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How to Create a Sensory Station

“Imagine driving a car that isn’t working well. When you step on the gas the car sometimes lurches forward and sometimes doesn’t respond. When you blow the horn, it sounds blaring. The brakes sometimes slow the car, but not always. The blinkers work occasionally, the steering is erratic, and the speedometer is inaccurate. You are engaged in a constant struggle to keep the car on the road, and it is difficult to concentrate on anything else.”

This is how Stanley Greenspan, author of The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five “Difficult” Types of Children, has described what having a sensory processing disorder feels like. This overwhelming feeling effects awareness, concentration, mood, and behavior. For children and adults who are under or over sensitive to sensory stimulation, a sensory break station or room is a much-needed place to regain mental stability and teach sensory integration.
Where to build a sensory station:
• Somewhere quiet with little to no distractions
• Walls should be blank; the area should be clear of decorations
• In a classroom, teachers can set up a quiet corner with a desk facing the wall
• At home, parents can clear an area of an enclosed room
• The sensory station should only be used for sensory activities, this strengthens its function
What to put in your sensory station:
• Include a mix of calming sensory tools and excitatory sensory tools
• Noise canceling headphones increase focus on the sensory activity
• A timer to alert child when sensory break is over
• Below are some of our favorite sensory items:
Overstimulated? Try lying under a weighted blanket or squeezing resistance eggs
Under-stimulated? Try rocking in a teeter popper or bouncing on an exercise ball

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