Have you recently found out that your child has Sensory Processing Difficulties? If so it may have been suggested that a sensory diet would be helpful. You may be wondering how your child’s diet can help them to process sensory input more effectively, however a sensory diet is nothing to do with food! A sensory diet is about providing your child with regular sensory based activities in order to regulate and organise their body so that they can function more appropriately within different environments.
When we have difficulties with sensory processing it means that our nervous system is not responding appropriately to sensory input from the world around us. It is either providing our body with too much information and therefore causing the individual to feel overwhelmed (e.g. difficulty tolerating noisy environments as everything seems louder) or not providing enough information resulting in under-responding to what is happening around us (e.g. misses instructions in class). This can make it very difficult for a child on a daily basis often leading to the child being labelled as being ‘naughty’, disorganised or a ‘daydreamer’ when in fact their body is struggling to process what is going on around them. This is where a sensory diet comes in.
By providing a child with regular sensory input that is tailored to their needs throughout the day it can make a huge difference to their ability to function at school, home, in the playground and various other environments. For some children they will require sensory based activities that are calming to the sensory system and others will benefit from alerting activities to ‘rev’ their sensory systems up. An Occupational Therapist can assist in determining a child’s sensory needs and customising a sensory diet for both home and school and ultimately provide the child with the tools to learn to self-regulate their own sensory systems.
Call us at Adelaide Night and Day Family Therapy if your child has sensory processing difficulties and you think they could benefit from a sensory diet tailored to their needs.
Call: 08 8351 6664