One of the things we find little Mr. needs is a lot of sensory input. He has certain sensory needs that he needs to fulfil each day, otherwise, the can be meltdowns or look bedtime. These sensory needs can change a little, depending on what he has done during the day with others being the same each day.
We have also found, over time, that some of these sensory input needs have changed, or have grown. I just thought I'd share a little with you all and what we do.
Little Mr., for a few years now, has been a sensory seeker. We noticed it starting with him spinning himself round as well as hanging upside down off the sofa. He likes to put his hand and head on the ground and flip off.
This upside down sensory seek went a little further than the sofa; one of those that grew. He would come up to us, put both his hands in ours, then walk up our legs so that he hung upside down, then threw himself over so he would land on his feet. That 360-degree spin.
This upside down sensory need is something he still has today, though he is much heavier these days.
He also has grown through a number of other sensory needs. One of these was spinning things. He used to spin bowls, plastic plates, in fact, anything he could get his hands on that he could spin. He would do it for hours on end if you let him.
The object spinning passed, after about a year, and now its dropping things through his hands. He loves things like lego which he can pick up and then drop on the floor through his hands. He loves watching how it falls into patterns. If out, this will be dirt, sand, little stones, wood bark, in fact, anything he can use.
These are examples of sensory needs he has to fulfill each day otherwise, there could be meltdowns. Another sensory, at least sensory type, need he has is to listen to music. Well, in some cases its listen to music, in others its watching nursery rhyme videos on YouTube or similar. This is an example of a sensory need he has, but something that he could do without and not have a meltdown.
Another such example of a sensory fix he likes but doesn't need every day is to go on a swing. He loves the way it moves, the breeze and all that fun.
You get the idea. Little Mr. has a number of sensory needs. There are things we have to do each day, and there are things we have to do often but not every day.
When we are in the house its simple. There are certain items that he can use, such as lego, to get that sensory fix. He likes to jump and bounce, he has a little exercise type trampoline in the back room. We have particular lights we can run on, things to give him that visual input and sensory fix.
Certain things are easy. Certain things, such as the upside down need, can be done - though as he gets older, I'm getting more tired 🙂
The difficulty though, is when we are out. When we are in town or out and about. Sometimes, though sensory needs can cause a meltdown when out and about, and the thing is you need to learn to spot when that is coming and try different things. Cookies are good 🙂
We always have something he can use in the car if needed, though, when in the car he loves to watch. We're lucky enough to live not that far from a beach, that's a great place to get that sand falling through fingers sensory input.
Just going to a bit of open space and hold his hands and spin with him for a minute. Pick up and put over the shoulder to get that little upside down sensory fix. There are things you can do, although you have to be more creative.
The best thing I would suggest is to take a note of what sensory needs your child needs. Then figure out what you can do to meet them when out.
The other things I would say is - don't let these sensory needs stop you from going out. There could be tears, them maybe noise and meltdowns, but you need to ensure your living and that your child is not just in the same safe spaces.
We made a decision a while ago - that we will always push forward. By doing so, he has accomplished a lot. The next being, getting back on a plane. He's not been on one since he was 18 months which was before the diagnosis.
At the end of the day, you need to be fulfilling those sensory needs. That said, don't let them control your life, take control of them.
What do you do to give your child the sensory needs they have? Why not share your tricks and tips below and leave us a comment.