Terrific Transitions Part 4: School Based Sensory Strategies
It is not unusual for children to need regular access to sensory breaks to help them be more "available" for learning in the class-room. A calm alert state is the most optimal state for a child to be in to effectively access their learning. It can be difficult, in the life of a busy day to day classroom, to ensure that this is the case all the time. There are many lovely examples of how teachers can implement sensory breaks and sensory activities for the whole class throughout the day. The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has produced some excellent guidance on this for teachers. Click on the link to access.
Some children need more support than others to regulate their sensory systems at school. Regular access to sensory circuits are a great way to support regular movement breaks for some children who will need that extra support.. The video below is a quick guide on how to set up sensory circuits. This video is from Little Miracles Charity Please always remember to consult parents about the activities in a sensory circuit for their child prior to implementation.
This second video from the Wandsworth Autism Advisory Service, also clearly describes sensory circuits in the classroom. Please be sure to consult parents prior to implementing sensory strategies.
Creating a sensory rich environment in the classroom is also a very helpful way to support sensory needs in the classroom. Regular access to sensory activities, The Middletown Centre for Autism offers wonderful advice on how to support sensory needs for neurodiverse students in the classroom. Sensory Strategies; Practical Tips for the Classroom.
Please also check out the Middletown Sensory Resource for more practical and helpful information.
For some children using a fidget item, can be a supportive way to help remain calm during certain classroom activities.
There are certain guidelines and considerations for using a fidget item. The video below from the Middletown Centre for Autism explains this further.
If you require further information check out our articles on Terrific Transitions