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Help for Hyperactive Kids? A Sensory Integration Approach (page 2)

Help for Hyperactive Kids? A Sensory Integration Approach

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Updated on May 15, 2014

The Visual System: The Sense of Sight

Our visual system involves the functions of both looking and seeing. Looking and seeing mean different things. Looking uses the eyes to gather information. Seeing refers to forming an image in the brain. Hyperactive children can have problems “seeing the trees for the forest.”

Tip: Providing an organized room for you child at home can be very helpful. In an organized room, he can see the toy for which he was looking. Structure is, in general, good for these children. In school, the important math problem a child cannot solve can be easier to figure out if it is written on a blank sheet of paper or on a sheet with blocks for each problem.

The Proprioceptive System: The Sense of Feeling in the Muscles and Joints

Our proprioceptive system is sometimes called the hidden sensory system because it is embedded in our muscles, joints, and tendons and is not really obvious on the outside of the body. But if we did not have this extremely important sense, we would literally fall down. It provides a foundation for everything from posture, to how to put your arm in your sleeve behind your back.

Tip: Having a good sense of the muscles and joints can help prevent injuries later in life. Let your child play outside in the yard or on the playground as much as possible. This can help him or her develop properly and can boost self-confidence.

The Sense of Smell and Taste

Did you know that smell is 25,000 times stronger than taste? The sense of smell has four important functions:

  1. It offers protection.
  2. It offers an important component to emotional and sexual life.
  3. It helps jog memory because odors are stored in the memory.
  4. It helps acquire food and drink.

Tip: Essential oils can determine the mood in a room. Many types of these oils are available, each with its own effect. Lavender is well know for its calming effect.

Horowitz and Rost encourage parents to use each of the main sensory systems to help calm down a hyperactive child: by drinking through a straw (taste); sitting on a medicine ball (vestibular/proprioceptive); washing your face with cold or warm water (touch); watching fish in an aquarium (visual); or whispering (auditory).

Finding out what activities work best for your child is the cornerstone of sensory integration therapy.

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