An occupational therapy sensory room will provide a host of benefits for individuals with sensory processing disorder (SPD). Participating in sensory processing activities during occupational therapy sessions helps to aid development and improve well-being for those with SPD.
Our brains are designed to process a variety of senses every day. However, individuals with SPD struggle to regulate their responses to sensory stimuli. They may over- or under-react to certain sensory stimuli and this experience can cause feelings of distress, especially for children.
A well-designed occupational therapy sensory room will act as a place of solace for those with SPD. Integrating the right sensory tools and activities should provide a comforting, safe environment while promoting sensory development.
So, if you're looking for some occupational therapy sensory processing activities, have a read of our suggestions.
Sound and music therapy is well-known to promote development and improve well-being for those with SPD. So, it's recommended to incorporate auditory activities into your occupational therapy sensory room.
Wall panels, including sound boards and touch walls, are brilliant tools to use during occupational therapy for SPD. A sound board, for example, is a fun sensory tool that improves communication, language skills, and understanding of cause and effect. You can also customize our sound board with your own recordings and images to tailor the activity to the user.
Using musical instruments is another simple yet effective activity to feature in your occupational therapy sensory room. Creating music is typically a joyful experience and enables self-expression, which can sometimes be a challenge for those with SPD. It also teaches rhythm, enhances hand-eye coordination, and helps with speech and language development.
An occupational therapy sensory room needs to have the capacity to create a calming and relaxing environment. This is because it's common for those with SPD to feel agitated and react negatively when they struggle with sensory inputs.
Practicing aromatherapy is an effective way to relieve feelings of distress, anxiety, and hyperactivity. This makes it an ideal occupational therapy sensory processing activity. The smells of essential oils can help to focus the mind. Popular essential oils include peppermint oil, ylang-ylang oil, and grapefruit oil, all of which are included in our aromatherapy bundle.
When it comes to occupational therapy for SPD, lighting also plays a substantial role in helping to calm individuals. A bubble tube is a specialized sensory tool that is perfect for centering sensory activities around. LED bubble tubes gently emit colorful light, which captures the user's attention and promotes a feeling of calm. In a darkened room, bubble tubes are most effective and will help to soothe anxiety in agitated or withdrawn individuals.
Motor Skill Activities
Motor skills and balance can sometimes prove difficult for those with SPD. It's vital for occupational therapists to take an active role in creating a safe space for motor skill development, especially when working with children. When it comes to occupational therapy for SPD, soft play equipment is ideal – it's fun, safe, and perfect for enhancing motor skills.
The multi-colored IRiS Balance Beam is a specialized piece of sensory equipment that is safe, engaging, and great for improving balance. You can also pair the IRiS Balance Beam with an IRiS Listener for an extra rewarding experiencing. The colored section of the balance beam that the user stands on will cause the color of the listener to change. This additional interactive element will help users learn about color recognition and cause and effect. Overall, this is a great tool for occupational therapy for SPD.
An Interactive Ball Pool is another fun and interactive sensory tool. Ball pools provide tactile stimuli, which helps to promote gross motor skill development. The balls also feel relaxing, which soothes anxiety. When activated, LED balls appear to glow as the light beaming through them transitions through eight different colors, which is especially effective in creating a calming atmosphere. The user can also control the colors by using the colored switches on the ball pool. Again, this improves understanding of color recognition and cause and effect.
These are just a few of our favorite occupational therapy sensory processing activities that will help those with SPD. And it goes without saying that every individual is different, with different challenges and needs. So, we recommend incorporating a variety of activities when creating an occupational therapy sensory room.