Sensory issues

Children with FASD may show signs of being hyper-sensitive (feelings things too much) or hypo-sensitive (not feeling things enough) to the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. It can be very handy to have noise cancelling headphones, sunglasses and a fidget toy on hand.

When getting to school can be derailed for the day by a scratchy jumper, or a fight breaks out because of loud noises, it's important to anticipate sensory overload scenarios before they happen. 

For an excellent introduction to initialising heavy work to help with sensory self-regulation, check out the award-winning, UK-based Griffin Occupational Therapy, who specialise in sensory processing. 

There's more information on a handy tip sheet here

'Heavy work' for sensory processing

Everybody is born with an internal sense of body awareness known as 'proprioception' which is initialised via messages sent to our brain from our muscle and joint receptors. Sometimes people affected with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder have sensory processing difficulties which means that their central nervous system is trying to figure out a way of linking their brain to receptors. Recent research shows that getting kids to do 'heavy work' can focus and calm them in many different ways.

For a downloadable worksheet about initialising 'heavy work' click here