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SENSORY DIFFERENCES
HOW CAN I HELP?
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
(CHILDREN AND YOUNG
PEOPLE SERVICE)



BELOW ARE SOME WAYS THAT MAY HELP YOUR CHILD:

  • Sharing information about your child’s reaction to others (but not within his/her hearing).
     
  • Pace out activities so they do not become over-whelming, e.g. plan in quiet rest time – use a timetable which indicates when the quiet time will be.
     
  • If your child does not make eye contact, that is ok (it may be uncomfortable to make eye contact) continue activity without pushing for eye contact.
     
  • Strong heavy sucking (liken to baby sucking thumb) can be calming. Use these during or after situations the child has found challenging e.g. using a straw to drink a smoothy.
     
  • Give firm consistent sensory information within regular activities e.g. after washing, towel dry in firm way.
     
  • For children who find noise from multiple voices difficult, plan in some regular quiet time. Try playing background music to see if it helps. Further information and ideas are available on the noise sensitivity leaflet from the OT.
     
  • For children who become visually over stimulated, decrease visual complexity and challenges by wearing plain rather than patterned clothes. Also consider the visual demands on the environment such as the walls. Try to keep these well organised and minimal.
     
  • Many children benefit by the use of a den, sometimes called “escape and regulate space”. This is an area into which the child can retreat for a short time from sensations that are challenging to them. It could be a tent, bean bag, comfy chair.
     
  • Provide children with ‘fidget’ items on outings that are challenging for them. Having access to a ‘fidget’ can help when waiting in a queue.
     
  • Give information about what will happen next in written format (pictures or words) to which your child can refer at a later point.

 

MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER:

 

THINGS THAT MAY HELP MEsmiley

 

THINGS THAT MAY CHALLENGE MEfrown

 

Not making me give eye contact

Direct eye contact

Only one person at a time talking to me

More than one person talking to
me. Hearing other conversations.

Neutral odours

Perfumes, aftershaves or other
smells

Plain clothes, dull and neutral colours

Patterned clothes, bright vivid colours

Uplighters, red or green bulbs

Strip lights, bright lights, sunshine

A quiet environment

Kettles, traffic sounds, phones, noise

Quiet personal care

Toilet flushing, running water, hairdryer

One thing at a time

Being bombarded by lots of information

Knowing what will happen next

Unpredictability and chaos

Consistency

Different people responding to me in different ways

 

The Occupational Therapy Team have produced some excellent information sheets to support some skills for your child. Please have a look at the following sheets to see more information:

BICYCLE SKILLS: Bike Skills.pdf 

DRESSING SKILLS: dressing-skills.pdf

SOUND SENSITIVITY: Sound Sensitivity Leaflet.pdf

HAIR BRUSHING, WASHING AND CUTTING:  Hair Brushing Washing Cutting.pdf 

BALL SKILLS: ball-skills.pdf 

BOTTOM WIPING: bottom-wiping.pdf 

LEARNING CUTLERY SKILLS: learning-cutlery-skills.pdf 

TYING SHOELACES: shoelaces.pdf

 

REFERRALS TO THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICE

All requests for referrals are taken centrally through the Birnie Centre:

Telephone 01463 706106

Or email childrens.otservice@highland.gov.uk

  • If you do email, please include a telephone number so that a member of the OT team can contact you in person.
  • You do not need to have a Child's Plan in place before you make a request for OT help.

 

If you would like to find out more about occupational Therapy please read this leaflet from the College of Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapy services.pdf

 

The Pines
Drummond Road,
Inverness
IV2 4NZ

01463 720 030
The.pines@highland.gov.uk