Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Sensory Processing Disorder in the classroom

My son has had a long journey in his five years. He was born a month premature and didn’t open up his eyes for his first five days on the earth. Even back then he knew he was sensory overwhelmed with his welcome to the world. Most Moms have babies crying when they make their exit from the spa into the brightness of a hospital OR. Not my son he was sleeping in my OB’s arms as he was brought over the sheet to check his vitals. 

From that day forward he found his voice and expressed himself fully with the power of his lungs. He was a cuddly baby that never like to be put down to sleep and was rolling back and forth at 4 days old! Then he grew into a bash and crash toddler that scared me with his antics of climbing up a five shelf bookshelf and jumping onto the couch. Now he’s grown up so much I wish time could slow down and I could swaddle that sweet baby he used to be. 

He’s 5 now and recently diagnosed with autism and co-morbidities to watch out for, and attending kindergarten and I have routine  that I do for him in the morning to prepare him for the day. He’s not a morning person after two years with obstructive sleep apnea so every morning is a little more jarring to his central nervous system. We start slow and easy in the morning with the routine of wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, and get his backpack ready for school. All shown with his visual pictures to keep him on task. 

Regulation 

 He needs to be emotionally and physically regulated with his central nervous system before he steps into his classroom so I have a morning cuddle with him and give him a deep pressure massage to wake up his senses slowly. He then gets fed, dressed, washed, and then coat, shoes, backpack are put on. If he’s feeling antsy I have him jump on his minitramp for 1 minute. That amount of time can balance him out and then crab walks to the door with some heavy work to prepare him for sitting. 

Stimulation

Now that’s he’s awake and ready to start his day he can become overly stimulated by what he sees around him. I help him focus by putting on his glasses so he can single out each object. His classroom is a busy place so I know this cuts down on all the visual distractions. Noise and commotion are difficult input for my son to process so he has his noise cancelling headphones in his backpack to block out the overstimulation. If he doesn’t wear them he will stim and compete with the noise with his vocal power to cancel out the offending auditory trigger. 

Oral Fixation

My son tends to chew on his sleeves, cuffs, collar of his clothes so after he’s dressed I make sure he has his chewlery. He’s a shark and ocean marine life lover so he has his shark on a cord and wears it as a necklace. He doesn’t always like to wear it but I tell him that sharky’s there to help if he feels nervous. It saves his clothes and gives him the sensory input he needs for his low muscle tone in his jaw. 

Motor Planning

He has difficulties with  transitions so I make sure that I use visual supports to keep him on task. First we use his visual picture cards so he can see his morning routine. Then I draw them on the white board in a 3 step format of first, then, after. As he completes each task he erases it feeling accomplished and ready to start his day. 

Zones of Regulation

Each day my son and I will go through the zones of regulation where he will tell me what each colour is to express a feeling or action. When he’s unable to express how he’s feeling verbally he will tell me a colour. 

  • Blue is feeling sad or tired. 
  • Yellow is feeling scared or nervous. 
  • Green is happy and smiling.
  • Red is angry and frustrated. 

Verbal Diahrrea 

My son enjoys talking so I need to show him how to take turns with having a conversation as his receptive language skills are severe. He can have tunnel vision and want to be the only one talking and expressing his thoughts. I have a Popsicle stick that he coloured with one side is red and the other is green. He holds the stick and when it’s green he’s a go for talking. When it’s red then he has to stop and let someone else talk, namely his teacher. 

The visuals keep him on track and help with his slower processing time. We all know the adage it takes a village to raise a child. When you have a child with special needs that village grows. Now we prepare for him to be assessed by the school psychologist so he can qualify for an aid in the classroom. It’s not an easy process because sometimes my son doesn’t want to be organized and given direction so it becomes more of a dance. He takes a step and we each take turns leading. One thing I know that everything we do is to prepare him for success in the classroom. 

Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthlygathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution  . Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

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Sensory Processing Disorder and me-friend or foes

I’ve shared a lot about what it’s like being a parent to children with SPD. One is an avoider of sensory input and one is a seeker and can’t get enough input in his bucket. He keeps emptying his bucket over and over throughout the course of the day. Whereas his brother after a long day of school has a bucket that’s overflowing and can’t take one more cup of input. This is when Mom becomes the referee and I need to separate my sons before World War 3 happens! I do my best to keep them emotionally regulated but it becomes a full time job and I wind up exhausted and depleted. Like my oldest son I also have SPD Sensory Defensiveness in particular. Loud, sudden high pitched noises bother me, more than one person talking to me at a time is like chaos for my brain and body. My central nervous system processes sensory input most of the time effectively. Then there are those days when the world is too busy, loud, bright, and overwhelming. Sometimes I feel so hypersensitive to the world around me I can hear the energy crackling like a campfire. 

Those are the days I put up my hood and read a good book with a cup of herb tea or escape to my bed with my soft, fuzzy blanket and put on my headphones and listen to my meditation music. I need comfort in those moments when my ears feel like they’re bleeding from listening to my children squabbling over the iPad while three different TV’s are playing in the background. I have to resist the urge to bite my fingernails with the anxiety I feel inside. All I want is to chew on something soft and rubbery like an eraser but I don’t because my kids have gnawed on all the pencils like a couple of beavers. In those moments when I feel like the world is closing in on me and I can’t breathe I rock myself gently and I sing. Whenever I was a little girl my Mom would hold me on her knee and rock and sing with me. She’d rub my back and give me deep pressure Mama bear hugs. I’d give anything to go back to those memories and pluck her out them so I could have her in my comfort zone. But unfortunately that’s not possible as she travels a heavenly path while I’m earth bound. My Mom never made me feel like I was wrong or different. She told me I was a special child of God and my “quirky” nature made me uniquely me. When I was a child I spent a lot of my time reading the Classics like Shakespeare, Dickens, Louisa L. Maycott, and Lucy Maude Montgomery. 

I related so much to those characters who thought out of the box and wrote stories and climbed trees like I did. The poetry and beautiful descriptive writing of William and Charles made me want to write like them and capture the worlds interest with my words. So I wrote getting lost in fantasy worlds, epic battles, and fascinating history. This is when the world was a quiet place as I scribbled away in my notebooks filling pages with my prose and poetry. I’m still like this as an adult where I require quiet time daily and my sons are forthright about asking for their private bubble to decompress in. The stress chemicals can build up throughout the day and we need to release them or end up sending our central nervous systems into sensory overload. No one wants that to happen so we give each other the space that we require. Now you add in a few more letters of the alphabet like ASD, ADHD, ODD, and OCD you’ve got a melting pot of hot soup that no one can handle. Those are the times where I ask my children what they need to make their bodies feel better. Or how fast is your engine using the zones of regulation, of which my youngest son has a thorough understanding of this concept. 

Since facial expressions can sometimes confuse him and his recessive language with conversational verbal fluency is severe. He will then tell me what colour he is or ask me what colour I am. It’s an excellent way for him to communicate and be receptive to others feelings.  A breakdown of the colours and their meanings:

Blue- feeling tired or sad

Yellow-feeling nervous or scared 

Red-feeling mad and angry

Green-feeling happy and smiling

With my oldest son who has a better grasp on receptivity I have a diagram of a thermometer and I will ask him how fast his engine in his car is, and he can tell me or show me using the zone regulation colours. Sometimes are tempers are short, our explanations are long winded, and our bodies not regulated  and we react to the stress and pressure of the hot soup and we blow up. That’s when it’s important to remember forgiveness and our brains are just wired a little differently. It’s amazing what love, a deep pressure hug,  and a cup of hot chocolate will accomplish when words fail to save the day. That’s when I feel that even when SPD appears to be a foe when dealing with the chaos and it’s just too much ; I take that moment to breathe letting myself inhale the positive and exhale the negative and realize that it’s my friend after all guiding my family and I to better days ahead filled with love and patience.
Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

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Wearing my heart on my sleeve 

I’ve always been an emotional person the wear my heart on my sleeve kind of gal. There’s times where I think I need to have a thicker skin or put my heart away so I don’t get so easily hurt. It comes part and parcel with being empathic I feel people’s feelings, and I can “touch” people’s energy. I know when someone isn’t good for me or my loved ones and I can stay clear. 

I do my best to give people the benefit of the doubtand not judge a book by its cover. It will still happen to me and someone I love, that’s the way of the world unfortunately. Today was just like any other day before preschool filled with excitement an anticipation.  My son loves going to school and he wears and shows his feelings with his whole body. He was so excited to stomp up the stairs and count with me. He loves seeing his teachers and playing with his favourite toys there.  For the last month him and I have considered this a safe, fun, and educational place. Today though something happened and I’m still trying to process it. 

I have something brewing in my mind and my heart. If I don’t get it out I think I will combust! I was sure as I mulled it over to see how I could’ve handled it differently it would evolve into a blog post at some point. Today I was waiting with my son for preschool to start. There was a couple of families there and a little girl was staring at my son. He was standing there stomping as it’s his new thing that he does to feel comfortable in his environment, to gain sensory input. It’s an eclosed narrow hallway so his stomping is quite loud with its sound vibrations. 

I asked him to please quiet his feet inside and a classmate of his looked at him and announced to her Mom that he was crazy. The Mom (who did not acknowledge me besides with nervous laughter) said to another parent at that age crazy is good. I stood there stupefied, angry, and hurt for my son. I told him you’re awesome and don’t let anyone change that! My son isn’t crazy he’s very busy and full of kinetic energy and must move to learn. He has Sensory Processing Disorder #SPD and this how his eight senses react to sensory input. 

We all know we have our five basic senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing, sound, and smell. There’s many more types of senses but I’ll focus on the other three I was referring to:

  1. Propriocepetion- gives you the ability to know where your body is in space within your environment in relation to your other body parts. Think of the song Head, shoulders, knees, and toes. 
  2.  Equilibrioception- relates to our vestibular sense that’s found in the inner ear. This sensory sense is all about our ability to balance and have agility. 
  3. Interoception- relates to our body’s sensory system to know when we’re hungry, thirsty, or the urge to eliminate. 

My son is constantly seeking sensory input as all these senses build up inside his brain, body, and central nervous system and cause a traffic jam. Some of his senses are strong and some are weak and how he needs to seek out input looks different to everybody.

 This misguided observation we encountered didn’t bother my son at all. He doesn’t see himself any differently from other kids. He continued stomping while I stood there stewing in my furiousness for this hurtful remark. He made music with his feet, all be it loud music and made a little girl dance. Then that started a chain reaction and another classmate started twirling and he was still smiling and stomping. 

Although I saw his happiness I felt my heart crack for my child. He’s not different he’s different abled and is receiving therapy from his team so that he can function better in a world that can at times misunderstand and judge him. On Oct. 8 th it’s Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness please spread the love, awareness, and educate for SPD. 

   
  

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#1000 Speak Compassion-nurturing 

 At this moment in time I could use some nurturing. My heart has suffered from being judged, my body from pushing it to the limit of injury, my soul from putting myself last on the list of life’s priorities. It’s been my own doing, I put myself out there and recieved ridicule and embarrassment. I allowed it to hurt my heart and make me feel cheap, dirty, and ashamed. There is a thing about being too honest especially on social media.

I started a new workout routine as I’ve been living with chronic pain for the last five years. And slowly it’s grinding away at all the wonderful things I’ve accomplished over that time. The nurturing place where I housed my children and now my back is full of white hot pain if I do too much. Lifting my child who is showing all the signs of a sensory meltdown as he runs through a parking lot. Carrying him to bed after he’s so wound up from seeking sensory input all day he crashes in my arms on the couch.

Picking him up and cradling him like my little Joey and I’m his kangaroo Mama keeping him safe from a world that’s too loud, busy, bright, and at the same time beautiful in it’s simplicities and complexities. I exercise to keep myself fit, healthy, and fabulous. I started a new workout routine and matched the instructor for move for move. No matter how fast or extreme it would be in the long run. What the end result was an aggravated old back injury from a bulging disk, and not being able to walk properly for three days!!! What was I thinking I asked myself as I had to hobble around with a cane and parent from my couch?!

I wasn’t thinking about my age that’s for sure. I was thinking of who I was before when I was the fitness instructor with seventeen years experience. Who gave those intense workouts and also participated in them. It’s been a humbling experience as I recently started a fitness challenge and I’m on the sidelines cheering everybody on. I have an invitation to start a free one week bootcamp in my town. I look at each day mocking me and my lack of flexibility. How is it possible after ten years of teaching I could become so inflexible? Easy enough I allowed my mind to become that way being a right fighter, and my body became rigid and immobile.

I need to nurture that part of my myself that makes me feel whole again. I write, read, whine onto my digital paper and drink copious amounts of wine to dull my pain. Who knows of this push and pull existence that I put myself through time and  time again. It’s you my dear readers who have followed along with me on my journey through heartache, grief, self loathing, and sometimes redemption. I lay myself bare and venture out into the world when it seems to be less cold, hard, and judgemental. This is my life as a Mom with children with special needs.

You can’t see my son’s conditions but if you push them to the limit they’ll bleed through with their reactions to noise, over stimulus, and disapproving stares. One has a disorder called Sensory Avoidance. I refer to it as his needs are like a bucket of water and everyone puts in a cup throughout his day. When he’s home from school his sensory bucket is overflowing. and he needs to empty it out and self tegilate with calm and quiet time. I give him this time to decompress as I know it’s essential to his psyche and mental health!


My other son has the opposite disorder he is a seeker of sensory input and it’s referred to as Sensory Modulation. His condition I refer to as having an empty bucket that he fills with cups of water all day long with every interaction, noise, and stimulus. Each time his bucket is almost full he dumps it out and has to start all over again. So this is the push and pull of my son’s existence. One wants to avoid all contact until he’s regulated and able to fill up his bucket. The other is constantly dumping it out and finding new ways to fill it!

They both empty my patience bucket on a regular basis, and I need to fill it back up again with things that help. Like quiet time to myself, being able to read, write, soak in a bubble bath until  enveloped in the softeness and luxury. Closing my bedroom door each night and cuddling into my love my husband, my soft place to fall. He holds me and nurtures me and my hearts love bucket is full of self worth, respect, consciousness, and unconditional love. And I’m refreshed and restored and able to face another day. Whether it’s full of fighting, auditory hyper sensitives, food texture issues, sensory seeking, or sensory avoiding.

We all need to be loved, respected, accepted, loved, and nurtured. Please take that time to give your body, mind, and soul are crying out for. Don’t be like me who pushes and pulls into the core of my existence till my broken, weary, sleep deprived shell of a human body can’t take it anymore. Find those ties that bind you to the ones you love, absorb their love and strength, full that love bucket, and be more than, better than, stronger than the pain that threatens to grind you down. Love, nuture, take the steps to self care, and truly cherish that reflection that stares back at you from the mirror of your life.

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To the woman who judged me #mommitment 

To the Mother who judged me, I lay awake thinking of what you said. How you blurted out your casual comment not knowing it was like a serrated knife to my heart. Or maybe you did know that and didn’t care. It felt like you had an agenda the first time you laid eyes on me. We were on a busy commuter bus, going to the same destination; and I thought I’ll never see you again. But I asked you to back off and you didn’t. This is me wearing my heart on my sleeve and pouring out my pain in that moment. 

The Judgement Bus

How can you sit there and judge me? 

While people just stop and stare. 
I’m shocked by what you said to me. 
I didn’t ask you to share. 
You don’t know me or my child, or what’s his story. 
You just spouted off your ignorance and didn’t even say sorry. 
I was staring at the smugness on your face. 
I said he has autism and his meltdown I wanted to erase. 
I didn’t know what to say as my hot tears stung my eyes. 
I could see you watching my child with disgust, which was no surprise. 
I’ve seen people like you where I have to hold my anger inside. 
Buckle up son, it’s the judgment bus coming through. 
And it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 
I won’t let them see that one shining tear. 
As I could fill an ocean of denial.  Sadness lives here. 

As I look back and read this poem, tears are streaming down my face. I recently became a proud member of The Mommitment Movement, dedicated to putting an end to “Mom Wars.” Its mission is to promote love, acceptance, and kindness instead of judgment. 

I’m adopting the motto, ‘I won’t judge you as a Mom, so please don’t judge me.’ We all came into this world the same way, with a beautiful newborn baby – without an instruction manual. The experience I had on the bus made me realize how much I have to reinforce this positive message in my life. I immediately wanted to hurt her like she hurt me and my pride. My son wasn’t even bothered; just happy to have a seat, and to watch life out the window.  I won’t change my thinking, my thin skin, or the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I will abide by this code in my backyard, while I tend to the flowers I’m growing. I’ll respect your right to tend to your flowers however you see fit. 

After the bus incident, I’m more committed to Mommitment than ever. I can’t change the world around me. I can’t make people accept my son and his special needs. But this is Autism Awareness month, and I can help change his world by spreading more awareness, education, and understanding. Having the force of the proud and powerful Mommitment movement along with a parenting support network behind me, I finally don’t feel so alone on this journey. 

To learn more about this game changing campaign, please read the post that started it all.   

And here you can sign the pledge and be part of Mommittment. ❤️

Next Life, NO Kids
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Aware

I don’t know when the day was or how the feeling came to be, but I’ve always been aware that I was different. I wasn’t a shy child, I had an insatiable curiosity about life. I wanted to know about people, what made them tick, their likes and dislikes. Before I was born my Gram told my Mom I would be special. So on the day I made my arrival my Mom, Dad, and Gram were tossing around names for me. My Mom suggested Lisa, my Dad liked it but my Gram said no I will name her after a movie star I just seen in a magazine. So my fate was decided then and there. I always wanted to be an actress I knew enough about old Hollywood and the silver screen then any other five year old did. 

My friends at school didn’t know who any of my favourites were and thought I was weird since their minds were on Star Wars, Mork and Mindy, and Disney. I enjoyed these movies and tv shows too but there was a whole other wonderful world that awaited me in the movie pictures. My Mom encouraged my love of the classics in cinema and literature and  relished  each with joy. Not to many eight year olds could quote Shakespeare and discuss Charles Dickens and know what they were prattling on about.  I could though, and my Mom and Gram called me their old soul. It was a wonderful way to grow up, it was like I had a secret life that I could share with the adults I loved. 

I also seen auras around people, and at a young age I called them rainbows. I thought everyone could see them. I also had visitations from some people I knew and many I didn’t. I still remember the day I saw my friend crying over her dog that had died. I said it’s ok he’s not really gone, he’s sitting on your lap. My Mom got a phone call about that exchange and I had to pretend that my imagination got the best of me. Some friends just accepted that’s how I was without questions. My Mom protected me the best she could in my reality but in my dreams no one could. I seen things I never wanted to see, visions of things that scared me and some things that gave me happiness. 

When did I become aware of the fact I am empathic you may ask? I think it was when I was seven years old. I realized not everyone could see the “rainbows” around them or others. And a lot of people got uncomfortable around me when I discussed them. So I just learned to be quiet and not tell anyone I had a gift. It was something special I shared with my Mom, Gram, and her family. I still remember the stories my sweet Gram would tell me of her Mother’s visions. 

There was a time when my Gram was quite young and working as a housekeeper at a hotel. Her bosses loved her and doted on her. Then one night she went out of town for a dance. She had gone out on a group date as was the style back then, and her sister accompanied her. They had a fabulous time and were coming back into town since both of them had to work the next day. There was a car accident and down went the car over the side of the cliff. My Gram told me all she remembered seeing was a white light and floating. She woke up in a bed in the hotel she worked at being cared for by her bosses wife. 

My Gram came from a family of nine and all the children lived at home and worked to support the family. So her boss and his family decided they would look after her, and wouldn’t let my Great Grandma know what had happened to her. They had to avoid this because she had a very bad heart, and they were afraid that the shock would kill her. After several weeks while my Gram was being nursed back to health from a broken neck, my Great Grandma was tired of the excuses of not seeing her daughter. So she marched up to the hotel and demanded to see her. Luckily my Gram was on the mend but little did she know that her Mom knew something was wrong as she dreamt about the accident happening! 

I’ve always had the sight, the Irish eye is what my Gram called it. It was passed down from my ancestors to my Gram, to my Mom, and to me. I have relatives that have a strong psychic nature. It’s something I’ve passed down to my own children as well. And the older I get the stronger it becomes. The same thing happened to my Mom as she went from being clairvoyant to clairaudient and clairsensient. A transition that gradually happened as she had spent her whole life being connected to the spirit world. I’ve paid attention to this sixth sense, this inner knowing all my life. It’s much a part of me as my blonde hair and blue eyes. 

I’m aware that not everyone will understand it and fear me or my gift. It is human nature to fear the things we don’t know, or understand. The spirit of God always guides me to like minded people who share the gift or want to learn more about it. I always know when there’s good people and not so good people. I can feel vibrations in speech, energy patterns, and in conversation. I don’t hang out my shingle and set up shop for readings like some people do. I know when I’m guided to help someone as the energy vibration will lead me to them. 

I’m very grateful that God blessed me and my family with a psychic sense. My Mom always told me to never fear it, but not to abuse it either. She said a great responsibility comes from using the sense properly. And that’s what I teach my children as well. A gift from God is to be used to help, heal, and never to harm or hinder. So I keep my thoughts to myself even when I see or I’m aware of the outcome. It’s like a present that gets unwrapped when I need it. But I’m always watchful, careful, and aware of my surroundings as to who’s watching me. 

This has been my submission to Sunday confessions of http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Please check out her confession, the anonymous ones on her Facebook, and all the other talent who link up. Thank you for stopping by. 😊

 

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Guest Blog with Loorducation-Sensory Learning

I am honoured today to present my very first guest blogger. I have so much love and respect for this very talented woman. She’s filled my heart with love, education, and understanding, not to mention nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogging award! I had nominated her two weeks ago for her kindness, talent and inspiration. With an educational background with a Masters in education concentrating on teaching and learning, and Bachelor of Sciences in child studies majoring in early childhood education. I first came across Danielle’s Facebook group

https://www.facebook.com/loorducation

and my mind was blown with all her wonderful creative ideas for sensory based play. Which led me to her
amazing blog:

http://Loorducation.wordpress.com

I then saw where her passion for all things children and education lied with her sweet, creative, son who has autism. Danielle works with the approach to child led learning through the gift of her son. And she has helped me immeasurably with my own son’s journey with SPD. She is a blessing and gift to me and the world! The true epitome of an amazing teacher, I’m excited to introduce her to you dear readers, happy reading and learning.

Sensory Learning

Children love to explore and when they are given freedom, they sure love to learn. Children learn about the world through their senses. Hands on learning, – experimenting with different textures using their hands. They touch, feel and scope out different sized and shaped items sensing if they are soft, rigid, slimy, fuzzy – among many other feels. Children can tell a lot about something by using tactile learning. As well, this type of learning can soothe distressed children especially those on the autism spectrum. There are many types of sensory learning items that I make that can be used for exploration and relaxation when needed. There are sensory bottles, sensory bags, and sensory bins. There are many, many ways that I make them; I use kinetic sand, colored water, shaving cream, corn starch – just to name some things. The items that I use to create these sensory learning products are easy to find and cost little money. Below are some examples of the creations that I have made. They all can be custom made, according to the needs of the child.

Below I have made a sensory bin with kinetic sand and added plastic dinosaurs. This is great for early hands on math where the children can search and sort by color and make patterns with them as well.

I have packaged up some hand made play dough that is great for children to use and roll between their little hands, squeeze, make shapes out of and so much more. The soft texture can be calming and different scents, such as lavender can be added for tension and stress relief.

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Here I have made some colorful sensory bags that are great visual for the eyes and can get the children to focus. These sensory bags are great too because they are cool to the touch and may be scented as well for an ultimate sensation of calmness and learning. Inside the bag can hold tiny items that are suitable for your child. I use beads, dry macaroni, small figures, etc. They are portable and can be taken on long car trips and to stores or anywhere that a child may need to help them focus, keep them busy and help them in cases of being over stimulated by bright lights and loud noises. These work nicely for all children especially those on the autism spectrum and / or have SPD – sensory processing disorder.

In the next picture, I have made a small sensory bin with kinetic sand. In it I have added plastic insects, The pic in the middle is a sensory bin with different shapes of dry macaroni and in it I have added some small creatures and toys that my son really likes. This can be used for search and find, mix and match and other math and science activities.

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Here we have some cloud dough and in the next picture is some play dough. The cloud dough is made of shaving cream and flour. It is great for the sense of smell and it feels really silky and smooth. The combination of the two, makes for a nice soothing experience that is a great stress reliever when a child may be worked up over homework or other situations. It is great for an in between break as is the play dough.

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Kinetic Sand sensory bins are versatile, here I made a fun one with cowboys and Native Americans from a set my son had. The children can play search an find, math, or just dig them up and pour the sand on them again. Any way, it is soothing for little hands. The next pic is a sensory table that I had set up. On it there is some play dough, cloud dough and some slime or flubber. All home made. The slime is one of the biggest hits. It is cool to the touch and can take many forms in which the kids love seeing. I made orange this time. It is easy to add any color that is desired using food coloring. Having a small table set up gives the children choices and enables them to make their own decisions as to what they want to learn with at a certain time. I use all types of learning tools with it such as cookie cutters and google eyes for open ended learning.

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Here I made dirt and worms. A yummy tasteful treat. Let the kids help. Hands on fun that they get to eat afterwards. Make some pudding, they can mix and add ingredients for early math and science. They can help crumble up some cookies and add worms. A great learning experience that they will be proud of. The next pic is a robot. I have a few arts and crafts bins with a variety of learning tools. They are great for exploration and provide for a great stretching of the imagination too. When a child has choices, he or she will feel more open and therefore able to express his or herself fully through hands on creativity. The tools used here are a shoebox, clothes pins, pony beads, craft sticks and more. Set up an invitation to play and watch what children are able to create.

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A light table works wonders. Here he is drawing put many items such as paper, small plastic toys, bead (you name it) can be placed on this portable light table and used for endless fun and learning. The next pic, I made some green flubber and we put small plastic colored rings in which were used to make matching pairs and patterns as well as sorting. Great sensory play for early math learning.

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Here I made a sensory bottle. Great for on the go! Easy and fun. Fill it up for endless possibilities. Can be used for seek and find. Here I put some random stuff such as google eyes and squinkies. Add water, food coloring..even glitter. Many ways to create. Seal the top with glue and ready to go. Next, I made a geo board for hands on early math learning. I used a cork board, push pins and rubber bands. This can even be used to make different types of sounds and rhythms.

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Here I made a dry macaroni sensory bins with different shaped pasta. I added some plastic animals. The pasta can also be dyed. Next is a simple sensory bin with marbles. Great for textile and sounds.

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Sensory learning is an awesome way for children to experience the world around them. There are endless opportunities and possibilities when it comes to sensory creations. They are suitable for all children especially those sensory seekers, ASD children and SPD children. Sensory “toys” are great fun to make and sparks creativity. It promotes healthy learning and works on fine muscles that benefit children when they are learning how to write, hold scissors, open stuff such as juice boxes, zippers, buttons etc.

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Learning should be fun. The goal is to get children to love learning and we may achieve this goal by providing them with different opportunities that make them feel well. When children feel well, they will learn well. Sensory is key!! It opens up many doors. 😉

Peace, love, and education.

xxoo

Dany

Danielle Loor- M. Ed, BSCS

https://www.facebook.com/loorducation

Founder and creative director of Loorducation.

Making learning fun.

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