I Need A Sensory Break!
Sensory overload is an experience common to many children and adults. It likely that you’ve experienced sensory overload without having the words to express how you’re feeling. As adults, we are more easily able to subconsciously identify triggers to our sympathetic nervous system and “turn off” the overload.
You may have noticed that when you’re trying to focus on an important task loud noises make it more challenging for you to focus. So you may find yourself lowering the volume of your car’s radio when it’s raining hard outside and more difficult for you to see and feel in control of the car. Or, when you’re focused on completing a task that requires a lot of attention to detail, the smallest noises can be a big distraction to your ability to focus. Maybe when you’re trying to focus, you become more aware of the tag in your shirt softly scratching at the back of your neck. Have you ever been trying to one thing while someone else attempts to tell you something else? Did you find it difficult to complete the current task and also listen without feeling super frustrated?
If you’ve ever noticed any of these things, you’ve experienced sensory overload!
Now, imagine that you don’t yet have the language and processing skills to identify a solution that reduces the sensory overload. You aren’t able to turn down the radio when it’s storming outside. You can’t close the door to your office while you’re completing your lesson plan so you’re forced to hear the commotion outside the room. You don’t know what is scratching your neck or how to make it stop.
For many children, both those with and without diagnosed sensory sensitivities, sensory overload occurs daily. While they’re trying to learn many new and challenging things at school, they’re also exposed external noises and sensations that make absorbing the new material impossible. Because they’re not yet able to deescalate the sensory overload, all of the small triggers build up inside their little bodies until they reach a breaking point.
Once they reach this point, this is usually when you see the sensory seeking behaviors. The children begin to fidget and wiggle. They’re unable to stay focused on the task at hand. They might become over emotional, upset, or angry. They may be too frustrated to even attempt to follow directions or complete their assignments.
This is the critical point in their day. At this point, they really need a sensory break. Before their sensory overload has the opportunity to disrupt the entire class and turn the school day into a negative experience for the child, a quick trip to The Sensory Path can turn the day around.
The Sensory Path was specifically designed for this exact scenario. When children start getting overwhelmed by all the different triggers in the classroom, they need a way to deescalate the situation in a way that makes sense to their bodies and minds. By completing the specific sequence of movements in our paths, the students are able to clear their proprioceptive and vestibular systems of all sensory overloading.
Our product not only provides the proper proprioceptive and vestibular inputs to regulate a child’s body without overstimulating them, but also allows children to start recognizing the signs of sensory overload themselves. It is important that children learn to advocate for themselves and find appropriate ways to express their needs. The Sensory Path helps give children the language they need to ask their teacher for a break when they’re feeling overwhelmed without having to have a meltdown. It’s as simple as saying, “I need a sensory break!”
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