Sensory Diets

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A Sensory diet provides the right combination of sensory input at the right times of the day to keep a child at the optimal level of arousal or alertness. This allows them to participate in everyday activities, and attend and learn effectively. In conjunction with a child’s family and school teacher, a sensory diet can be developed as part of a treatment plan by the Occupational Therapist to assist a child to overcome difficulties with sensory processing.

When used therapeutically, a sensory diet is not a recipe. Rather, it is a carefully constructed activity plan designed to meet the individual needs of each client. The specific sensory diet will vary according to the child’s goals, preferences, resources, and environmental limitations.

Benefits for the Child:

  • Improve ability to pay attention participate, and learn.
  • Decrease the need to stimulate or injure self.
  • Increase independence in functional activities.
  • Improved social interaction.
  • Decreased fear and anxiety.
  • Improved communication.
  • Improved ability to maintain concentration despite distractions and interruptions.
  • Improved ability to adjust to change.
  • Improved ability to make choices, experience joy and fun.
  • Improved postural functions.
  • Improved self regulation.

Benefits for Parents and Teachers

  • Able to concentrate on quality time, training or educational activities rather than needing to manage challenging behaviours.
  • Possibility of addressing a decrease use of psychotropic medications and/or behavioural management techniques

Click here to download this Fact Sheet in PDF format