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Sensory Diets

A sensory diet is tailored activity scheduled into a child’s day to assist the brain in regulating attention, arousal and adaptive responses. Different types of sensory input—proprioceptive, tactile, visual auditory, vestibular, gustatory, oral motor—introduced at various times of the day cause a release of neuro-chemicals that can last up to two hours, depending on the type of input and intensity. 

Based on successful SIT under an OT’s guidance, a list of activities or exercises given to the family to do at home. The family gives feedback to the OT in terms of observational outcomes after the exercises/activities, and then the  OT will determine if the activities are regulating the child.  

A sensory diet is designed to keep a flow of these neuro-chemicals steady in the brain throughout the day for improved learning. A sensory diet is prescribed only by an Occupational Therapist or a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant and is monitored by them, but it is a plan that should be carried out on a daily basis by a person trained on specific techniques by an OT or COTA. If you have any questions regarding this sensory diet, please talk to the child’s therapist listed at the top of this page. These activities are designed to produce a positive effect on a child. If at anytime the child reacts negatively to the input, the activity should be stopped.

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