Distance learning can bring new challenges to your child’s attention, emotional regulation, praxis, and executive functioning skills. Our goal is to help children maintain their optimal level of arousal throughout the day so that they can access their highest level of skill during distance learning. To help your child better access distance learning, check out some of our suggestions for transitions, organization, and sensory strategies below:


Sensory Strategies for Distance Learning:

  • Wrap Theraband or a resistive material around the legs of your child’s chair while they work to increase proprioceptive input
  • Trial a weighted lap pad while seated at a desk
  • Provide frequent movement breaks throughout the day that provide vestibular, tactile, and proprioceptive input, especially during transitions, before seated tasks, or during activities when it is difficult to maintain attention
    • Animal walks (i.e. bear walks, crab walks, frog jumps, snake crawls)
    • Pushing or pulling heavy objects (i.e. push in chairs, push a laundry bin full of clothes, carry books)
    • Wrap your child tightly in blankets
    • Squish your child with pillows or a roll a yoga ball over their body
    • Wall push-ups, desk push-ups, or chair push-ups
    • Sky reaches or overhead stretches
  • Reduce visual and auditory distractions (i.e. use a desk against a wall, clear clutter on the desk, work in a quiet room or use headphones)
  • Allow your child to assume a variety of postures throughout the day during schoolwork (i.e. lying on belly, tall kneeling, sitting on a yoga ball or wiggle cushion, sitting on floor with back against the wall)
  • Trial fidgets (i.e. koosh ball, spiky finger ring, stress ball, fidget spinner) during verbal instruction
  • Provide oral proprioceptive input (i.e. drinking through a water bottle with a straw, eating crunchy snacks, chewing gum, using chewable jewelry pencil topper)


Transition and Organizational Strategies:

  • Post a visual schedule (i.e. write on whiteboard, print-out pictures and/or words)
  • Choiceless choices (i.e. child chooses between two options: “Would you like to finish one more Lego or two more Legos before we write your name?”, “Would you like to color or write first?”)
  • Use “first, then” language: First _____ (one activity), Then ____ (second/preferred activity) so that your child can prepare for the transition between activities
  • Use a visual timer (i.e. sand timer, bubble timer, clock) to show the length of time remaining for a non-preferred activity and help your child remain focused
  • Organizational strategies (i.e. use checklists or a planner)
  • Use collaborative problem solving (i.e. have your child choose the order of their school work or collaborate on the daily schedule with them)