Self-regulation is the way we take in messages from the environment and our bodies, process them, and then turn them into movements and behavioral responses. Some people might be oversensitive to sensory input, making it hard to tolerate certain sensory experiences. Others may be under sensitive, which may cause them to seek out additional input. Sensory tools may help people tolerate certain sensory experiences or get the sensory input they are seeking.
What kinds of sensory tools are there?
Touch (tactile) sensory tools include playdough, therapy putty, kinetic sand, soft surgical brushes, bubble wrap, soft sensory-friendly clothing (seamless, tagless, etc.)
Body Awareness (Proprioceptive) Sensory Tools include trampolines, dynamic seat cushions, jump rope, hula hoops, scooter boards, swings, body socks, therapy balls, weighted blankets and lap pads, compression vests, and clothing, Under Armour or snug-fitting clothing. Ask your occupational therapist about wearing schedules and weighted percentages for weighted items.
Hearing (Auditory) Sensory Tools include noise-canceling headphones, white noise machines, earplugs
Mouth (Oral Motor) Sensory Tools include Chewelry (chewable wearable jewelry), electric toothbrushes, ARK Z-Vibe Oral Stimulator
Visual Sensory Tools: ooze tubes, liquid motion toys, light projectors, bubble tubes, fiber optic lights, sunglasses
Smell (Olfactory) Sensory Tools include scented dough, scented markers, air deodorizer
Balance and Motion
Balance and Motion (Vestibular) Sensory Tools include spin discs, swings, trampoline