How to Get the Most Out of Sensory Accommodations

by

Jenna

Fidget cube sensory item on blocks

Many of the students I meet with have access to sensory items during the school day, but not all of them make great use of that accommodation.  For students to benefit from using sensory items, parents and educators need to select those items carefully.  I’ve gathered the most common reasons for sensory accommodations and my top recommendations for each.   

Sensory Stimulation

Young students, most students with ADHD and many students with learning disabilities have an excess of low-frequency brainwaves.  When this occurs, students often rely on sensory stimulation to produce the higher frequency brainwaves associated with focus and engagement.  

  1. Fidgeting Foot Bands: Imagine a giant rubber band that students can put around the legs of a standard school desk or chair.  This item lets students bounce or pedal their legs without disrupting class.  
  2. Gel Cushion: This round cousin transforms any hard chair into alternative seating which encourages shifting.  It’s great because of its portability and subtlety.  
  3. Desk Buddy: The textures and tabs on the Desk Buddy make it easy for a student to silently fidget with their hands.  Because it goes at the edge of a desk, and not in a pocket or backpack, it’s less likely to be misplaced than other fidget items.  
  4. Chewy Pencil Toppers: Students who rely oral stimulation often end up chewing their erasers; these toppers provide a safe alternative to that habit are less likely to draw attention than other chew items. 

Calming

Some students – such as those with sensory processing disorder or autism spectrum disorders – need to limit sensory input and calm themselves in order to be able to take in other information.  

  1. Weighted Lap Pad: Pads like this or weighted clothing give students deep touch pressure that helps soothe them following a moment of emotional dysregulation. 
  2. Vibes: These acoustic quality earplugs are nearly invisible allowing students to filter sounds without calling attention themselves.  

Focus

For students who lose their focus easily, there are great sensory options to remind them to bring their focus back to their work.  

  1. ReVibe Connect Bracelet: This bracelet can be programmed to reflect a student’s day and vibrates at specific intervals to redirect students’ attention.  

If you’d like personalized recommendations for your child, contact Jenna today to schedule a consultation.  

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