Lesson 3: What are Sensory Diets?

Revision as of 14:53, 4 December 2014 by Kacieb16 (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Lesson 3:


  • Learners will discover the importance of incorporating sensory diets for students with Autism.
  • Learners will explore the different toys and equipment used for sensory diets.
  • Learners will evaluate the key ingredients to developing a sensory diet.


Sensory diets: A sensory diet is a well designed unique activity plan that is carefully put together for the personal sensory input that is needed by an individual to stay focused during the day and to help pursue their learning goals. Sensory diets are an important part of anyone's life, it allows us to play, function and socialize in the world. Did you know that there are more than 5 senses? The five most commonly known are: smell, taste, sound, vision and touch as the last two are: vestibular and proprioception.

  • Proprioceptive Input can help the students calm down and find their awareness of their body and body parts.
  • Different equipment that coud be used is: (Heavy Work)
  • Scooter Boards
  • Exercise Balls
  • To Jump, Trampolines
  • PBJ Sandwiches (wrap them up in a blanket or mat techniques)
  • Wall Pushing
  • Swings
  • Ball Pits
  • Body Socks (These are great! Have you ever seen a morph suit? That is what a therapy sock looks like, yet used for students who are tactile sensitive or need that extra "hug" or sense of body awareness. Plus they are fun for the students and make them feel safe.
  • Vestibular Senses This sense focuses on using different toys and equipment to help the student feel grounded and balanced from movement. Vestibular senses allow your body to know that you are moving.
  • Remember, not all toys and equipment are for every student. Speak to an occupational therapist to aide in these precise decisions and use them to reflect upon. Also if planning on integrating new sensory diets for your student please advise your occupational therapist as well.
  • Toys:
  • Many toys can be used to accommodate sensory diets. Sometimes students may need texture based toys or visuals. Such as vibrating snakes, glowing bouncy balls, rubber grip/chewy, buttons, pop-ups, sand toys, water toys, head phones for music, musical instruments, gel pads and the list goes on.
  • Having sensory diets in your classroom is very important for creating a safe and beneficial learning environment for your student. Our goal as educators is to make sure our students grow! Using tools, toys or even equipment that allows our students to respond or show progress through these items needs to be understood and further used. Each student and individual has different and specific sensory needs, it is our responsibility to modify, adapt and find those key ingredients that together will make a leap of learning in our students lives.


  • Watch:

So we named ways of how to allow students to use different equipment for their more physical sensory needs, what about toys or even visual equipment?


Snoezelen Rooms

Here is a video that shows you different sensory rooms that can help students who may have different under and over responsive needs/stimuli. [Video7]

  • Did you notice the different colors, lighting from the fibre optics or also known as spaghetti lights and the bubble tubes/ columns? What about the sounds? How did it make you feel, relaxed? Could these sounds or music be changed if a student needs to be more stimulated? Absolutely!
  • There are many different projector effect screens that you can choose from as well that are displayed on the wall and continuously move.
  • The sound sensitive adapting lights that change with the volumes and noises that are surrounding.
  • There are also many toys and equipment that the students can use themselves and creates a sense of personal interaction. Such as changing the bubbles to a color or motion that is to their best liking through a touch of a button.
  • Areas like this can also be created right in the corner of your classroom with a Christmas lights, comfy pillows and music (or headphones so other students are not distracted).
  • Using Visuals in your classroom: [Video8]
  • Going through the steps in this video, look around at the setup of the classroom? What do you notice about the students participation?
Deeper Meaning
  • A Child's View of Sensory Processing: [Video9]
  • These different senses will allow you to see that when adapting a new sensory diet into your classroom what ou hould be aware of. Are you including soothing music to make your student unstimulated Or are you using upbeat music to stimulate your student? What kind of stimulation does your student need?

  • Read:
  • Toys and Equipment: Here are a few examples-
  • Check out at least 3 of the sites listed in this website:

These will help you in your journal and discussions (and later on in your final project)

  • Write:
  • Journal entry (below)
  • Answer:
  • Discussion (In discussion tab)


Journal Entry:

  • In your Journal Remember to use the 4 step approach:
  • Facts
  • Ideas
  • Learning issues
  • Action plan
  • In this journal you will be reflecting on your own environment and yourself or a student you are observing. What are your/their sensory needs? What do you/they seem to use or want everyday? How could you create a sensory diet for yourself or your student? What do you need to know or have? Feel free to expirement, test out your 7 senses with either for example: jumping compared to sitting, fast paced music compared to relaxing music, hands in wet finger paint compared to hands in a bucket of rice, being in the dark compared to being in a room full of different lights, swinging on a swing compared to walking, eating cereal out of a box compared to eating cereal with milk. Which did you prefer? Reflect and document your results in your journal. Don't forget to attach them to our discussions! Happy Journaling!


  • Use the discussion page
  • Once you are finished with your reflection, you may move on to module 4


Congratulations! You Have Completed Module 3 and May Now Proceed to: Module 4: Blueprints


Kacie Borland's Personal Page

Understanding Autism their Needs and Risks


Graphic of Sensory Room[File:Sensoryroom.jpg]Image courtesy of sensory-room.jpg

Graphic of sensory activities [File:Sensoryactivities,jpg] Image courtesy of Sensory-Activities-Featured-Image1.png

Graphic of sensory diet stations [File:Sensorydietstations.jpg] Image courtesy of hd1.jpg