Sample Sensory Diet

Sensory diets are often prescribed by OT’s to allow children to have access to sensory input throughout their day. Because each child’s needs are different, the sensory diet must be individualized to address the kinds of input that will most benefit that individual child.  The great news is that the effects of a sensory diet are usually immediate AND cumulative. Activities that perk up your student or calm him down are not only effective in the moment; they actually help to restructure your student’s nervous  system over time so that he is better able to:
 
  • tolerate sensations and situations he finds challenging
  • regulate his alertness and increase attention span
  • limit sensory seeking and sensory avoiding behaviors
  • handle transitions with less stress

Sample Sensory Diet

Here is a sample sensory diet, created for a second grade child with sensory processing disorder. We’ve used the annoying term as  directed to avoid providing a cookbook recipe. Activities must be individualized for each child and modified frequently to meet changing needs. A separate program was worked out for this child with the school, including frequent movement breaks, an inflatable seat cushion for wiggling while remaining seated, and providing crunchy/chewy oral comfort snacks at handwriting time.

In the Morning

  • Massage feet and back to help wake up
  • Listen to recommended therapeutic listening CD
  • Use vibrating toothbrush and/or vibrating hairbrush
  • Eat crunchy cereal with fruit and some protein
  • Spin on Dizzy Disc Jr. as directed
  • Jump on mini-trampoline as directed
After school

  • Go to playground for at least 30 minutes
  • Push grocery cart or stroller
  • Spinning as directed
  • Mini-trampoline. Add variety: have him play catch or toss toys into a basket while jumping.
  • Massage feet to organize,€ use therapy putty, make €œbody sandwiches,  wheelbarrow walk
  • Do ball exercises as directed
  • Listen to therapeutic listening CD
  • Oral work — suck thick liquids through a straw, eat crunchy and chewy snacks, or chew gum before and/or during tabletop activities
At dinnertime

  • Help with cooking, mixing, chopping, etc.
  • Help set table, using two hands to carry and balance a tray
  • Provide crunchy and chewy foods
At night
 
  • Family time: clay projects, painting projects, etc.
  • Warm bath with bubbles and calming essential oil
  • Massage during reading time