Although most would prefer not to admit to being dysregulated, we are all ‘unbalanced’ to some degree. Certainly, there is a norm but most of us deviate from that norm in varying ways.
Many adults have learnt to cope with their imbalances, but life would have been a lot easier if professional guidance had been available. Some remain unstable. At Capulum College, the team focuses on nurturing, guiding and supporting young children, with special needs, to remain in a regulated and balanced state throughout the day. To do this the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-Based model of intervention (DIR) is applied. This model provides a framework for assessing autism spectrum and related disorders, and it can be tailored to individual needs, thereby promoting development.
This process serves to accommodate the child’s sensory needs – not to change the child. It provides learners with what they require by creating an environment, and adapting activities, that align with their unique sensory systems. It’s important to establish how these children with special needs best learn and then to support them.
The team at Capulum College aims not to ‘fix’ the children’s brains but to work out how best the children learn and then to support them within this method. In this way the children are brought to their ready-to-learn, regulated state.
The following are a few ways in which to support children’s sensory needs:
- Change their daily routines.
- Changing the environment or surroundings can help them be more regulated throughout the day. As Lana David of Californian-based Autism Unites said, “Behaviour is communication. Change the environment and behaviours will change”.
- Allow the child to choose to participate in activities.
- Establish what over stimulates or under stimulates the child.
- Establish what trigger causes dysregulation in the child.
- Triggers can be minimised by dimming lighting, playing soft music, padding the underside of chair legs to decrease the noise when they scratch the classroom floor.
- Is the child getting enough of the sensory input he/she needs to feel regulated? Remember colours and music stimulate the visual and auditory systems and provide sensory input.
- An incorrect diet can also cause dysregulation.
Capulum College teachers are well equipped to help you with more ideas on how to help your child.