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Kid Companions- Chewelry: What Is a Personalized Sensory Box

December 27, 2010

What Is a Personalized Sensory Box

Children with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) have difficulty interpreting information through one or more of their senses. As a result, these children have problems regulating their responses to sensory information. For these children and their parents, each day brings overwhelming challenges which lead them to seek professional help. Usually they will be sent to an Occupational Therapist, to address sensory integration / sensory processing needs.

One of the strategies used to calm or to stimulate the senses, is the use of a personalized Sensory Box. A Sensory Box is just a container where you place items for your child to explore with his senses. Simply stated, sensory boxes provide a medley of sensations ~ smells, feels, movements, sights, sounds, textures… to increase environmental awareness, relaxation and cognitive stimulation. Parents should have a sensory box at home and also one for their child at school.

Sensory Box Goes To School ~ What To Do
Following the recommendations of your occupational therapist, work with your child’s classroom teacher, child’s teacher assistant and/or special needs teacher and decide what would be best to place in your child’s individualized sensory box to be left in his classroom. 

Be sure to personalize the box with your child’s name and have a convenient, easily accessible spot to place it in the classroom. Or better still, have the child help you decorate and make the box HIS. Decide who is responsible to clean the items, remove the worn items and buy and replace new items. Maintaining these boxes takes commitment and organization, but is well worth the effort.

Have a plan on how the other students will be told about the sensory box and how to prevent other kids from using the items. When explaining this to the class, it would also be an optimum time to discuss why some children need sensory boxes or other special needs aids. Moreover, bring out and read to the students the special needs picture books on Sensory Processing Disorders. List and links to reviews below.  

At first, the adults working with your child will initiate the use of the items but the goal is for your child to learn to self-regulate and use these items when he needs them.

If all is done correctly, when your child gets an item from his box, the other students should see it as natural as getting a tissue to blow his nose or going to the pencil sharpener.

A personalized sensory box…so simple but oh so effective.

How have you made use of a sensory box?

Related posts:
*What Goes In a Personal Sensory Box

*Picky, Picky Pete ~ A Boy and His Sensory Challenges Written by Michele Griffin and published by Future Horizons. Review here *Sensitive Sam ~ Sam’s Sensory Adventure Has a Happy Ending! Written by Marla Roth-Fisch and published by Future Horizons. Review here

*The Goodenoughs Get in Sync ~ Five Family Members Overcome Their Special Sensory Issues Written by Carol Kranowitz and published by Future Horizons. Book review here

*Special People, Special Ways ~ Each page portrays positive images of children with various disabilities Written by Arlene Maguire and published by Future Horizons. About here

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