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What is a Sensory Diet?

How to Implement in your Day to Day

A sensory diet is where you seek sensory pleasures to help you remain calm.

It is unique to each person as Autism is a spectrum after all so everyone will have different sensory needs.

Some Autistic people suffer under bright lights and so therefore where special glasses with blue AV protection in order to not be over stimulated in the office or shops.

I suffer with noise sensitivity and so my go to is noise cancelling headphones. Swimming is my all time sensory pleasure and I swim 5 times a week. The sensation of floating and quiet of the water is the only place I feel truly calm and confident. It helps me gather my thoughts and really unwind from the stresses of a world not designed for me.

I have a therapy pillow which is also scented so I love to hug and squeeze the pillow with beads in. It is like squeezing sand through your hand. As it is scented I also like to smell it and this calms me massively.

I try and keep on top of my sleep. My mind is often busy so I try to unwind 2 hours before I go to bed. I also try to get 7 hours minimum sleep.

I do not deviate from routines and try to come up with a Plan A, B and C to cope with any changes. It means I plan for every scenario.

I like to read so make time to do this. I have a good imagination and like to lose myself in books that transport me to another world and another life.

I like Netflix and will often watch shows that are in line with my interests. I am quite obsessed with America so like to watch documentaries about American sports. Or series based in America such as Suits, The Bold Type. I like medical dramas too.

I stim dance. I love music so I love nothing more than putting on spotify and finding songs in tune with my bodies energy and releasing the energy through dance. It helps to regulate my feelings. I make time for this everyday. 

I like to drive with the music blaring out. The only way my parents could get me to sleep when younger was driving. Driving soothes me it makes me feel free, like I can go anywhere. The music just adds to the feeling of relaxing.

In the office, I have fidget and sensory toys. I have TY beanie bears that are soft, putty and a fidget cube. These things provide different sensations and I find having a variety helpful to regulate. Obviously you have to be be mindful that what is calming to you can be distracting to others. 

By incorporating a sensory diet into my everyday life it helps me to manage being autistic and helps to regulate the symptoms associated with autism in order to function in society.

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