Hello! This blog is about my daughter Hailey (currently 12 years old) and her experiences living with auditory processing disorder. Auditory Processing Disorder is Hailey's primary issue, however she has also been given the labels Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder and Phonology Disorder at various points in her life.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sensory Needs and the Small Child: Scents and Tastes that Calmed our Sweet Girl

Today my mind is wandering back to the younger years when my children were just little toddlers, and I remembered how my sweet Hailey adored smelling the fresh ginger root when we went grocery shopping.  I would take the ginger and break it at the end so that it would release its sharp, refreshing fragrance.  She loved it!

So I got to thinking about other sensory things we would do for our little sweetie when she was a toddler.  In particular, she adored smells and tastes.  As she was a little one who carried around a security blanket she lovingly (and probably mistakenly due to her auditory processing disorder) called "Nonny" after her twin brother would speak about his bunny he carried around named "Bunny", we would put scents on the corners of her blanket for her.  Some of her favorites were lavender oil, maple syrup (I know sticky but it dries just fine and retains its smell for a while), and lemon juice or lemon oil.

We actually cut her blanket into 4 small squares and she would carry one of the squares around with her constantly.  Each corner would have a smell put on it and she could rotate it so that as she sucked her fingers (she liked her index finger and middle finger) she would at the same time put one of the corners of "Nonny" to her nose to smell.  This was a way that she could self-sooth and remain calm, especially when we were in environments like the grocery store or at a family gathering and the like. (And who knows, maybe she hated the smells the world had to offer up sometimes and she chose to smell what she liked???)
Another sensory trick we had was to bring along little hot cinnamon candies called Hot Tamales that she liked.(Our occupational therapist turned us on to these little hotties.) When life was getting overwhelming, a Hot Tamale candy to suck on was like a magic pill. At home, we usually used a drop of lemon juice on her tongue, but the candies were kept in my purse for occasions that we were not at home.

So if your child has sensory issues and gets frazzled at times, you might find that some scents or tastes might just do the trick.  I mean who would ever think that giving a two year old a really hot cinnamon candy to suck on would calm her down and make her feel relaxed!