We all need sensory input and activities built into our daily lives. This sensory input helps us to keep regulated and at the optimum arousal level. Just as we need a regular and healthy diet of food and drink throughout the day, we also need regular sensory input during the day. The term ‘sensory diet’ has been used to describe planned sensory activities that are scheduled into a person’s day to meet the individual’s sensory needs.
There has been a move in recent years to use the term ‘sensory lifestyle’ rather than a ‘sensory diet’. This term conveys much more the concept that sensory input needs to be built into every day life, whether that is at school or at home. See our courses below to find about more information.
I am often asked to recommend an chewy item for those who need to chew. I contacted Chewigem and they provided me with two pendants to trial. I wanted to compare how long they lasted compared to chewy tubes and also how quickly they got lost in the classroom! Please note this is not a scientific study.
This button pendant lasted more than twice as long as a blue chewy tube for a teenage girl who chews constantly. The lanyard prevented it from being thrown and lost. In the other trial though, the teenager would not use the pendant, staff felt it was too hard for him and he preferred the chewy tube.
Sensory deprivation has effects not only on our behaviours but also on our cognitive functioning. Watch these clips from the BBC Horizon programme to see what happens to individuals when place in a sensory deprived environment for 48 hours.
The Brain with David Eagleman
BBC documentary series in which Dr David Eagleman explores the brain. This first episode looks specifically at the senses and how we interpret sensory information.
This blog written by an occupational therapist is primarily aimed at parents of babies and young children. It contains some useful ideas for sensory activities and also some interesting articles on sensory processing and sensory development.
Spring and Summer Term Courses
The dates for courses for the rest of the academic year have now all been confirmed. All the courses are held in Clitheroe, Lancashire and are open to teachers, professionals and parents. Applications are now open for all courses and an online application form should be submitted. There are two reduced price parent places on each course on a first come first served basis.
The majority of participants who attended Sensory Course Part 1 and 2 recommend that both these courses should be attended together. The dates have been arranged to allow time for you to start to use the knowledge gained on Sensory Course Part 1 and then come back to Sensory Course Part 2 with one particular case/child/client to work more on strategies.
All courses are also available as INSET or in house training, please contact us for further details and prices.
Introduction to Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorder (Sensory Course Part 1)
Tuesday 8 March 2016
Some people don’t behave as we expect them to – not because they won’t, but because they can’t. Inefficient processing of sensory messages that come from their body and environment often cause this unexpected behaviour. These people may withdraw from physical contact, refuse to participate in typical classroom and playground activities, or respond in an unusual way to ordinary sensations such as touch, movement, sights and sounds.
The aim of this one day course is to provide teachers and health professionals with an understanding of sensory processing disorder and the everyday difficulties the children experience at school and at home. Practical support strategies will be explored from both an educational and therapy perspective.
Sensory Strategies for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (Sensory Course Part 2)
Tuesday 3 May 2016
The aim of this one day course is to enable teachers, parents and health professionals who have attended the Introduction to Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorder course to extend their knowledge on sensory integration and sensory processing disorder. The major focus of this course will be to give participants the understanding and skills necessary to identify and analyse sensory behaviours, and then to set up appropriate sensory strategies within home and school.
Sensory Processing and Autism
Tuesday 10 May 2016
Sensory processing problems are well recognised now in individuals with autism. This course builds on the knowledge gained on Sensory Course Part 1 and considers sensory processing problems as related to autism. The aim of this one day course is to provide professionals working with individuals with autism, a more in depth understanding of sensory processing difficulties as related specifically to autism, and the everyday difficulties that children and adults experience in different settings. Practical support strategies will be explored from both an educational and therapy perspective. This course will equip you to meet the core standard ‘Sensory Issues’ for the NAS Autism Accreditation programme.