I do not know how he came to acquire the nick-name Egg but ever since he came along that’s what my youngest son has been called. I run The Sensory Projects www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk (which should now really be called The Sensory Projects and Sons!) My work focuses on people with profound disabilities and sensory differences, but my son’s advice will apply to your work too.

In this series of articles we are going to share his insights with you, if you are keen for more there is an ever growing collection on my Facebook profile: come and make friends. www.Facebook.com/JoannaGraceTSP

This is article 5 out of a series of 10! To view the others click here.

Imagine you were on one of those house make over shows. You think you are going out for a nice day at the spa with an old friend, but when you get home a camera crew meet you and there is a lot of whooping and excitement and everything in your house has changed.

How do you feel?

Well of course it depends on what it looks like, let’s hope it is great, but even if it is, there is still some part of you that would have wanted to have been included in its creation. You would have wanted to have handled fabric swatches, considered paint colours, been able to give insight into what rooms were used for and so on.

Little children haven’t experienced the cycle of our festivals and parties. They are not as used to the decorations going up as we are. Arriving to the newly ‘Christmasified’ setting can be fun, but also alarming and unsettling.

Having a chance to explore the changes in ways meaningful to them can help them reconnect to what is going on around them. Being there to ‘help’ or simply watch the decorations going up can support them in understanding the change that has happened. And if they can make choices about what goes up and what goes where: all the better!

*Note this post mentions people possibly being overwhelmed by sensory items, if you are struggling with behaviour in your setting and think it might have a sensory cause, consider studying “Exploring the Impact of the Senses on Behaviour” with The Sensory Projects online college www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk/online-college

Decorations are beginning to go up around me. But my world is close to me. To be a part of the season I need it to be close to me.

The battery powered lights trail around the room but a tail hangs down near where I lie so I can kick them and grab them.

My hang-out zone has been made over with a festive twist. I am literally a part of things not watching from the side lines.

Knowing what is going on close up can help many sensory beings cope better with changes further away.

Getting involved with the events of the seasons as they pass by is a lovely way to keep simple sensory explorations fresh.

(These words first appeared on Jo’s Facebook profile you are welcome to send her a friend request to watch out for more insight www.Facebook.com/JoannaGraceTSP)

 Joanna provides online and in person training relating to sensory engagement and sensory differences, look up www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk/online-college for more information.

To view a list of her books visit www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk/books. Follow Jo on social media to pick up new sensory insights, you’ll find her at: Twitter , www.Facebook.com/JoannaGraceTSP and www.Linkedin/In/JoannaGraceTheSensoryProjects

About the author:

Joanna Grace is an international Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, trainer, author, TEDx speaker and founder of The Sensory Projects.

Consistently rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted, Joanna has taught in mainstream and special-school settings, connecting with pupils of all ages and abilities. To inform her work, Joanna draws on her own experience from her private and professional life as well as taking in all the information she can from the research archives. Joanna’s private life includes family members with disabilities and neurodivergent conditions and time spent as a registered foster carer for children with profound disabilities.

Joanna has published four practitioner books: “Multiple Multisensory Rooms: Myth Busting the Magic”“Sensory Stories for Children and Teens”“Sensory-Being for Sensory Beings” and “Sharing Sensory Stories and Conversations with People with Dementia”. and two inclusive sensory story children’s books: “Voyage to Arghan” and “Ernest and I”There is new book coming out soon called ‘”The Subtle Spectrum” and her son has recently become the UK’s youngest published author with his book, My Mummy is Autistic.

Joanna is a big fan of social media and is always happy to connect with people via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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