This year I have dedicated a lot of time to developing a better understanding of my students' sensory needs. Throughout all of my research and my many conversations with regional occupational therapists I have learned these words to live by: "When in doubt, use heavy work." The use of heavy work (or proprioceptive input) provides a calming affect to kiddos exhibiting a variety of sensory behaviors.
The key is to incorporate heavy work continually throughout the student's school day. Therefore, you are continually meeting this sensory need rather than waiting for a meltdown to signal that you need to do more to meet that child's needs.
Heavy work should also ALWAYS be used following other sensory input such as vestibular (linear movement) or tactile (touch). This is true even for those low-register kids that you are trying to "wake up" a bit. This is because you have to walk that thin line between under and over stimulation. Therefore, even after you wake them up you may want to even them out with some heavy work input.
Here is a quick and easy reference list I made for my classroom to remind us of the tons of activities that fall under "heavy work". It also provides classroom modifications, jobs, and snacks that could provide this important input.
Click the link below and Enjoy!!