The signs of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) include hyperactivity, lack of focus and impulsiveness. These symptoms are normally highlighted as a response to change, like starting a new school, and they usually become apparent at a younger age. Sensory strategies are used to effectively assist with self-regulation for specific ADHD symptoms.
There are a variety of different sensory strategies available including approaches that involve specific pieces of equipment. We have created a list of the best sensory activities for ADHD, the most effective products to help alleviate symptoms, and recommended methods that you can incorporate into everyday life.
Sensory Strategies for ADHD
Generally speaking, sensory rooms used within schools or at home are a great way to improve the signs of ADHD. Sensory rooms can engage the user while creating a calm and safe environment, utilizing multiple pieces of sensory equipment at the same time. The following products can be used either as part of a sensory room or simply on their own to help improve sensory awareness.
Bubble Tubes are a great way of focusing a user’s attention as their appearance immediately catches the users eye with its enchanting colorful effects. Not only do bubble tubes stimulate visual development, they are also a great way of exploring sensory interaction with the faint vibrations of the tube encouraging touch. In addition, the vibrating effect creates a rhythm, promoting a calm and a regulated space for the user.
Bubble Walls work in similar way to a bubble tube however they take up less space and are fixed to a wall in the room. To find out more about bubbles walls and the ways in which they can alleviate symptoms of ADHD, please read our previous post explaining what a bubble wall is and how it can be used within a multisensory environment.
Fiber optics offer both visual and tactile development. As shown in the image above, the strands are flexible, encouraging touch in a safe environment as no electricity runs through the strands. Bubble mirrors, available in a range of style and shapes, are also a great way of allowing the user to view themselves and various other objects from a different perspective, creating a focus point for an enhanced visual experience.
Additionally, sound walls offer a completely unique experience by allowing the user to make music with their own hands via an interactive panel. This piece of equipment is a great way of developing cause and effect in a fun and relaxed environment.
A simple and easy way to improve sensory development in people who have ADHD is to try to encourage engagement through the mouth. The mouth is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to digesting and approaching sensory input. Small changes such as encouraging them to eat crunchy snacks to exercise jaw muscles can make a big difference; snacks like carrot sticks, apple slices, and ice pops work well for this. Furthermore, easy tasks like drinking through a straw, humming, and using an electric toothbrush can also aid in sensory development.
If you are a parent of a child who has ADHD you may already be aware of fidgets as fidget spinners have become increasingly popular in schools. They are incredibly effective in alleviating restlessness, allowing movement to be confined to the hands rather than expressed through the whole body.
A fun, engaging, and simple way of developing direction, balance, and coordination in someone with ADHD is by creating their own home-made obstacle course. All that is required is a little bit of creativity mixed in with pillows, chairs, and other bits of furniture you can find to fit the theme.
If you require further information on any of the sensory strategies or equipment mentioned, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team! Alternatively, keep reading our blog for more sensory ideas and advice.