Welcome to week two where I will cover hearing/sound and touch. Remember that certain reactions/experiences can be seen as hypo - low sensitivity or hyper - high sensitivity, for some children these can overlap and can also change over time.
Sensory difficulties with hearing can affect balance. Encourage movement activities on a regular basis as movement can help the auditory system process sounds. Games like musical statutes involves movement and listening.
• They use one ear – Partial hearing
• Do not acknowledge particular sounds, like bangs/loud noises/crowds
• Scared if don’t know what the noise is
• Have music/TV loud
• Music Therapy
• Classical Music
• Can benefit from their name being said to them before anything else
• Give simple instructions and don’t use too many words
• Distorted, magnified sound
• Problem cutting out noise
• Can’t concentrate
• Sensitive to distant sounds
• May hum or make noises to drown out other sounds
• Reduce outside noises and don’t expect a child to concentrate if there is a lot of noise going on
• Prepare before a situation e.g., crowds.
• Understand that some sounds can be painful
• Ear plugs/ear defenders
• MP3 Players/iPods
• White noise
• Story Tape/Sound Story book
• Regular story telling
• Quiet Area
• Sleep pillow for iPod
Many of these overlap
• Holds tightly
• High pain threshold
• Self-harm (bite hand/base of thumb, bang head)
• Enjoy heavy objects on them
• Doesn’t respond to messy hands or face
• Excessive touching items and other people
• Difficulty using scissors, pencils etc.
• Weighted items such as blankets and lap pads
• Heavy blankets/sleeping bags
• Big bean bag pillows
• Deep massage
• Provide activities that encourage them to find hidden objects, so they are using tactile discrimination e.g., toy cars in sand
• Encourage art and craft activities, messy play, water play etc.
If using weighted blankets, it is important to seek guidance re using one, it must be in proportion to a child’s weight and not used throughout the whole night.
• Touch is painful,
• Over responds to unexpected touch e.g., when someone brushes past them
• Dislikes wearing shoes, socks, gloves, clothing and different textures
• Problems brushing hair.
• Problems brushing teeth
• Problems with washing
• Avoids getting messy hands
• Dislikes eating with fingers
• Warn if need to touch them
• Careful with hugs
• Make sure children see you before interacting, don’t approach them from behind
• Introduce new textures carefully
• Allow them to help and control hair brushing, washing etc.
• Encourage use of glue sticks, paint brushes etc. and opportunity to wash hands to reduce their anxiety levels when messy.
• Look at feeding utensils, are they too heavy, could they cause the child stress? Toothbrush – use disposable ones
• Brushing (Wilbarger) therapy