QUESTION: How to Easily Get My Son from Bed to Breakfast Table?

QUESTION:

Do you have any sensory diet suggestions on how to get my tactile-defensive and proprioceptive-seeking son out of bed and ready to actually eat breakfast in the mornings?

GWEN’S ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions to include in his sensory diet:

* Have him sleep under a weighted blanket.
* Use firm pressure when waking him up. Maybe give him a short deep pressure massage.
* Make getting out of bed into a game that provides lots of proprioceptive (heavy work) input. For example, have him get out of bed like a seal would (arms first, dragging legs behind) or army crawl from his bed to the bathroom.
* Get him up a little earlier so he has time to fully wake up before engaging in activities that can bring out the tactile defensiveness. If you have time, read him a book, or allow him to watch a short TV show while waking up. Have him sit in a beanbag chair or play on a therapy ball while reading or watching TV so he gets some proprioceptive input that will help modulate his sensory system.
* Before dressing, give him some deep pressure “squishes” and then offer lots of choices so he feels some control over what he will wear. Under Armour or other tight-fitting clothing or pressure garments under his regular clothes may be helpful.
* For the breakfast issues, let him play with an oral vibrator while you finish fixing his food. Again, offer some reasonable food choices to give him some control.
* Use the BrainWorks picture cards to construct a visual routine-based sensory diet tool for your morning routine.

Best Wishes,
Gwen