Support for Sensory Processing Issues in Kids
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Practical ways to support children with sensory challenges in the classroom
I am a mommy of a special needs child, so this subject to close to my heart.
Allowing the use of a fidget spinner
Provide earplugs, a quiet space or noise-muffling headphones to assist with noise sensitivity
Give advance warning of routine changes. Have a daily routine that changes as little as possible
Allow the child to take regular exercise breaks to assist with self-regulation, for example, let them run a quick errand
Establish clear starting and ending times for tasks
Ensure the child's feet are flat on the floor and that their hips are at a 90-degree angle. Can also make use of alternative seating such as an exercise ball or a stand-up desk
Let the student work in a different position, like lying on the floor using a clipboard or at an easel.
Make use of a weighted lap pad or wiggle cushion
Use blank pieces of paper to cover all but a few of the questions on a page
Make use of pencil grips
Use highlighters or sticky notes to help the child stay alert and focused
Work with the student to come up with non-verbal signals to signify when they are becoming overwhelmed
Have a proactive behaviour plan in place for the handling of sensory overload
Set up a sensory room or corner, which provides a multi-sensory environment.
Creating a Sensory Room or Space
Some ideas of what to include in a sensory room/corner, depending on the available space and budget.
Low lighting such as Christmas lights, lava lamps
Colour fabric hung as curtains
Exercise ball or bean bag
A Sensory table filled with sand and hidden objects, such as plastic insects