Moments of sensory overload can be distressing for a child with autism as well as family members. It can often feel like the world is closing in, which can be extremely hard to communicate, primarily if the family member it affects the most struggles to express this feeling.
Our team at My World ABA understands this, and we want to support your family’s needs in these moments. This is why today’s blog will cover calming practices to engage your child during moments of sensory overload. We will be discussing two types of activities to engage in specifically to help prevent and move through sensory overload: organizing and calming activities.
Some individuals require physical activity to work through nervous energy. For children with autism, the understanding that they need to engage in an activity to help themselves might not be inherent to them. Some excellent practices to encourage would be to engage in the following exercises:
- Resistance bands
- Running an obstacle course
- Stacking chairs
- Organizing crayons
- Sitting on a “move and sit” therapy ball
These activities allow them to focus the part of their mind that is seeking order or a puzzle-solving aspect to their daily routine, which can be calming during a moment of distress.
For children who are already past the point of overstimulation, engaging in an activity that increases their blood pressure is not wise. Instead, the goal should be lowering their blood pressure and calming their breathing. Activities we recommend include:
- Rocking slowly over a ball on their stomach
- Brushing over arms, backs, and legs
- Wrapping your child in a heavy blanket, body sock, or lycra material
- Allowing your child to create a dark, safe space by turning lights off in a room or making a tent
Moments that are perfect for children to engage in activities could include:
- During a moment, your child is running around and becoming overstimulated
- Before/After an event that causes your child anxiety
- Before/After changes in routine
- Before/After school
My World ABA On ABA Practices
Our team at My World ABA focuses on teaching each individual that passes through our doors what it means to be a kind, well-adjusted, and autonomous individual. We believe it is kind to teach people to function optimally within the beautiful boundaries of their world. Our goal is to help your family adjust in the way that works best for them. If your family needs additional support for calming practices, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call (417) 818-5784.