I recently found Angie Voss' website, A Sensory Life. I've worked with a lot of kids who have difficulties with sensory input and this website had a wealth of information for parents whose kids struggle with sensory issues. As I was reading through, I also noticed a few sensory signals that I saw in my own son. When she sent me her book Understanding Your Child's Sensory Signals to review it, I was looking forward to learning more, especially on a personal level.
The book lists the different sensory signals that a child might demonstrate and is designed to be used in conjunction with Angie’s website. For every sensory signal listed, she gives a sensory explanation for the behaviors and ideas to try. I decided to highlight which signals my son has and look at those particular recommendations. She identifies over 200 sensory signals, and after I looked through the list, my son has about 20. In general, it seems like he has difficulties with self-regulation and sensory modulation. One sensory signal that stood out for me was “Hides under bed, under table, or in closet”. My son spent part of his 3rd birthday party hidden underneath our dining room table. He even pulled his gifts under there to open them.
He tends to struggle with transitions as well and I focused on that sensory signal since he will be going back to preschool soon. The recommendations make sense and are easy to understand, especially since you can go back and use the website to get more information and explanations. We currently use the top recommendation of a timer quite successfully in our home (we use a time timer to manage transitions - the best investment ever!). I really like the recommendation to try to make transitions fun, like fun steps to the car. I will be trying that when dropping him off at preschool next week.
As I was reading the recommendations, I realized that some of his behaviors are probably ways he is dealing with his sensory needs. He's always making pillow forts and has always sought out the smallest spaces he could find. I’d like to try making a squish box. I think I have all the materials on hand to set that up tomorrow. Another recommendation I was able to introduce right away was using a Bosu ball. He loved it and it was a great way to channel all his energy. I'd also like to try to make a weighted blanket, I think that would help him at night to go and stay asleep.
As you can see, this book has inspired me to try several different ideas to help my own son with his sensory regulation. I'd definitely recommend this book, there are good ideas to try and plenty of support from the website as well.
Read this book and visit the website and let me know what you think!
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