Do school days = blue days for your child? Is your chld able to hold it together at school, but falls apart when he comes home? Consider these Sensory Options and Strategies (S.O.S.) to help your child through his school day:
1. Prepare your child’s nervous system to help pay attention for a long day of sitting by having him jump on a minitramp or play on playground equipment for 10-15 minutes before leaving for school.
2. Allow your child to where comfortable (school appropriate) clothing of his choice.
3. Give your child some inconspicous ‘hand fidgets’ (e.g. small koosh ball, worry stone, pencil fidget, stuffed keychain, or small piece of theratubing) that he can fiddle with to help him stay calm and focused.
4. Give your child a comforting family or pet picture to keep in his bookbag or locker to ease separation and provide a visual break.
5. If your school does not allow gum, offer alternative ‘mouth fidgets’ (e.g. hard straw water bottle, pencil chew topper, chewlry, chewy lunch snacks) for calming.
6. If your child has trouble standing in line, suggest he stand at the end of the line so that he is not bothered by others incidentally bumping into him when they are behind them.
7. Talk to your child’s teacher about optimal classroom placement (e.g. away from visual clutter, close to the teacher for optimal visual and auditory cues)
8. If your child has trouble sitting still, see if the teacher will give him some muscle jobs during the day (e.g. holding open doors or bringing attendance to the office) or allow him to sit on a move n’ sit cushion.
9. Have a visual schedule (pictures and/or written) of your child’s typical school day, and talk about it before he starts school.
10. When your child comes home from school, allow him to play outside for a while to get out some energy, before sitting to do homework.