This week, as part of the Interoception theme, the Centre will be turning attention to hunger and thirst.
Differences in interoceptive awareness mean that some children and young people will not register internal body messages that they are thirsty. Indicators of thirst can be taught in a structured way, such as being aware of a dry throat, dry mouth or headache, and then linking this to the action of taking a drink. The ‘Interoception Curriculum’ by Kelly Mahler provides a framework and resources to improve this interoceptive awareness.
This can, however, take time to develop, and so the use of a Drinking Chart can provide an immediate way of improving fluid intake in those who are not registering thirst. It provides the child or young person with a visual prompt to take regular drinks throughout the day. Each time they take a drink, they can move a glass symbol onto the chart to indicate how many drinks have been taken, and how many more are required. There is chart for morning, afternoon and evening so that fluid intake is spread throughout the day. You may wish to increase the number of drinks after exercise or on a hot day.
In order to indicate how much is to be drunk, 5 separate cups/glasses can be made available, or 5 markings can be place on bottle to show how much is to be drunk each time. Adapt to suit the needs and preferences of each child or young person.
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