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Fidgeting/sensory child


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Hi there everyone,

 

we have a child who is 3.5 and constantly fidgets and touches other children. He bounces up an down on his haunches, or sucks his thumb and touches his ear, he will lick other children, suck their thumb, twiddle their hair, touch their clothes etc. Every time he talks to staff he bounces up and down and waves his arms up and down as he talks.

 

We are trying to support him, however we are also getting a little dizzy!

 

Have tried to sit with him 1:1 and read stories etc, but he then tries to touch the staff too - it's almost like a breastfeeding sensory thing.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Spiral :-)

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Do you use 'fidget toys' in your setting? We have a bag of them for our little wriggle bums and they can help them to focus. Our bag has an assortment of small tactile objects like squishy balls, rubik cube type clicky things (!!), bendy figures, elastic, stretchy bugs etc, all can be found commercially from various toy suppliers. We also use small carpet squares to focus children on staying in one place i.e. on their mat

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Hi Spiral

 

We have discussed this before and there were some super ideas in that thread - I specifically remember Upsy Daisy made a brilliantly helpful post........hmmmm wonder if you would be able to find it.........

 

I will have a look too :1b

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I have one of these children in my reception class. We have tried a fidget toy for him but it has backfired in that the toy has become a focus for his attention totally, or on other days he starts to throw it, wave it other children's faces, etc. Obviously I try to keep time spent sat down to a minimum but he will start as soon as we form a line or sit down altogether. Generally he's very tactile and with support this has moved from potentially aggressive touch to much gentler but still unwanted touch (me and the other children!). Will watch thread with interest.

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Hi everyone, thank you so much for your heklp and links.

 

The licking seems to be very secondary to the bouncing on his haunches, tapping/shaking hands, raising eyebrows, sticking in and out his tongue etc. He does seem to get fixations and to be stuck on asking one member of staff to help him or will do a drawing and insist on showing it to each child/adult until one acknowledges his picture.

 

What concerns me is his social inability to get on with the others as they don't like his constant bouncing etc, this could be a difficult time for his future.

 

Help, Spiral :-)

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Good question sunnyday,

 

our SIP (setting improvement partner) is now acting as our Area Senco as well as being wonderwoman and as we have so many others with more 'pressing' concerns I'm worried this will not warrant a concern.

 

We've a particularly high number of concerns this year.

 

All help greatfully received

Spiral :-)

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Good question sunnyday,

 

our SIP (setting improvement partner) is now acting as our Area Senco as well as being wonderwoman and as we have so many others with more 'pressing' concerns I'm worried this will not warrant a concern.

 

 

 

We are in the same position - SIP is now 'everything' :blink: - I would call on her for some extra help/opinion.......

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This video has a really good explanation of why certain children need to move in order to concentrate.

 

 

I think you're quite right that this is sensory.

 

The sense called proprioception gives us constant feedback about the position our bodies are in. Children who are not getting this feedback need to move to ground themselves. Being able to move aids concentration. Sitting still can take such an enormous effort that they can't focus on anything else.

 

Touching, licking and chewing are also signs of sensory processing difficulties. If you can provide the right fiddle or chewy toys he may be able to use them to meet his sensory needs while focusing on story time or other activities.

 

This site sells lots of sensory toys which might help but other carefully chosen resources can be just as helpful.

 

http://www.sensorytoywarehouse.com/category/tactile/

 

The constant need for movement can also be met by using an inflatable wobble cushion. While sitting on it the child has to constantly make small movements to adjust their balance which meets the goal of providing the proprioceptive feedback he's current getting by bouncing.

 

It's all about trial and error. What works for one child doesn't work for another, for example my DD finds weighted blankets, lap pads and a heavy rucksack very useful. sometimes wheat bags or the door stops which look like soft toys can be useful things to give a child to hold when they need to sit still for a while.

 

One important thing to reiterate is that making a child stay still may make them look more like they are concentrating but you could in reality be making it much harder for them.

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