What is a sensory diet?
A “sensory diet” is a treatment strategy used to manage sensory processing dysfunction (also known as sensory motor integration
dysfunction). In essence, it is a list of sensory activities that helps to keep a child feeling ‘calm’ and sensorily organized that then allows them to attend, learn and behave to the best of their ability.
What are the building blocks necessary to have success with a sensory diet?
Sensory processing: accurate processing of sensory stimulation in the environment as well as in one’s own body.
Planning and sequencing: The sequential multi-step task/activity performance to achieve a well-defined result such as following a sensory based obstacle course.
Attention and Concentration: Sustained effort, doing activities without distraction and being able to holding that effort long enough to get the task done.
Receptive (understanding) Language: Comprehension of spoken language.
Executive Functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills to create a sensory obstacle course or change the sensory game from on format to another.
Compliance: The ability of the child to follow through with commands and requests.
What type of therapy is recommended to develop a sensory diet?
Diagnosis alone is NOT the solution. It simply opens the door to getting the help that is needed by arming all involved with the relevant information.
If your child has difficulties with or needs a sensory diet, it is recommended they consult an Occupational Therapist.