Sensory Diet Away From Home

We had Beanie in a great routine during the school year, but it began to fall apart as we began spending more time at the marina. We’ve had to make some changes and use a little creativity, so that we could continue working with her in every area at the boat. I’ll share a little about what we’re doing for OT (other than sensory), PT, and speech later. Right now, I would like to tell you how our sensory diet works at the boat.

First, the brushing and joint compressions work the same. She begins each morning with potty time and breakfast. At 10:00, we brush, “bump,” then head out to swing.

The swinging is a little tricky. We clip both ends of a hammock together, to make a therapy swing. We walk over to the playground, where I can hook the swing underneath the rings. We swing for 15 minutes, then spin and bounce for 5 minutes.

We require Beanie to wear a life jacket whenever she is not in the cabin of the boat. She really enjoys it and insists on wearing it at all times, even when she sleeps! We’ve found that the weight and compression from the life vest really seem to calm Beanie and help her focus. In fact, I mentioned this to her OT, who has started having the Bean wear a weighted compression vest at therapy.

Just being on the boat is also a sensory activity for the Bean! Even at dock, there is constant vestibular input. She is much more organized and focused when we’re been staying on the boat.

During the day, when it is warm out, we go to the pool. This is excellent tactile and proprioceptive stimulation!

At the marina, we often go barefoot, which is also some good tactile stimulation!

We repeat our brushing/”bumps”/swinging after naptime, around 3:00. Then, it’s more brushes and bumps at bedtime. All of this leads to a very happy, focused Bean, no matter where we are!

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