When we think about a sensory diet, we often think about our neurodivergent children. We offer sensory toys, water play, and comfortable clothing without tags or other irritating features. We are aware of issues with food and its textures. We may consider compression clothing, a weighted vest, or a weighted blanket to help them sleep. We have chewies and noise canceling headphones within easy reach. But neurodivergent adults may also need a sensory diet.
What does a sensory diet look like as an adult? We may also like compression clothing. I may be dating myself, but there was a time after the 1980s spandex phase and before the popularity of today’s leggings and athlesiure wear that gym clothes were loose. And I was incredibly uncomfortable! Thankfully it was a very brief trend.
We may not be able to find weighted vests for an adult, but many find weighted blankets very helpful. Myself included. When I packed up my house to care for my dad, it was the one thing I made sure did not go in storage! Before weighted blankets, I would find the heaviest blankets and quilts for my bed.
Just as our children often benefit from noise canceling headphones, we may as well. If you don’t want to completely block out sound, you may opt for ear plugs. I bought a package of reusable ones from amazon and keep them wherever I may need them; beside my nightstand, in my backpack or handbag, a spare set in my toiletries bag so I have them when traveling, etc.
While our neurodivergent children may find waterplay calming, we may find the noise of water to be calming; ocean waves, rain, a trickling brook, all of these can be found on youtube or on a white noise machine. Like our children, waterplay may be enticing as well. For me, I love to wash dishes. I have found over the years during a large family gathering at my dad’s, I manage much better in the kitchen washing dishes. Swimming is another option that may work well for you.
As adults, we are often expected, or need to be able to sit and work, study, or attend to something. Some sensory suggestions to support being able to sit still is to use an office chair that spins, or maybe a chair that rocks slightly. Sitting on a therapy ball may also be useful as will regular breaks from sitting. A fidget toy or yarn work may also be useful when we need to be sitting.
Need help with your or your child’s sensory diet? Feel free to book a session. I’m here to help.