Many children are often not able to enjoy the common childhood experiences like swinging, dancing or playing in water. Some may dislike the touch of some clothes while some may get annoyed by certain sounds. Some do not have the inclination to imitate others while some may try to imitate but do not know the right techniques and may appear clumsy.
These children may be experiencing sensory issues due to which they are reacting in a different way to natural stimuli. Their system is not able to process regular sensory inputs in a regular way and hence their reactions seem unusual. As a result these children are often thought to be different than other kids and may suffer even more. These problems can slowly change its outlook and may present itself in the form of hyperactivity, attention problems and difficulty in performance or social adjustment.
While these sensory issues may or may not create any other problems one thing that parents keep in mind that when children are given the necessary stimulation, they slowly start learning to react normally. Every child needs early stimulation and especially for those who have problems in sensory processing it is of great importance.
This stimulation comprises of various activities aimed at regularizing the system of the child. This is called a sensory diet. A sensory diet is a set of routine practices, activities in the form of games that are carried out for the children having sensory issues.
This is a personalized program and differs from child to child. While one child may require more of auditory stimuli the other may need more stimuli in the form of touch. The activities are then planned according to the requirements of each child.
You can help
As a parent you can be alert and try to find out any problems faced by your kid in view of any senses like hearing, seeing, feeling touch, taste or smell. It may be worth noting
- If a child unusually likes or dislikes a particular feeling, movement, sound, taste or smell.
- If a child dislikes bathing, brushing, being touched in a particular manner
- If a child dislikes or avoids particular tastes, textures in food
- If a child avoids or seeks more physical activity in the form of swinging, jumping, or is scared of height.
These are many other similar features could point towards sensory problems in children, who will benefit from a sensory diet. It is important that parents be aware of it and talk to their child care experts about it and help in planning a sensory diet for their children.