Johnny has always been my sensory seeker. He loves to run his hands over things and enjoy the different textures and how they feel. He loves colours and how some things sparkle as well. He has a sensory table at school that was created by his Autism Support Teacher last year that has bins of sensory toys that he gets to go and play with during specific times during his day at school as part of his sensory diet. He enjoys it and I think it helps him deal with some of the anxities he feels when he is away from home and in the high energy environment of school. He likes his sensory table so much he keeps wanting to take it home:)
When we started going to private occupational therapy, Johnny llked it alot at first but then after a few sessions he still was happy to see his therapist, but he did not seem motivated to complete or try all the different activites. It was like i was getting a glimpse into the future when he is 16 and relunctant to go somewhere or do something. i swear I caught him a few times rolling his eyes at me:) i think part of the reason is that because of Autism there is even more of a lack of filters then there is with a typical young child. You know what his true feelings are through body language even if the words are not always there.
I started thinking of “reinforcers” to promise to give Johnny after each session if he “tried” all the activities, did everything the OT asked nicely, and kept her cupboards closed. I picked items like Mardi Gras beads, squishy balls etc. but didn’t realize he would create his own “sensory bag”. It now sits on the sofa where he usually sits and he sits down and starts playing with his sensory toys during different times when he is home with me. I notice that it calms him right down after a few minutes. I didn’t realize that items that were suppose to be “one time” re-inforcers were going to become something that will calm him time after time again.