Providing Occupational Therapy services in a school based setting is such a rewarding experience. I spend a portion of my day in special education classrooms as well as in the general education setting. Some of the diagnosis in which I provide services to in school environment include autism, ADHD, anxiety and sensory processing disorder. I currently work with a 12:1:1 classroom with students with one or more of these diagnoses. This group of students learns best, in an environment which is enriched with activities and materials which address their sensory needs.
Creating sensory friendly school environments promote positive participation for students with and without disabilities.
My students are unique and learn in different ways. My students want to be successful and their sensory needs, should be supported within their classroom settings. My students are always working on increasing their independence. They deserve to be in an environment they are comfortable in. When a students sensory needs are met, learning becomes more exciting and enjoyable. I am hopeful to build a library of tools and materials to support their sensory needs in their classroom. Each of their sensory needs are different and should be met for optimal learning.
Students with sensory deficits, may experience everyday sensations with more or less intensity. They may have challenges with emotional regulation, attending, social interaction, and behavior. Students are all unique sensory beings. They respond to everyday sensory input in individual ways.
Each student exhibits unique sensory preferences, that are reflected in how to function throughout their school day.
Some children may respond to sensory input in more extreme ways. If an environment feels physically uncomfortable, psychologically unfriendly, or threatening, it won't be a good learning (or social) environment. The student will have the tendency to escape from it rather than learn from it. We need to provide students with an environment, objects, and activities that can be modified on an individual basis, to promote optimal arousal in order to attend to tasks in the school setting. The materials being requested will benefit students with sensory needs. They will promote optimal learning, social skills and independence, which will give a child security, the feeling of safety and confidence.
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