If your child has sensory processing issues, you might be curious about a type of treatment called a sensory diet. A sensory diet is an action plan that provides personalized sensory input your child needs to stay focused throughout the day. It has nothing to do with food. Similar to how you eat a healthy diet, workout, or get a massage, to feel more balanced; a sensory diet has the same effect. Some children with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) need alerting activities, while others need calming activities. There are those who need to improve coordination, and others need spatial awareness. This balanced effect transcends into your child’s everyday life. Once their brain is organized, they begin to reduce unwanted sensory seeking activities. They are able to regulate their emotions and improve their attention span. An occupational therapist can design a sensory therapy diet tailored to meet your child’s needs. To help make a sensory diet a normal part of your child’s life, we’ve created a portable tool called the Fidget Folder that can be customized for many sensory activities.
One of the ways the Fidget Folder, can support children on a sensory diet is by tactile activities. The tactile system is the sense of touch. It tells us when something is too hot, too cold, or when we are in pain. It alerts our brain when we feel different surfaces and textures. The Tactile Bundle is designed for individuals that seek sensory feedback from various textures & textiles, stimulates senses and encourages creativity and exploration. The Tactile Bundle can be used to assist therapists in teaching tolerance to those with texture sensitivities. It includes four different fidget pieces that can also be used as motivational and recreational tools for reinforcement in therapy.
- Sensy – allows different tactile sensory experiences with just one fob insert sandpaper, bubble wrap, etc
- Tabby – tabs of different colors and textures help to provide color and texture awareness
- Treble – Three size differentiation between big, medium, and small, and texture differentiation smooth, rough, and soft
- Pokey – reach inside the soft pocket to feel the bumpy texture
One of our moms, Jamee K, who tested the Fidget Folder with her son had this to say. “I wasn’t sure if this was going be something that Caleb would gravitate towards or not, but he definitely has! This “folder” unzips to a variety of “fidget” activities. Caleb even takes it with him to school and uses it throughout the day. We put pictures of Caleb with a few of his favorite people in it, a choice board, and a dry erase marker for tracing on the plastic worksheet cover.”
Check out the Fidget Folder and all the bundles available for a sensory diet here.
The most important point to understand that the essence of the sensory diet is helping your child get the sensory input they need when they need it. Keeping that mind, when you can figure out and understand what your child’s sensory needs are, well, that is what makes a sensory diet very manageable. In fact, it just becomes a way of life because you’re helping your child in small, somewhat routine ways, the same way you would make sure their teeth are brushed or helped them with their homework.