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Sensory Support Checklist

Sensory Support Checklist for the School Year

For those of us in the Midwest, fall means cooler temperatures, leaves falling, and football games everywhere. It also means back to school time for most families, and those who have kids with special needs and sensory challenges, that also can unfortunately mean more struggles and rough days.

If your kiddo fits that description, and has been found to struggle with things like Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, OCD, Anxiety, ASD, or similar, please use this checklist throughout the year to help them have more success than struggles!

Sensory processing difficulties are often at the root of each of those above conditions, but getting to the root cause of the sensory issues themselves is really the key to helping your child succeed, and that means getting your child’s nervous system working better.

The function of the nervous system is to perceive the environment, and coordinate the behavior of all other cells. When children have behavior issues, it’s important to understand they are just the net effect of two things:

  1. An overly stimulatory environment (busy, noisy, demanding, etc.)
  2. Poor perception and coordination of sensory information

Therefore each of these steps in the checklist are designed to either calm the crazy world we live in today, or improve your child’s ability to adapt to it. That simple.

The best steps to take to help your sensory-challenged child:

  • Get them plenty of sleep each and every night so the brain can reboot and restore from all the ‘noise’ of the day
  • Get them some form of movement and physical activity BEFORE they head to school, as this helps arouse and organize the brain for the day, giving it better focus and organization
  • Supplement their diet with Omega 3s and Vitamin D, both crucial for brain function
  • Speak to the school about finding ways to reduce the amount of time your child is stuck in a seat and allowed to move about to reduce any pent up energy
  • Reduce screen time as much as possible as excessive screen time is a clear contributor to the rise of SPD and ADHD
  • Seek help from a neurologically-focused, Pediatric and Family Chiropractor, as many parents report having a calmer, more focused, less emotional child after specific adjustments to improve perception and coordination within the nervous system

This list is not fully exhaustive of all the things you can do to help “calm the storm” that is Sensory Processing Disorder for your child, but each of them will go a long way to helping them have more success than struggle this year!

If you’d like even more information on sensory and other special needs challenges, as well as more options for help, be sure to join us at Duke’s Alehouse & Kitchen in Crystal Lake on Tuesday, October 25th for our latest Perfect Storm Workshop! Tickets can be found at

Published in the McHenry County Living Magazine – October 2016 Article

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