Having children with learning and behavioural difficulties can be a real challenge for parents, mainly because it can make you feel powerless when it comes to helping them through their struggles. However, there are things you can do from home to support any professional help they’re getting. Children who are born with or develop developmental disabilities often have a dysfunctional sensory system as part of it, so it is important to over stimulate their senses in order to help them to function normally.
Various forms of physiotherapy exercises can be beneficial to help them with their movement, balance, posture, reaction and concentration. Examples of objects that you can have at home which help with this are bean bags, hammocks, swings, and trampolines. Dance therapy is also a very beneficial exercise when it comes to encouraging movement, and it also really helps with communication skills as they can learn to express themselves through this medium. Similarly, drama therapy allows them to explore interpersonal issues which also helps with communication skills as well as emotional management. Art therapy can help them to develop their motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and communication as well as the stimulation that comes from working with colour and texture.
There are lots of different ways to stimulate vision in the home, but colour is a good place to start, particularly explosions of lots of different colours on the walls in their room. It’s important to be aware that over stimulation can have the opposite effect so try to stick to calm, slow forms of stimulation such as bubble machines or lava lamps. Asking them to follow objects with their eyes is another good exercise, and using a full Home Entertainment system is a great way to give them a breadth of different stimuli while they watch programmes specifically designed for their needs, of which there are many.
Music therapy is the main form of stimulation when it comes to auditory development. Listening to music can help to trigger different emotional responses and can help your child to disconnect in stressful situations. Music is a universal medium of communication and can reach people where other forms cannot. As well as listening to music, creating sounds using instruments can really help development too. You don’t need to use expensive instruments, you can even make your own out of things you have lying around the house, like wooden spoons and pots.
Sensory stimulation is an enjoyable and non-invasive way to help your children develop in areas they are falling behind in. It is good to focus on a range of different senses, so start by using props which help them to practice balance and movement as well as exercises like dancing and dramatic communication which will also help them to process human emotion. Visual stimulants are also important and are easy to achieve in the home using brightly coloured paints and toys such as lava lamps and bubble machines. And lastly, make sure you also focus on auditory development by listening to music and helping them to play instruments themselves. For more parenting advice, take a look at ManchesterMummy.com.