The course introduces children’s behaviour from the perspective of their sensory processing needs. It would be of particular use to those working with or caring for early years foundation stage or key stage 1 and 2 children.
Challenging behaviour, difficulties with paying attention and learning, motor coordination issues (clumsiness, dyspraxia), problems with emotional regulation and social relationships may sometimes be caused by unmet sensory processing needs. This course explains how the sensory systems work – through self-experiential activities and practical examples. Building on this knowledge, examples of sensory difficulties are discussed which are typical for children with autism, ADHD/ADD or dyspraxia.
Sensory strategies are useful in general in working with children because they promote feeling of safety, provide calmness or if necessary, energise and support focusing on task. Understanding neurodiversity, which sensory needs are part of, is essential in providing inclusive practice and building equitable environments.
- Educational practitioners (teachers, teaching and learning assistants, SENCOs)
- Social care practitioners working with children and young people with disabilities
The workshop will include:
- An introduction into how sensory strategies are used in everyday life
- Looking at the seven sensory systems and their functions (visual, auditory, smell and taste, touch, proprioceptive and vestibular systems)
- Neurodiversity – individual differences in sensitivity/reactivity
- Noticing the issue(s) and finding suitable strategies
- Discussion of case studies and real-life examples
At the end of the session, attendees will be able to understand and analyse sensory processing needs, and apply their understanding of sensory processing needs to design sensory-friendly inclusive activities and spaces. These may assist with resolving and avoiding challenging behaviour patterns such as meltdowns, aggression or even self harming.
Reviews for the workshop have been excellent, with participants highlighting that they particularly valued:
"The practical strategies introduced - very easily applied to practice, took complex ideas and simply explained. Use of personal experience was a good teaching strategy to help make content understood."
"Learning more about the "why" people with sensory needs can act the way they do."