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Thumb Sucking

Sensory Explanation:

- Thumb sucking is a very primitive way to self-regulate for infants via oral sensory input and proprioception.

- It can help the child soothe, calm, tolerate the world around them, and avoid sensory overload.

- Many children with sensory differences suck their thumbs well past 5 years old ... for the exact same reasons as when they were infants

- But the difference is that now they are interacting and exploring the world on their own, which can be even more challenging.

- You will likely observe your child thumb sucking in challenging, overwhelming, or new situations ... as well as a way to soothe, possibly to fall asleep.


Ideas to Help:

- Transition slowly to other oral sensory tools such as an Ark Grabber.

- Determine other possible triggers of sensory overload such as sound, smells etc., and offer tools for defensiveness as appropriate.

- Provide a sensory retreat.

- Offer a sensory box.

- Encourage deep breathing on a regular basis.

- Provide regular doses of proprioception throughout the day.

- Provide full body deep pressure touch throughout the day.

- Explore deep pressure products.


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