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Sensory regulation to improve attention for apraxia therapy

Feb 28, 2024
 

While settling in at my computer, I realized my habit of setting up a few things to aid me during work. From enjoying a cup of tea, a crunchy snack, or a lollipop, to playing music and wearing comfy clothes.

It's common for SLPs to have similar preferences. Hence, it shouldn't come as a surprise that our clients also require sensory support during challenging tasks like apraxia therapy.

Among the questions that I receive, attention-related concerns top the list. When working with young children, it's natural to redirect them and switch activities as needed. Offering choices regarding play activities and locations, such as the floor or a table, is beneficial.

But what if we did more? What about providing co-regulation to our clients? By meeting their sensory needs, we can enhance their attention to multisensory cues and increase the number of accurate trials achieved.

What sensory supports do I recommend for my clients?

  • *Disclaimer**

I am not an occupational therapist. If your child receives OT, consult them for tailored recommendations. These techniques, which have been successful with my clients, can be tried with yours. Activities should be based on your client's preferences as every child is unique.

Here are some ideas to consider

  • tight hugs with permission
  • squeezes on the arms or squeezing the child's hand
  • holding a fidget toy. My clients currently love these fidgets from spike toys.                       (use the code BONDARSPEECH for 15% off anything on their website)
  • bear or wheelbarrow walking
  • tug of war with a towel or use this
  • scooter board click here
  • jumping up and down on the floor
  • swinging the child in a blanket (needs two adults)
  • jumping on a trampoline click here
  • playing classical music in the background

These activities should not be seen as rewards but rather as tools to aid your client. They should be offered to make the session enjoyable and productive.

The picture below shows pictures of different sensory activities that one of my clients love. When he comes into therapy he can choose a couple of activities to engage in before we even begin therapy.  These pictures were created in lessonpix.com.

                                                     

Click on the picture below to hear me explain more about this topic.

                                                          

Free Target Selection Handout for CAS

Learn how to choose target words for minimally verbal children, understand

multisensory cueing, and other do's and don'ts in apraxia therapy.