We are currently waiting on a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder for our eldest: while we wait for SW, PASW, CAMHS etc to sort themselves out and work out who will assess and potentially treat my boy I turned to the wonderful world of Twitter for advice.
As usual the amazing people on there came up with loads of suggestions which make so much sense.
After some research and a bit of a dive into Pinterest I decided to try a sensory box. I created a sensory box for home and 2 pencil cases (1 for nursery bag and 1 for my handbag). I didn’t really know what to expect or what I was doing. I tried to include things he could scratch and fiddle with in a focused way, things I knew would hold his attention, they are a random mix of things if you look at the picture above. The box for home include a sensory ball and sunglasses among other things. We named them the “chill out box/bag”.
I have started by offering the bag / box when I feel he he is becoming hyper-vigilant or hyper-stimulated. The first time I used it was when he was playing with Grandpa and I could see he was over-stimulated, I offered the box and gave him a space away from us but where he could see us and turned the sand timer to 10 minutes. I was amazed. He sat with his glasses on and scratched and fiddled away for the 10 minutes. Afterwards he told me “it was amazing” he seemed brighter and came back into the lounge a calm relaxed boy who was able to carry on playing with his Grandpa (I’d had words with my father-in-law about not doing rough play or tickling).
I was shocked, this was our little boy who previously would be unable to stop and would likely escalate to violence and screaming, we had averted the crisis and he came out of it really happy.
He has asked for the box / bag several times and has always been keen to have it when we have offered it. It came in very handy when we were away with family last weekend. Obviously it doesn’t solve all our problems and we still get seemingly random acts of violence, but it helps him regulate and prevent the escalation we were becoming used to.
As usual we’re not sure what we’re dong and making it up as we go along with a little help from our Twitter friends!