April 6th 2018
Classroom Organization Teaching Practice:
Spotlight of the Week: Sensory Integration Solutions
How can we help our students that have sensory issues? Some simple solutions to use in the classroom are below:
Walking: Taking a brief walk at specified intervals.
Brushing: Using a brush to brush themselves is a deep touch pressure technique for sensory defensiveness.
Listening to calming music: Using your iPad or other audio player, the child can listen to music that helps them regain his composure: nature sounds, classical music, or even rock n’ roll—whatever effectively organizes their unique nervous system.
Fidgeting with objects: Fidgets such as a "Koosh" ball, fabric tab sewn in to a pocket, or even a hair band can keep a student’s hands busy so she can focus better.
A carpet square or piece soft cloth they can touch or an inflatable cushion to sit on can make attending for long periods easier for every child.
Push-ups and jumping jacks: Jumping jacks or just jumping in place, and push-ups done in a chair or against a wall provide organizing input at school.
Stretching: Stretching wakes up the body after a quiet activity. Everyone can benefit from stretching after sitting, but it’s even more important for a child with sensory issues.
Playground and gym opportunities: All children—especially those with sensory challenges—need opportunities to move before, during, and after school: hang from monkey bars, throw or push objects, run, jump, and pull objects. Otherwise, it can be quite difficult to settle in to quiet classroom activities and obey school rules about “no throwing” and “no running.” Progressive schools incorporate movement experiences such as yoga or other fun activities into classrooms to keep students on track and ready to learn.
Appropriate demand for eye contact: A child with sensory issues may need to “block off” his visual sense in order to listen more effectively. He should not be required to maintain eye contact when answering a question requiring concentration. If increasing eye contact is a goal.
Prepare for intense sensory experiences: The sensitive child should be warned in advance about fire drills to prepare for the intense sound.
Special place in line: When lining up with other children, the child should always be at the front or end of the line so she isn’t disturbed by other children crowding or bumping into her.