Teacher Conference Materials

Taste and Smell Sensory Systems

  • Many children react strongly to certain tastes
    • This often affect their behavior and ability to attend to tasks.
  • He may refuse to eat
  • He may vomit at the sight and taste of some foods
  • He can be reacting to the sight, taste, texture and/or smell of food
  • Some smells alone may give him a headache or cause him to feel nauseated.

Interventions:

  • Strategies are similar to many of those previously stated such as:
    • Gradually introducing new tastes or smells
    • Controlling the smells in the environment
    • Providing other stimulation that is calming to the child when they are challenged

 

Sensory Diet

 

36a. Sensory Diet

  • A sensory diet is a variety of planned activities scheduled throughout the day that provide the input the child’s sensory system needs.
  • Its purpose is to help the child become more focused, adaptable and capable.
  • Sensory activities should be planned and intermittent with structured learning times.
  • Many of you already do this, but may not be aware of the extended benefit.
  • This is something that is good to put in the lesson plans.
  • Remember the longer recess and lunchtime are important too
  • This is good for the whole class
  • The younger children will need more frequent movement breaks
  • The older the children are the less movements breaks are needed
  • For the child that still needs a movement break have them be your helper by:
    • Passing out papers
    • Running errands
    • Erasing the board

36b. Interventions

  • This might include having a two-minute break and have everyone stand up and do jumping jacks. Then have the math lesson.
    • Imitate animals
    • Simon says
    • Even older children like these kinds of silly games, but they may not tell you that they do.
  • Occasionally change the routine and environment for variety.
  • Know your child and supply the appropriate activities to meet his sensory needs.
  • Look back at the suggested sensory interventions and select sensory activities appropriate for the individual children.
    • They may need a quiet time instead of a movement break
    • Have the class rest their heads on the desks
    • Create a “playhouse” or a “dog house” out of cardboard boxes so the child in need of quite time can retreat to it.
    • If you need more ideas, fell free to ask me.

More examples of calming activities

  • Calming activities include what I would call heavy work:
  • pushing against wall with hands, shoulders, back, bottom or head
  • giving deep pressure such as pressing down on their shoulders firmly with the palm of the hand for 10-15 seconds at a time
  • wrapping up in a blanket (making them into a hotdog)
  • giving a deep firm hug
  • crashing into cushions and soft pillows as we have talked about earlier
  • Also:
  • rocking, swaying or swinging slowly back and forth
  • cuddling or back rubbing
  • providing a quiet, safe place as mentioned previously
  1. Alerting activities
  • Activities to increase the level of the alertness of the nervous systems in a child who might need more sensory input include: (Now remember these children may be the very ones who are hyperactive because their nervous system is constantly driving them for more input.)
  • These kids can also benefit from most of the activities above
    • pushing against wall with hands, shoulders, back, bottom or head
    • giving deep pressure such as pressing down on their shoulders firmly with the palm of the hand for 10-15 seconds at a time
    • wrapping up in a blanket (making them into a hotdog)
    • giving a deep firm hug
    • crashing into cushions and soft pillows as we have talked about earlier
    • rocking, swaying or swinging slowly back and forth
  • Also:
    • Chewing gum
    • Crunching dry cereal, popcorn, carrots or apples
    • Bouncing on a therapy ball or beach ball
  1. Organizing
  • When we talk about organizing activities, we are talking about those that help the nervous system pull together all the input that it is receiving and give an appropriate response.
  •  Activities include:
    • Chewing gum
    • Getting into an upside down position
    • Chewing chewy foods such as dried fruit, gummy candies, licorice, gum as age appropriate
    • Hanging by the hands on a chinning bar
    • Pushing or pulling heavy loads

 

 

In Closing

 

  1. Reference
  • Much of our information has come from Carol Kranowitz’s book The Out of Sync Child.
    • We have found this information to be very helpful when considering a child’s different behaviors and their sensory needs.
    • In her book, she divided activities that can be used in sensory diets into three categories.
    • As you go through the categories, please note that an activity such as jumping up and down may be calming to the child that is over stimulated, yet alerting to the child that is under reactive.
  • It is important that you know your child.
  1. Finding resources
  • LLH Resources
  • Other Links to other good, trustable websites
    • Written by a well-known source
      • Google the source, or person to see how much they are referenced by other places on the web
    • Offers reasonable information
    • Does not offer a “cure” for a developmental or genetic disorder
    • Does not make “good for everything” statements
    • Does not ask you to buy anything or pay for any information
    • Offers personal testimonies, not scientific information
    • Plenty of good, free, reliable information out there, if in question about a resource ask the LLH
  1. Example
  2. Questions?
Translate »