Thinking Outside the Chair
Sensory processing disorders can affect a child’s ability to learn in numerous ways – essentially, the student has difficulty processing information their senses take in – generally things like sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. But sensory processing disorders can affect the sense of body awareness, movement (balance and coordination) as well as an over (or under) sensitivity to input.
Sensory processing disorders can manifest into behaviors such as :
- Trouble sitting through a lesson and disrupting the class,
- Bumping into others or objects,
- Trouble holding writing instruments,
- Agitation transitioning from one activity to another,
- Agitation during assemblies and large groups,
- Inability to tolerate bright lights and loud noises;
- Refusal to ear certain clothing that feels scratchy or irritating, shoes “too tight”
- Distracted by background noises others do not hear,
- Fearful of surprise touch or engaging in touching with others,
- Running off or bolting when overwhelmed,
- Inability to understand personal space,
- Fidgety and can’t sit still,
- Loves jumping, bouncing and crashing activities,
- Enjoys deep pressure,
- Craves fast, spinning or intense movement
- Constant need to touch people or textures,
Many times these behaviors appear to be symptoms of ADD/ADHD but can often actually be signs of a sensory processing disorder.
Therapists and teachers are constantly searching for tools to aid these students with this disorder through copy strategies and sensory strategies.
One creative therapist created a special chair using tennis balls, a hot glue gun, mod podge and pain to give her students a chair with an alternative texture to improve sensory regulation – thinking outside the box!