Connecting FeelingsFeelings can be such an abstract concept for many of our kids. Our sensory kids are full of passion but sensory feelings can come on strong and change quickly often leaving our rigid, anxious, or distracted kids feeling overwhelmed and struggling to make connections between cause and effect. Just like we can provide external, visual supports with organizing their environment, we can provide external, visual supports to help them identify and organize their feelings.

Like many other Sensory Organizing supports, the first step is often the most important and needs to be visual. Since feelings can seem all-encompassing without a clean beginning and end, we need a visual to help them make some space to notice and observe when a new feeling might have come in. By helping them notice, without judgement, we can often help them begin the process of making connections. Then we can provide some options to help them work through the feelings with a tangible plan that can include identifying feeling triggers and talking through different strategies for the next experience.

Here’s an example of a Connecting Feelings Visual:

SUPPLIES:
* Compassion and Understanding
* Paper
* Markers
* Picture Images (take your own pictures of your real life tasks, pictures from magazines, stock photos, or image software like Boardmaker – http://www.mayer-johnson.com/boardmaker-software/ , Picture Exchange Communication System – http://www.pecsusa.com/ , or Do 2 Learn (can sign-up for an annual membership on Do 2 Learn!) – http://www.do2learn.com/. The images used here are from Boardmaker.

Strong feelings are one of the main ways sensory kids communicate with us. By creating a simple visual to help them make space between themselves and their feelings, we can teach them to observe, identify, and ultimately advocate for their feelings and needs. This is Sensory Organizing and true empowerment. Simple changes for more peaceful days ~

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