Sensory Tips For Going Back To SchoolGoing back to school can be a significant transition for children, especially those with sensory sensitivities. Here are some sensory tips to help ease the transition and create a more comfortable learning environment:
- Prepare in advance: Gradually reintroduce school routines a few weeks before school starts. Begin with shorter periods of structured activities, gradually increasing the duration to help children adjust to the upcoming schedule.
- Visual schedules: Use visual schedules and calendars to provide predictability and structure. Displaying daily schedules and routines can help children understand what to expect throughout the day, reducing anxiety.
- Sensory breaks: Incorporate sensory breaks throughout the day. These can include short breaks for movement, deep pressure activities, or accessing quiet spaces to provide sensory regulation and prevent sensory overload.
- Sensory kits: Create a sensory tool kit with items that can help children self-regulate. This may include fidget toys, stress balls, noise-canceling headphones, or visual aids. Having access to these tools can provide comfort during overwhelming moments.
- Sensory-friendly classroom environment: Collaborate with teachers to create a sensory-friendly classroom. This may involve adjusting lighting, minimizing visual clutter, providing a quiet area, or considering seating options that accommodate different sensory needs.
- Communication and social stories: Use social stories or visual aids to help children understand what to expect at school, including classroom rules, routines, and expectations. This can alleviate anxiety and increase comprehension of social situations.
- Sensory-friendly clothing: Dressing in comfortable clothing can make a significant difference for children with sensory sensitivities. Opt for soft fabrics, seamless clothing, or clothing without tags that may cause discomfort.
- Communicate with teachers: Share specific sensory needs and strategies that have worked well in the past with your child’s teachers. This will help them better support your child and adapt the classroom environment accordingly.
Remember, each child is unique, and it’s important to tailor these tips to their specific sensory needs. Regular communication and collaboration with teachers and occupational therapists can make the transition back to school smoother for children with sensory sensitivities.