Over the past year I've been learning a new language. It's not Spanish, French, Chinese, or Russian. In fact, there is a good chance you haven't even heard of this language. It's called Specnetalk (aka: Special Needs Talk). It's from the land some people call Holland. Sure, I would have preferred to learn Italian (I've always wanted to go to Tuscany and take cooking classes), but the guide book I was given was for another place. One of the phrases from this language I have referred to a couple of times is "sensory diet."
A 'sensory diet' (coined by OT Patricia Wilbarger) is a carefully designed, personalized activity plan that provides the sensory input a person needs to stay focused and organized throughout the day. Just as you may jiggle your knee or chew gum to stay awake or soak in a hot tub to unwind, children need to engage in stabilizing, focusing activities too. Infants, young children, teens, and adults with mild to severe sensory issues can all benefit from a personalized sensory diet. (Raising A Sensory Smart Child)
A sensory diet is crucial for Grant to be able to calm his body, give him body awareness (proprioception), stability (vestibular input), and it helps him to focus on various learning activities. A couple very important ingredients in Grant's sensory diet is jumping and swinging.