Sensory Processing Disorder within the Classroom

 Newsletter January 2014

Did you know?

Behavioural concerns within class such as difficulties with sitting still, concentrating and attending, listening to the teacher, all affect a child’s ability to engage and learn within the school environment.

Often these difficulties are a result of problems with processing sensory information. Commonly these difficulties are not understood or recognised by school staff, and children are labelled as having ‘behavioural’ problems.

To address these difficultiesa sensory diet or sensory strategies are often recommended by therapists with training in sensory integration.

Sensory strategies are simple, socially acceptable tasks which provide the sensory input the individual needs to maintain the appropriate arousal level for the task so that they can they can engage and learn within the classroom.

Movement (vestibular), deep pressure (tactile) and heavy work (proprioception) sensory inputs are commonly used as these all have a calming, organising and regulating effect on the nervous system.

The importance of understanding the sensory needs of pupils and supporting them in the classroom is recognised by the National Autistic Society. In their accreditation scheme , ‘Sensory Issues’ is one of the core standards.

The SSAT has a very useful inquiry framework on their website entitled ‘Sensory Perception and Processing’. For teachers, who have completed some basic training in sensory processing, this can be a very useful tool to help understand and address the sensory needs of individual pupils within the classroom.

Where can I get more information?


Introduction to Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorder

Tuesday 11 March 2014

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 Processing and Autism

Tuesday 29 April 2014

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.

Useful Resources


Early Intervention Games by Barbara Sher

  • A book of fun games that can be played at home or school to develop social and motor skills. The games are designed for children with autism or sensory processing disorders. It is also a great resource for those working in Early Years.

Out of Sync Child has Fun by Carol Stock Kranowitz

The Out-Of-Sync Child Has Fun
This book features more than one hundred fun, sensory motor activities that help develop sensory processing skills and motor coordination skills. It is full of simple ideas that don’t need expensive pieces of equipment.

My Sensory Book by Lauren Kerstein

sensorybookAn interactive workbook helping children identify their own sensory profiles and develop their own sensory strategies.

The Sensory Team Handbook by Nancy Mucklow

The Sensory Team Handbook (2009) Nancy Mucklow This book is an excellent resource explaining sensory processing problems to older children and teenagers. There are quizzes to identify sensory problems and then practical strategies to put in place.

Please read the Disclaimer and be aware that the information in this newsletter is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.