Sensory over stimulation occurs when sensory experiences from the environment are too great for a child’s nervous system to successfully process. These experiences could be from sensations, noise or an activity.
Over stimulation can vary greatly from child to child; it can be too much background noise or too many bright colours. Sometimes it can be the feel of the fabric the child is wearing. It is very important to try and understand what is causing the over stimulation. Limiting exposure to that stimulus will help the child greatly. Sometimes, however that’s just not possible.
A child who is over stimulated might get cranky and upset, they might seem very tired and be hard to manage and that is when our relaxation techniques can come in very handy.
1. Use soothing entertainment
Many children are relaxed by soothing music. Stories and books on tape are also calming. Keep a selection of relaxing CDs and tapes on hand and play them when your child is distressed. Certain television programs or videos can also be relaxing, especially slower-paced educational shows without screeching sounds and chase scenes.
2. Quiet time in their own retreat
Provide a calming place in your child’s own retreat with our Touch and Feel boards or a book along with pillows and a soft blanket.
Make the room off-limits to others, draw the curtains, keep lights low, and try to keep noise down. Light background music can also be soothing.
Massage can help your child to relax. Your child may enjoy being close to you as you massage their body. You may find that the eye contact, soothing touch and hushed talking helps your child to feel totally relaxed. If your child is over stimulated, massage is a great way to help them unwind. Simply find a quiet environment, dim the lights, and try out some simply massage techniques to help your child find their inner calm.
Reduce stress hormones (ACTH and cortisol)
Activate the parasympathetic nervous system
Calm your child from over-stimulation ('fight' or 'flight' mode)
Reduce aggressive behavior
Help to regulate and encourage the natural flow of the digestive system
Relief of constipation, wind and an unsettled tummy
4. Fresh Air
Take them outside, breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on their face. Not only does being outdoors eliminate sluggishness and give them something to do, but it also paves the way for physical activity, social opportunities and overall well-being.
Reiki is a spiritual healing art with its roots in Japanese origin. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word (Rei) which means “Universal Life” and (Ki) which means “Energy”. Reiki is not affiliated with any particular religion or religious practice. It is not massage nor is it based on belief or suggestion. It is a subtle and effective form of energy work using spiritually guided life force energy.
A Reiki session can help ease tension and stress and can help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional. A session is pleasant and relaxing and is often utilized for one’s personal wellness.
Meditation can help your child to develop focus and to feel safe. It shows them a place where they can come to feel love, self-love, joy, happiness and all the pleasant feelings we enjoy feeling.
There are some fantastic guided meditations for children video's and music available on the internet.
Finding the right amount of stimulation
There is no one ‘right’ answer to how much stimulation is too much, because every child is different. Each child has a different tolerance for excitement. Some children cope with stimulating environments better than others.
Let your child be the guide, and remember that moderation is best.
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