and party poppers, or additional lights (see this guide on parties as it will be pretty similar). Is it possible to arrange a safe place to go, do they know where the toilet is – or who they should ask about it? Will there be people they do not know? Do they know what to do if someone wants to hug or kiss them? If they do not like it may be they could offer a hi-five or to offer to shake hands instead. Have they got something to help them cope if they want to kiss/hug people more than is socially acceptable (I tend to get him to come and give me a bear squeeze instead).

If you can think of any other problems and/or solutions for visiting family and friends at Christmas for the individual with Sensory Processing Disorder then please do reply below.

Disability Living Allowance Answers

Answers to some questions you may have about Disability Living Allowance for children

You may be familiar with my post on Pinkoddy about my thoughts on “Why you Should Claim Disability Living Allowance for your Children.” It seems to have uncovered a few questions that people are searching the answers for.

New claims for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are only for children under the age of 16; over 16 they are classed as adults and, from the 10th June 2013, must now apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

It is split into two components: Care and Mobility. Children under the age of 5 cannot receive mobility unless they are physically disabled, or the condition is very severe – the reason given is that most children under the age of 5 would need extra help to ensure they were safe (for example when crossing roads).

How much help with Mobility you need will depend on the rate that you are paid.

Disability Living Allowance Rates

  • Lower – £21 a week – Guidance or supervision outdoors.
  • Higher – £55.25 a week – Severe walking difficulty.

How much help with Care you need will depend on the rate that you are paid.

  • Low – £21 a week – you need help for some of the day or preparing meals.
  • Middle – £53 a week – frequent help or constant supervision in the day, or at night.
  • High – £79.15 a week – help or supervision through the day or night, or you are terminally ill.

Answers to some questions you may have about Disability Living Allowance for children

  • You do not need to be eligible for other benefits, it is not means tested.
  • You do not need to live in a Council house, or assisted accommodation – it does not matter where you live.
  • You do not need a diagnosis .
  • A diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder, Autsim, Aspergers, Anxiety, may mean that your condition effects you in a way that you are entitled to Disability Living Allowance, but it does not mean that you will automatically qualify.
  • There is not a limit on how many people in a household can claim – so if you have 3 disabled children then you can claim Disability Living Allowance for each child – you can only claim Carers Allowance once though – each child would need a different adult as their carer.
  • Carers Allowance is payable to anyone who looks after a child who receives the middle or high rate of the Care component for at least 35 hours a week.
  • Disability Living Allowance is a tax free benefit; Carer’s Allowance is however not; it is taxable and you must declare it as taxable benefit to the Inland Revenue on your Tax Credits renewals.
  • It is paid every 4 weeks into a Bank Account.
  • The money is for and belongs to the child.
  • Changes must be reported.

The most important thing to remember is that you have to demonstrate why the child fits the criteria and how they differ from their peers.  Always write from the perspective of them having a bad day. This can be an incredibly emotional thing to do so I always recommend doing it on the computer, then,  at renewal time you can just update the information. This does however mean that the claim cannot be back dated.

You can receive help at the job centre in filling the form out.  If you can get help from a disability advice specialist.

If you disagree with the outcome you can always ask for a reconsideration.

If you have anything you wanted answered, or want to offer any help with things you feel may be of use then please do add them in the comments.

This is not a sponsored post.

Sensory processing disorder vision @pinkoddy

Sensory Processing Disorder: Visual (Vision/Seeing)

Visual

We receive lots of information through all our senses. There are 7 senses which we use and filter out which bits of information we need to make sense of things, and to tell us how to behave. Sometimes we all can struggle with this – such as someone tapping a pen whilst we listen to someone else. But people with sensory integration disorder (or sensory processing disorder) have trouble registering and organising the information, making it difficult for them to learn and function in the World.

There are times when the child is over aroused and needs calming down, or maybe the child is too calm and needs arousing, and it is also normal to switch between the two. This post looks at the sense of Vision.

These are things to bare in mind whilst at school, they can be helped by simply moving the child. Say away from a lot of light streaming in through the windows, or away from the dark story corner – or the opposite – dependent on whether they are seeking or avoiding. It may be the reason why they are screaming that they do not wish to go outside at play time (simply because it is too bright). Or why they have trouble getting to sleep at night, or wake early (light coming into their room).

Wearing a hat may help with Sensory processing disorder vision
Wearing a hat may be needed to help with vision when going outside

TOO MUCH

  • Poor eye contact
  • Enjoy the dark
  • Turn off light switches
  • Object to going outside on a bright sunny day
  • Lots of squinting outside in the sun
  • Hide away from bright light
  • Can’t find their shoes in a large pile
  • Comment more than others on changes in lighting (e.g. cloud covering the sun)
  • Frequently rub, squint or cover their eyes

What we can do to help

  • Have a ‘time out’ area/ tent (keep it dark)
  • Sit them away from fluorescent lights, bright posters/ wall hangings, bright windows (Soft, consistent lighting/Minimal bright lights and visually distracting objects/ Natural lighting).
  • Sparsely decorated rooms
  • Pastel colours
  • Ask them to collect their shoes/ bag last
  • They might not be able to follow instructions on posters/ not respond as well to gestures
  • Allow them to wear hat or sunglasses outside.
  • Give them an eye mask to help sleep at night.
  • Blackout blinds or curtains.

NOT ENOUGH

  • Hand flapping/ waving fingers close to their face
  • Like watching spinning, shining objects
  • Repeatedly spin bright, reflecting objects
  • Love to flick lights on & off
  • Watch repetitive movements e.g. flipping pages of a book, opening/ closing doors & cupboards
  • Manipulate objects close to their face
  • Might bump into people or things (too distracted looking at other things)
  • Lose their place while reading

What we can do to help

  • Sit them under bright lights/ next to window
  • Variations in colour
  • Fluorescent lighting
  • Artificial lighting
  • Bright colours
  • Cluttered rooms
  • Use visual supports e.g. bright posters, visual schedules
  • Allow them to play with visual toys & games
  • Use high colour contrast e.g. dark food in white bowl; hang dark hat on light coloured wall

This is not a sponsored post.

Many thanks to the Children’s Occupational Therapy Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust for supply this information and granting me permission to use it.