Create a Panda Habitat for Sensory Under Responders

Create a Panda Habitat for Sensory Under Responders

Sensory Under Responders may take longer to process sensory input, whether it’s not hearing their name when you call, slouching, or forgetting things.  These children are not lazy. Their nervous system simply is on low alert. On the upside, these children do not over react and tend to be “calm” almost to a fault. However, accomplishing ordinary tasks, sitting up, and focusing can take twice as much effort.


To increase alertness and self-organization, our Panda Habitat provides an environment that gently challenges under responders to move, rock, climb, balance and jump. These gentle, yet nudging activities can help to organize muscles and minds. Proper sensory processing can happen!

In addition, you may want to try these strategies:

  • Provide lists, visual cues and visual reminders.
  • Give notice when transitioning to provide ample time to get ready.
  • Provide seating that encourages an alert posture, such as wedges, firm chairs, and back support.
  • Use metronomes, timers and organizers to maintain alertness and keep on task.
  • Use aromatherapy for improving alertness. Lemon and peppermint work well.
  • Encourage tasks that require hand-eye coordination such as crossing midline, tossing a ball or playing catch.
  • Encourage rhythm with drumming or marching.
  • Do art activities, like painting, cutting and building to use large muscles.
  • Set up obstacle courses to encourage coordination and motor planning.
  • Work on balance skills using therapy balls, balance boards, climbing ladders or active swings that make them work.
  • Work on strengthening skills with weights, resistance bands, medicine balls and putty.
  • Streeeeetch muscles to increase alertness.

Try These Fun Tools:

  1. Time Timer
  2. Wedge Cushion
  3. Ball Chair
  4. Rockin Rocker Board
  5. Active Swings
  6. Climbing Ladder
  7. Discovery Putty
  8. Medicine Balls
Ilana Danneman PT
Ilana Danneman PT
Ilana M. Danneman, PT, is Director of Education, Innovation and Product Selection at Fun and Function. She can be reached at [email protected]
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