In School: Motor, Sensory, & Visual Spacial Activities

These activities are geared to the child's individual differences and regulatory patterns. They build basic processing capacities and provide the support that helps children become engaged, attentive, and regulated during interactions with others. For example, children who are underreactive and have low muscle tone will benefit from proprioceptive activities (e.g. jumping on the trampoline) or vestibular activities (e.g. swinging) to increase arousal, attention, and intentionality. Other children need calming and organizing activities, which build awareness of their bodies in space, require bilateral movements, and reduce tactile defensiveness.

To understand a child's regulatory profile and organize a home and school program, it is useful to organize specific recommendations from all therapists working with these processing areas. These activities can be used to help a child get ready for Floortime™ and semistructured activities, reorganize, and increase arousal or calm down and focus, as well as to strengthen the child's basic processing abilities.

The amount of time children should participate in these activities depends on their individual needs, but usually involves from 3 or more hours of 15 to 20 minute sessions interspersed throughout the day. For children at early developmental levels who need to become more fully engaged and purposeful, these activities may occur very frequently because they are "fun" and increase the children's pleasurable interactions with others. These activities also increase communication because children can be taught to gesture or use picture communication to indicate what they want (e.g. more or less, slower or faster). These activities can also be used for problem-solving interactions and sequencing (e.g. obstacle courses and other motor-planning activities).