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Lauren Aceti, OTR/L, Melissa Arnot, OTR/L, Kathleen Zelles, OTR/L
District Occupational Therapists
We all need a little break after a long day at school or work whether it’s filled with stress and frustration or fun and excitement. Our brain and nervous system are processing all of the input that we experienced from the school day so we need to give our students’ time to decompress and organize. The last thing a student is looking forward to after their long, tiring day is coming home to the expectation that they must sit and focus to complete their homework. This expectation can many times lead to the “after school melt down”. Try out 15-20 minutes of a combination of these sensory system organizing activities to increase attention, focus, cognition and engagement!
- Jungle gym, playground play, swings, trampoline
- Running (tag, sports, run around the block, kickball)
- Try crunchy, chewy or resistive snacks to increase arousal levels (think pretzels, dried fruit, gum and thick smoothies through a straw)
- While completing homework allow your child to use a ball as a chair, sit in a quiet area away from distraction, or wear a weighted/heavy blanket over their lap
- Complete homework activities while on their stomach weight bearing on their forearms and elbows
- Encourage your child to take short movement “brain breaks” every 15-20 minutes that they are sitting completing work to increase their arousal level and maintain focus
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