Specialist Interventions

Sensory Diets and Sensory Lifestyles

A ‘sensory diet’ is designed to help a child with sensory processing challenges and helps to ‘feed’ and regulate their sensory systems. It includes sensory-rich activities that will help a child to cope and function in a world that over-whelms their sensory systems or when they are under-responsive to sensory stimuli. 

Creating a sensory diet requires an Occupational Therapist, trained in sensory integration principles, to work with the child, parents and school and support staff to identify responsive, appropriate sensory activities and strategies that can address the child’s particular sensory processing needs. 

A sensory lifestyle should provide manageable, structured activities that can be conducted, when needed, in school, at home or in the community and throughout the day/week. Providing a ‘diet’ of ‘alerting’, ‘organizing’ and ‘calming’ activities will help, for example, to activate a child’s core stability and organise their sensory systems ready for work in the classroom, and help maintain their concentration and attention - thereby aiding their ability to focus and learn in the classroom.

Activities may include things such as regular ‘movement breaks’ throughout the day to alert the sensory-motor systems, or calming sensory activities to help a child when they experience sensory over-load (from the environment around them)


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