We completed an adult sensory assessment with a mother of four who had returned to university to study. Her children had been identified as having sensory processing difficulties, this made her think about her own difficulties with adjusting to life at uni and decided a sensory assessment would be a good place to start.
This has proved to be a helpful process. Below is some of her feedback.
Strategies at uni are easier to implement as I am more in control of where I can go and withdrawing somewhere quieter and less busy is easy.
Strategies at home and with the kids are harder, but I am getting better at acknowledging when a situation is becoming uncomfortable.
Strategies I am using:
- Talking to the kids (especially my sensory seeking, loud, fast boy) and explaining that I'm finding a situation difficult and what they can do to help me.
- Acknowledging that it is worse when I am tired and giving myself permission to let a few things slide.
- I haven't had time to implement your suggestion of visual checklists, but we have been working to encourage the kids to self manage more. Big success at pick up time; not only are they waiting at the gates, but they come around to the car and then are quiet all the way home! Amazing what a lolly bribe will do. :-)
- Wearing ear plugs earlier! If I'm in the 'yellow zone' and heading towards the red, it's already too late. I bought some 32 dB ear plugs, and whilst they help reduce the volume, they don't block out the sound and I can still end up feeling overwhelmed by what is going on. So I think it is a two pronged thing of getting the kids to back off too.
- When I've gone beyond and it is too much, making a sensory bubble by sitting in the shower worked (it's like multi sensory white noise). I feel I can only do this when someone else is there to look after the kids though.
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