When You Have Behaviors, Take a Look at Sensory Needs!

When You Have Behaviors, Take a Look at Sensory Needs!

When you have a student on the autism spectrum who is acting out, one of the things you can look at is sensory needs.  Sometimes our students need, what some call, a sensory diet.  If you haven’t heard that expression before, it’s when you put sensory supports in the student’s or child’s day.   Sometimes students “ask” for sensory.  You can see the student who is asking for sensory because they may tap on things, push up against something to gain some deep pressure, or perhaps cocoon himself in a t-shirt, rug or blanket.

When a student asks for sensory, that is your clue to put in a sensory diet of at least three “big meals” of sensory throughout the day. A big meal would be things like running, jumping, pushups, swinging, and heavy lifting.  This very same student may need some small “snacks” of sensory during the day as well. This would be things like holding a squishy ball, twisting something, scratching Velcro, smelling a favorite scent, listening to a favorite song or tasting something salty.

Meeting the sensory needs of students on the autism spectrum is the third component that I am addressing in the Culture of Autism.

Take a look!

Remember the kind of sensory you offer depends upon what the student needs.  The student will help you figure that out by their behavior and a bit of trial and error on your part!  Behavior Communicates 🙂

If you are lucky enough to have a sensory room/space in your building, make sure that you have a combination of sensory items that will help to give your students the sensory input that can stimulate their system up to a level he/she needs to be able to focus on learning and sensory supports that can help to calm your student downas you protect him/her from too much of the wrong kind of sensory stimulation they’re getting.

I hope this series is helping you to figure out how you can help your students by paying attention to the Culture of Autism!

You take care and I’ll see you next time!


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