Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sensory Integration Resources and Free Printables

Do you know me?  I am that child who hates being tickled and cuddled.  You try to make eye contact with me and I turn away.  When you read a story I play with my hands and appear not to be paying attention.  Music hurts my ears and instead of dancing along with my friends I sit in my spot with my hands over my ears.  Do you know me?

Many young children have difficulty processing all the sensory information that they face throughout the school day.  In order for you create an optimal learning environment for these children, it is very important that you take notice of the signals children are sending you about their sensory needs and do what you can to address them. 

I'm going to share several free resources with you today that will really help these "sensational children" be the best they can be.  Once you address their sensory needs, you will be able to help them learn new social skills and be more successful in school.

Let's begin with more information on Sensory Processing Disorder.  You can learn more on the SPD Foundation website such as what it is, what impact it has on learning, and how you can help!  Just click the link below!

It is very important that you know the sensory needs of your specific students.  If you mismatch their sensory needs you may get an adverse response.  Some adults might think the techniques aren't working and give up.  You are right on one part--the techniques aren't working!  BUT it's not because of the child, it is because you are using the wrong tools for THAT child.  The resource in the link below helps you determine what type of tools to use for the for the type of results you want (alerting/calming).  Click on the picture for your free printable copy and to read the full article.
Another resource that I absolutely LOVE is on the Conscious Discipline website!  They have a FREE printable that helps you know how to address sensory needs in the Safe Place (a self-regulation station in the classroom where children go to calm down).  There are five posters and each one addresses different sensory needs.  Be sure to check those out and print your free copy!

Sometimes the tools that are necessary to help children regulate their sensory system can be costly.  That's why I love this next resource!  This former teacher shares real life with her readers and gives very creative ideas for how you can address the needs of children in creative ways.  I hope you'll check her out!
Another inexpensive way to address a young child's needs for sensory experiences is to include a sensory tub in your daily classroom activities.  You can incorporate many academic and social skills through play in a sensory tub.  This article shares a multitude (over 130) of ideas for sensory tubs that will certainly get your creative juices flowing!  Remember, just like with any other toy or station in the classroom, it is very important that you set limits and teach children your expectations when they are using these tools.

Let's wrap things up with this Ultimate Guide to Sensory Integration Activities.  It really is a wealth of resources and ideas for helping you meet the sensory needs of your students.  One of my favorites is a link to the Creative with Kids blog.   The author shares a printable list of quick and easy sensory activities you can do with everyday materials you already have on hand.

 As you grow in your understanding of the sensory needs of children you really begin to perceive their behavior differently.  When you see that there may be some underlying sensory issues that are causing a specific "misbehavior" then you can begin to find the proper tools to help alleviate frustration for you and the child!
As always, I wish you well!  Until next time...
Jenny Spencer
Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor
Blogger, Ignite Learning LLC

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