Have a monkey on your hands? Kid climbing the walls? Adult who can't stay still? You may have a sensory seeker! Sensory seekers tend to crave sensory input and when their system is not getting enough you will find them touching, jumping, pushing biting, flapping, or talking excessively. Sensory seeking is not limited to children. . Adults can be sensory seekers craving weight, pressure, chewing (sometimes leading to smoking or eating disorders), and movement. Sensory seekers may appear fidgety or have a hard time being still. Creating a space for them to “center,” relax and receive the much needed but appropriate sensory input can enable the to function without causing disturbance or harm.
Lighting: Sensory seekers love lights, art and visual movement. Using a mirror ball or projector in your room to cast images can give them just the visual input needed. You can create an interactive visual space with a floor projector or provide an interactive bubble tube to help the engage with what they are seeing.
Movement: Movement is at the crux of sensory seeking and acts as a significant filter. Providing opportunities for running, climbing, jumping and coordination on a regular daily basis (and sometimes frequently throughout the day) can minimize extraneous sensory behaviors.
Texture: Sensory seekers love texture. This can be provided in the form of textiles or even oral motor tools for exploring with the tongue. Tactile and interactive walls can provide a great outlet for hand exploration as can fidget toys and tools.
Sound: Bringing the right sound into a sensory seeking world can calm, relax and engage those who are easily searching for input. Classical music and music with steady rhythm or designed for sensory integration can be piped into a room, listened to with earphones or even listened to while working or on route.
Smell: Lavendar, Sage, Rosemary, Vevitar, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Orange are scents that can be used to awaken or calm. Using a room diffuser can encourage concentration or a restful night’s sleep. Place a few drops in a dryer in lieu of dryer sheets or on a pillow before bedtime.
Remember your sensory seeker may need reassurance from time to time and you may need to try out new strategies that provide the input they crave.