Using Beach Home Therapy Camp for Sensory Integration, Social Cues and Non-Verbal Children
This article provides helpful Beach Home Therapy activities and resources for non-verbal children and children who struggle with social cues and speech and language. Affiliate links are included for your convenience.
The brain is an amazing organ that controls all the functions of the body. Among all the jobs it does, for example keeping our memories, controlling our emotions, and directing our body movements, it also manages our senses. Our brain has to sort out the sensory overload that is constant in the world and prioritize what it needs to deal with and what it doesn’t. “For example, our brain ignores the dust particles in the air. They are all around us but we tend not to see them unless they are in the sunlight or for some reason there is an overabundance of them. On the other hand, the brain also sends the sensory input it receives to the correct place, if it is important. For example, if a car honks at us, the brain will tell us to turn and look to see what’s going on” (Socially Speaking LLC). The brain is constantly working to sort out all of this sensory information and put it in the right place. What would happen if your brain weren’t sorting this information in the correct way? You would have a sensory processing disorder. This disorder can be found in both adults and children.
Benefits of Sensory Integration for Children with Sensory Issues and Social Cues
Over the years, many researchers have looked for ways that the brain can develop the skill to process sensory information, and sensory integration was born. “Sensory integration therapy, as practiced by occupational therapists, uses play activities in ways designed to change how the brain reacts to touch, sound, sight and movement”(Autism Speaks). Essentially, this sensory integration work is really slowing the world down for children who have problems with sensory issues. They are able to practice absorbing types of sensory information in safe place. This is extremely helpful because when they go into the classroom or the real world, they have practiced skills such as listening when it gets noisy, and they are prepared in how to handle the situation. This sensory integration therapy can also be helpful for children who have a hard time with social cues. Social cues and sensory processing disorders can go hand in hand sometimes, because the way that children deal with their brain not processing all the input it is getting is sometimes not socially acceptable. “For example, while the other children are enjoying socializing in the halls, playground, and cafeteria, the child with sensory integration dysfunction may feel she has to plug her ears to be able to handle the noise, and stay away from the other kids because she’s afraid of getting bumped into” (Come Unity). Practicing what to do in this situation is all part of sensory integration and will not only help them fit in socially, but will also help their brain learn to process this input.
Why non-verbal and high-functioning children with autism struggle with speech, language and social cues.
Those that have been diagnosed Austim Spectrum Disorder (ASD) process information much differently than most people. This affects many aspects of those people’s lives, especially when it comes to communicating. “The word ‘autism’ has its origin in the Greek word ‘autos,’ which means ‘self.’ Children with ASD often are self-absorbed and seem to exist in a private world where they are unable to successfully communicate and interact with others. Children with ASD may have difficulty developing language skills and understanding what others say to them. They also may have difficulty communicating nonverbally, such as through hand gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions” (NIDCD). This can impact classroom performance, specifically reading comprehension. Autism symptoms usually also include a processing disorder, which can make everyday life in and out of the classroom extremely overwhelming. If the teacher wants everyone to move from the reading rug to their cubby to get a notebook back to their desk, both an autistic student and a student with a processing disorder will be clumsy when moving off the rug, they navigate the room in a way that doesn’t make sense, forget the instructions and they don’t go their cubby. These skills need to be practiced by a Movement Therapist, Pediatric Therapist or Occupational Therapist and at home. Luckily, the practice at home can be taken to the beach with the Beach Home Therapy Camp packet!
How to use Beach Home Therapy Camp printables and activities to improve sensory integration for speech, language and social thinking.
The Beach Home Therapy Camp pack provides vocabulary references, hand-eye coordination activities, visual perception exercises and sensory input tasks that help your child with unexpected behaviors, social cues, speech, expressive language and critical thinking. Activities can be done at home or outside even if you are not at the beach. This packet was designed for parents who have children that struggle with speech and language issues, autism, social skills and sensory integration.
Beach Home Therapy Camp packet contains the following:
- 12 activities and printables to improve speech and language skills.
- 12 activities and printables targeting different social skills and social thinking.
- 12 sensory activities for outside the home, including heavy work ideas for proprioception.
- 12 sensory activities to do within your own home.
- Some activities, but not all, include the following:
- Beach Barrier Game
- Beach Conversation Starters
- Beach Sequencing Strips
- Beach Vocabulary
- Beach I Spy Game
- Beach Social Stories
- Beach Matching Games
- Beach Sensory Bottles
- Noodle Balance Beams
This fun, beach home therapy packet does not replace speech therapy and/or movement therapy, but it is a great way for parents to enhance your child’s progress outside professional programs. Routinely practicing programs and incorporating strategies in the beach therapy packet, and the many sensory activities listed on the ILS website, combined with occupational therapy will make your child more confident when dealing with social or sensory problems in the real world.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs