If you have a child with a sensory processing disorder (SPD), there are many challenges you face that other parents don't. Children with SPD who is over-sensitive often aren't accommodated with everyday settings. They may find stimuli overwhelming such as:
- Physical touch
For under-sensitive children, they may crave too much stimulation it's difficult to meet their needs.
This is where a San Diego sensory gym comes in. Basically, a sensory gym is a smaller space intended for active sensory play. It includes sensory equipment made to provide vestibular and proprioceptive sensory input like:
- Therapy balls
Here are five benefits of providing your child with a sensory gym environment.
1. Amplifies Therapy
Sensory gyms don't replace other forms of therapy your child may be receiving. They actually help amplify its effects. They're a good way to reduce social stress, foster independence and help safely acclimate your child to new stimuli.
2. Creates Fun
Sensory gyms help greatly with developmental improvements since they're fun. They're designed specifically for children with sensory processing disorders so they can play without stress.
3. Improves Fine Motor Skills
These gyms don't just improve body awareness and balance, they also improve:
- Fine motor skills
- Cause-and-effect reasoning
- Cognitive-behavioral social skills
And, they do this in a safe environment.
4. Helps with Lethargy
If your child is unengaged, lethargic and can't absorb normal stimulation, they can benefit from a sensory gym by being able to practice responding to sensory information.
5. You Can Bring it Home
If you design a sensory gym in your San Diego home, you'll have an easy and quick way of encouraging sensory development without having to leave your house. There's no need to buy expensive equipment either. You can use items from around your home like fans and bins and beanbags filled with various textures like sand, gravel or dry pasta.
Talk with your child's pediatric occupational therapist about a sensory gym or how you can create one in your own home or experience one in your community.