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The sensory approach to maximizing students’ potential 2016

Maximizing students' potential to learning by providing sensory experiences as an integrated part of the classroom and curriculum.

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The sensory approach to maximizing students’ potential 2016

  1. 1. "OT and Teachers: The Sensory Approach to maximizing students’ potential” 1. Role of Occupational Therapists in the school setting. 2. Creating Sensory Smart Classrooms 3. How to recognize children that would benefit from OT 4. Helping Children that can’t sit still 5. Favorite products that can be used in a classroom setting 6. Resources
  2. 2. Role of Occupational Therapists in the school setting 1. Help children meet goals of curriculum 2. Help children become more independent in school related tasks 3. Help children participate in specials, sports etc.. 4. Work on fine motor skills and functional independence skills 5. Implement recommendations from other therapists and professional involved with this child
  3. 3. How do OTs meet these goals • Affecting the ENVIRONMENT: General classroom recommendations, curriculum recommendations (consulting) • Affecting the INDIVIDUAL: Individually by addressing one-on-one a child’s challenges (direct OT services)
  4. 4. Creating Sensory Smart Classrooms (Environmental Modifications) • Goal is to create an environment that takes into consideration the sensory needs of all children. Try to find ideas that will benefit all children. • Sensory children have difficulty organizing their bodies from the inside out. Our goal is to try as much as possible to create a classroom that helps them find balance from the outside in.
  5. 5. Classroom Organization: 1. Set up your classroom in stations and make sure you have a quiet area where kids can calm and regroup if needed when class get too loud. 2. Make sure the quiet area has lots of book, heavy blankets, pillows. Bean bags, earphones. 3. Provide fidget toys such as tactile balls, “stress” balls. 4. Use visual schedules at the beginning of class that “maps” out the children’s day. This helps kids transition more easily from one activity to the next and can keep them more organized.
  6. 6. Classroom Activities: 1. Use songs to help children transition such as “Clean up…clean up…” or flick lights 2. Make sure your schedule allows for movement breaks as well as table-top activities. Brain Breaks are great. 3. During circle time. Keep the children that have a harder time keeping still next to you or make sure you give them something to hold like a puppet. Or give them a fidget toy to hold on to or even a weighted lap pad. 4. Try to plan activities that incorporate as many sensory components as possible. Ex: finger paint on textured surfaces. 5. You can begin all table-top activities with a little “chair exercise” program that allows all the children to get their state of arousal at the same level. Ex: prior to commencing a handwriting task. Sing a song with the children that wakes up the arms, legs, stretches etc… 6. Consider having a “treasure box” with a variety of sensory toys. You can send a child to pick a sensory toy that helps them calm and become centered/organized. Ex: Put stress balls, fidget toys, body brush, lotion, etc… 7. Make a “bean bag snake” using a sock and dried beans. The over-aroused child can put it on his shoulders or lap to help calm during circle time or at table-top. 8. Outdoor activities are an all around wonderful sensory experience.
  7. 7. Sensory Smart Classrooms Sensory/Arousal: 1. For children who need to calm, use deep pressure such as pressure with your hands to his/her shoulders 2. Another great way to calm is to give a child heavy resistive work to do ex: carry heave books to the table, push/pull heavy cart. 3. For children who need increased arousal, have them do a few jumping jacks, wall push ups etc… or use light touch from your finger tips or a feather to awaken their senses. 4. For children who touch other peers during circle time, consider sitting them against a wall or bookshelf for extra grounding and trunk support, give them a fidget toy to hold 5. Touching others can be an indication that the child needs tactile input to his hands. You can brush the child’s hands, have him play with playdoh/other resistive mediums, play hand clapping games, crawling or wheelbarrow walking, 6. For a child who has difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next, allow him/her to hold on to an object that they like (aka. A transitioning object) This helps them “keep it together” during the transition. You can also assign a task to the child such as “helper” (ex: he holds the cards you will be using and brings them to circle time)
  8. 8. 4-Favorite products that can be used in a classroom setting • Weighted Items:
  9. 9. Favorite products that can be used in a classroom setting • Wedges and discs:
  10. 10. Favorite products that can be used in a classroom setting • Fidget toys:
  11. 11. Favorite products that can be used in a classroom setting • Visual Schedules:
  12. 12. Favorite products that can be used in a classroom setting • Brain Breaks:
  13. 13. Calming Corner
  14. 14. How do OTs meet these goals • Affecting the ENVIRONMENT: General classroom recommendations, curriculum recommendations (consulting) • Affecting the INDIVIDUAL: Individually by addressing one-on-one a child’s challenges (direct OT services)
  15. 15. How to recognize children that would benefit from OT I. SELF HELP SKILLS: The student's ability to manage personal needs within the educational environment. II. POSTURE/FUNCTIONAL MOBILITY: The student's ability to perform basic developmental motor skills, posture, and balance needed to function in and move throughout the educational environment. III. FINE MOTOR/PERCEPTUAL SKILLS: The student's ability to manipulate and manage materials within the educational environment. IV. SENSORY PROCESSING: The student's ability to process relevant sensory information and screen out irrelevant sensory information for effective participation within the educational environment.
  16. 16. 3-Helping Children that can’t sit still • Children with sensory processing disorders have a tendency toward two major problems regarding sitting: 1- Lack of focus 2- Inability to sit or stand for a long period of time. Their brain tends to "under register" movement, and without that ability, they can't focus. Their brains are telling their bodies to get up and move to help them listen and attend BETTER!
  17. 17. Successful strategies • Provide as much support as possible while sitting so the body feels secure. This includes: Feet flat on the floor or footrest, Good back and hips and knees at 90-degree angles. • Allowing as much movement as possible without disrupting others while sitting. This includes: allowing small movement opportunities with the hands, using fidgets, or with the mouth, using gum or "chewys." Move and sit seat wedges or ball chairs.
  18. 18. Movement is key • Movement is what helps the brain develop from infancy. Movement is stimulation that the brain craves. Have plenty of movement opportunities available for the children. • Remember, kids in motion, aren't commotion! CHILDREN LEARN BEST FROM MOVEMENT AND WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THIS IN OUR CLASSROOMS!
  19. 19. Nancy Amar OTR/L cell: 786-384-0221 email: MissMancy@gmail.com www.MissMancy.com

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