You know when your child seems out of sorts… maybe due to being over-stimulated, has too much energy or, conversely, really low energy? Here is a quick and easy way to help your child get into a better state of arousal.
As there are many strategies you can use to help get your child back to that just right state for learning and function, ideally it’s best if you first determine what state your child is currently in, in order to determine the best sensory strategy.
But… when in doubt use deep pressure and heavy muscle work.
Why? Deep pressure to our joints and heavy muscle work stimulates the proprioceptive system (which is a big word for our body awareness sense). The proprioceptive system takes information from our muscles and joints and tells us things like the position of our arm without having to look at it or how much pressure we need to apply to a pencil to write with it without breaking the lead.
When our muscles and joints are stimulated this generates calming messages to the brain. As such, deep pressure and heavy muscle work tends to lower our arousal state when we are heightened and helps to reduce sensory overload. Because this system sends calming messages to our nervous system, activities that provide deep pressure or heavy muscle work do not result in a child becoming over-stimulated.
Alternatively, deep pressure and heavy muscle work activities can also work to kick us into gear when we are feeling low energy.
And this is why when in doubt … use deep pressure and heavy muscle work!
Here is a list of activities that you can do at home that will provide opportunities for deep pressure and heavy muscle work (and maybe a little extra help with the household chores, as that’s never a bad thing, right?!)
Activities around the house: