Sensory Integration in the Classroom

3 Ways to Introduce Sensory Integration Activities in  the Classroom

Nov 18, 2009 | By Brenna  Cashman

Brenna Leah Cashman (BHSc) is a member of the  International Organization of Nutritional Consultants and a professional  counselor, registered holistic nutritionist and herbalist with over 10 years of  experience working with families. She writes about family health and  nutrition.

1. Fidget, Wiggle and Jump: How to Encourage  Better Classroom Skills

The classroom can often be a challenging environment for  a child with sensory integration dysfunction. Teachers can improve these  students’ comfort and behavior through the use of sensory integration  activities. The activities are aimed at improving a child’s ability to  concentrate, remain calm and stay still. Many children have difficulty staying  still all day even when they don’t have any sensory deficits. Problems with  sensory integration can make sitting still even more challenging.
Teachers can implement several strategies to address this issue. An inflated  seat cushion is often helpful in providing a little movement without having the  child move around too much. The natural bounce that these cushions provide gives  your child the feeling of movement and enables him to sit still for longer  stretches.
Most children also enjoy the opportunity to get out of their  seat and go on classroom errands or hand out worksheets to the other students.  Teachers can really help these students by finding appropriate tasks that  involve movement and activity throughout the school day. It is also great when  all the students can be given time to stretch, do jumping jacks or just move  around a little between lessons.
For children who fidget a lot, special  fidget toys can be helpful. Hand exercisers, stress balls and other  non-distracting hand-held items can contain the fidgeting and prevent it from  getting out of control. Stores that carry teaching supplies frequently carry a  selection of fidget toys that are appropriate for use in the  classroom.

2. Schoolwork and Sensory  Integration

Teachers can further help their students by recognizing  their special needs and modifying their programs accordingly. Does your child  have difficulty following instructions? Perhaps the teacher can provide both  oral and written instructions. Pictorial instructions might also help. Having  the child repeat the directions is a good way of making sure that the  instructions were heard and understood.
Your child might also lack  organizational skills and have difficulty remembering homework and assignments.  Teachers can help by packing the child’s schoolbag or providing a second set of  textbooks to keep at home.
For children who do poorly on tests or written  assignments, some other modifications might be required. Some children benefit  from being given extra time. Others may do better when they take tests in a  quiet room away from distractions or are given the opportunity to dictate their  answers or use a computer to type written work.

3. Improving Student Participation

Children with sensory integration deficits are often  challenging students. It may seem that they act up a lot or don’t participate  well. These students generally do better when they have few distractions and  more opportunities for physical activity. Activities that involve role playing,  building models, lab work and field trips are usually more successful. This may  not always be practical, but whenever possible, these types of activities will  be beneficial.
You can also help by limiting distractions in the  classroom. Finding a seat away from windows, doors, direct sunlight and other  distractions is important. Your child will probably do best near the teacher  where there is less visual stimulation and the teacher can keep a closer eye on  his progress.
Teachers can also increase classroom success by using  well-designed visuals such as maps, charts and pictures. Children process  information better when it is well organized and clearly displayed. Using  different colors to organize information is good. Overheads, pictorial  worksheets and use of the blackboard can help improve your child’s  comprehension.

Read more:

2636 South Milford Road
United States