Sensory Diet for Children on the Autism Spectrum

BrainWorks: The Sensory Diet Creator Tool

Just as youngsters with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism need food throughout the day, their need for sensory input must also be met. A “sensory diet” is a personalized activity plan that provides the sensory input “special needs” children must have in order to stay focused and organized throughout the day. Children and teens with mild to severe sensory issues can all benefit from a personalized sensory diet.

Each Asperger’s or HFA youngster has a unique set of sensory needs. Generally, a youngster who is more lethargic or tired needs more arousing input, while a youngster whose nervous system is energetic or hyper needs more calming input. Occupational therapists can use their training and evaluation skills to develop a sensory diet for the youngster on the autism spectrum, but it’s up to parents and the youngster to implement it throughout the day.

Effects of a sensory diet are usually immediate and cumulative. In other words, activities that stimulate the youngster or soothe her are not only effective in the moment – they help to restructure the youngster’s nervous system over time so that she is better able to handle transitions with less stress, limit sensory seeking and sensory avoiding behaviors, regulate her alertness and increase attention span, and tolerate sensations and situations she finds challenging.

Each Asperger’s and HFA youngster is different and has unique requirements. But if parents take a close look at what their child is doing, he is telling his parents in the only way he knows how (with his behavior) what he needs. Parents can take what their child is already doing and make it safer and more appropriate. That's the beginning of a good sensory diet.

BrainWorks simplifies the process of creating sensory diets and teaches self-modulation through its use.  Click here to join BrainWorks.

Brainworks Is The Premier Sensory Diet Creation Tool. Sensory Diets Are Designed Primarily For Those With Autism And Other Sensory Processing Disorders.

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