Would you like to know how Sensory Needs are met at school?
Is your SEN child in a Special School or Special Support Centre?
Does your child have complex Sensory Needs?
What Resources do they have for a child with Sensory Needs?
Are you wondering what tips they have to get your active SEN child to sit and focus during lessons?
In my post I explain what resources and tips my sons school has in place to maintain his attention and ensure he is learning.
In a previous post I write about why I believe SEN School is best for my son and the reasons i chose a Special Educational Needs School.
All SEN children will have different needs, but any good SEN school will have the resources and the expertise to ensure your child will maintain a focus, learn during lessons and thrive.
A good SEN school will tailor an individual plan of Sensory Therapy for your child and make sure your child’s sensory needs are met.
So what is the magic formula? How are Sensory Needs met at school?
- Access to a Sensory Toy of choice, during lesson time.
- Sitting on the balance ball, during lessons.
- Wearing a hug shirt.
- Regular brain/movement breaks- Use of the Scooter Board.
- Time out in the Sensory Room/ Sensory Circuits.
SENSORY TOY OF CHOICE.
All children with Autism have different needs. There isn’t a one rule fits all approach.
With that in mind when it comes to sensory toys, what suits one child, won’t necessarily suit another.
What works for one, won’t work for another.
At school my son has access to a squishy stress ball during lessons.
This provides him with comfort and sensory input that he craves.
Some may think this is a distraction, but without access to sensory input, my son would be unable to focus and be a fidgety distraction for himself and others in the class.
Allowing the child a sensory toy during lessons enables them to filter out a lot of other sensory information and focus on the present moment. Being present ensures more productive learning.
With such a vast choice of Sensory Toys to choose from have a look at my recommended toys here.
SITTING ON A BALANCE BALL DURING LESSONS
Balance balls have many uses. Used in gyms for toning, they are also a valuable resource for Autism.
Balance balls are used in Occupational Therapy as treatment for children with ADHD and Sensory Processing Issues.
It’s a popular treatment used to improve gross motor skills and manage sensory needs.
Also referred to as Therapy Balls, they come in a range of sizes and styles and there are a lot of exercises that can be performed on them.
Check out some cool balance ball activities at your kids table.
During lessons my son is allowed to sit on a balance ball when he is feeling fidgety.
The balance ball helps my son to focus his attention to the lesson and improve his posture.
WEARING A HUG SHIRT
In one of my previous posts:
The Three Tried And Tested Ways To Calm Your Active Sensory Seeker, i talk about the hug shirt.
A hug shirt is a wearable all day long cuddle.
A hug shirt helps children with Autism, feel calm, by hugging the torso and arms of the child.
The shirt supports the need for sensory input and helps regulation.
At school, my son is allowed to wear his hug shirt during the day to calm and soothe him and help him to focus.
It works by providing proprioceptive input by applying pressure to the body.
Hug shirts are available from Sensory Direct.
Amazon have an alternative version that can be worn underneath clothes if you prefer the idea of a hidden cuddle vest.
REGULAR MOVEMENT BREAKS/ USE OF SCOOTER BOARD
A Scooter Board is an essential item for therapy in Autism.
Excellent for developing movement skills and providing proprioceptive feedback.
Sensory Seekers like my son, seek proprioceptive feedback and movement is one way to provide it. When he becomes fidgety, his body “needs” movement.
The school understand this and provide him with regular movement breaks so his body can reset and then focus on the next lesson.
What is a Scooter Board?
Basically a plastic or wooden board on wheels that the child can sit or lay on and move around.
Movement breaks can be spent with the scooter board, time in the sensory room, playing outside or sensory circuits.
A trampoline would also work well.
TIME OUT IN THE SENSORY ROOM/ SENSORY CIRCUITS
All SEN schools should have access to a Sensory Room.
At my sons school, during his movement break they allow him time to play and calm down in the Sensory Room.
He also has access to Sensory Circuits.
What is Sensory Circuits?
Sensory Circuits are a sequence of physical activities that are designed to calm children with Sensory Needs.
The circuits can be used at home and school but are primarily used in a school setting as a way to energise and settle the child.
Sensory Circuits can be accessed at different points through out the day to help the child reset and focus on learning and ensure their sensory needs are being met at school.
Sensory Circuits can be used as part of a tailored plan to address your child’s needs. A tailored plan is also known as a Sensory Diet.
In my next posts i will discuss both Sensory Circuits and Sensory Diets in more detail.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you have any questions please comment or contact me.