During one of the many visits to the library a few weeks past I perused the “New Titles” section hoping to find a historical romance novel (my favorite turn off the brain and veg books)  and about started jumping for joy, not because I found a new book by a favored author – but something infinitely more.  On the shelf I discovered “The Sensory Child Gets Organized: Proven Systems for Rigid, Anxious, or Distracted Kids” By Carolyn Dalgliesh.  Um, that is my kid to a tee.

Two years ago I began thinking about a sensory diet for him that would meet his sensory needs at home.  I’m still thinking about that diet, and in many ways I feel like I have failed him.  Those that know me can attest that I am sometimes super hard on myself and set too high expectations.  Then, when those expectations are trampled under the feet of everyday life I become overwhelmed and shut down.  This past summer I shut down BIG TIME and am now waking up and working diligently to get everyone back on a reasonable track – especially in lieu of the emotional crisis our little guy has been struggling through recently.

Carolyn Dalgliesh is a professional organizer, and the mother of a sensory needs child.  As I work through her book and organize my sensory sensitive family I want to share my journey.  I plan on writing an outline of the goals I want to accomplish, give myself homework, and follow up so that I have something to be accountable too – and I have always heard that getting others involved in that accountability makes the road to success more achievable.

The Outline

  1. Learn the triggers and behavior patterns – Using a variety of observations, journaling, and analyzing the ABC’s of those behaviors.
  2. What are my families sensory challenges and needs (lets face it, Chase isn’t the only one that has sensory needs in our familiy)
  3. Tap into our individual learning styles
  4. What triggers our undesirable behaviors (Um, I have some heavy hitting ones that sometimes leads me into what my step son has dubbed “the hulk”)
  5. What calms us down?
  6. What are our family goals in regards to dealing with our sensory needs?
  7. Organizing Bedrooms (we have three)
  8. Organizational systems for work, play, and the much needed CHILL OUT ZONES (and each of us needs to have them)
  9. Building Structure and Routine.
  10. Dealing with our lack of executive function and time management.
  11. Creating a tool bag for behavior escalations.
  12. Dealing with change in routine.
  13. Surviving holidays and dealing with the inevitable chaos.
  14. Creating positive reinforcement that works
  15. Learn to live on the seat of our pants
  16. Creating a Sensory Diet that is flexible and ever evolving.