Providing a Functional Home Environment for Your Sensory Seeking Child
For all of us, the details of our environment can impact how we function at work and at home. For a child who seeks sensory input, the type of stimulation in his environment can have a significant impact on his attention and behavior.
The following strategies can help increase your child’s attention, facilitate appropriate behavior, increase organization, and prevent over-stimulation. Each suggestion lists the sensory system to which the change has the greatest impact.
Proprioceptive: Make tools available for heavy work activities such as climbing a rope or riding a bicycle.
Tactile: For tactile sensory seekers, organize your environment so that items the child uses routinely provide tactile stimulation such as textured bath mats.
Vestibular: Make equipment available that provides purposeful movement requiring an organized response such as a swing. Have your child swing and aim for a target.
Visual: Maintain organization by labeling drawers, placing toys in containers to minimize clutter, and using muted colors.
Auditory: Provide a steady background of quiet sounds such as classical music.
Oral: Provide foods with intense tastes.
If you would like more help in making environmental changes in your home to support your sensory-seeking child, contact us and one of our occupational therapists can assist you.
Miller, L.J. (2007). Sensational kids. New York, NY: Penguin Group, Inc.