Students with ASD can sometimes struggle with their sensory input. That said, many students can benefit from a sensory break – not just those with sensory processing disorder.
Sensory breaks can be a good way for a student to regulate the amount of sensory input they are getting – either too much, or too little. I love how the video above also illustrates how we all have differing sensory preferences – we may have high tolerances with some senses and low tolerances with others. With this in mind, sensory breaks are not a one-size-fits-all experience.
Here are some things you may want to try:
- Squishing play dough or silly putty
- A gross motor circuit in the hallway (some companies make sensory paths specifically to facilitate these, or you can make your own)
- Headphones – either noise cancelling for those that want quiet, or with music for those that like noise
- Weighted vests or blankets
- Carrying heavy objects from one location to another
- Jumping on a mini trampoline
- Using a chair that encourages movement like an exercise ball, Hokki stool, or rocking chair
- Breathing techniques such as “Bee breaths“
- Turning out the lights and using a “star projector” (the ones made to project images on houses at Christmas time work great, too)
- A dance party
- Massage roller for under your feet
- Fidget tools
And many more. Add your ideas to the comment section below.