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Part of
Sensory Processing Handbook

The eight senses - guidance for practitioners in Somerset

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Part of
Sensory Processing Handbook

The eight senses - guidance for practitioners in Somerset



information on the nature of sensory processing differences and the impact they can have on children and young people's lives

Somerset SEND CharterWhat is sensory processing?Sensory processing differences or difficultiesInteroception – the eighth senseChecklists and assessments

The sensory system

Safe interventions for both children and young people, and groups


School approaches

Recommendations for creating appropriate learning environments for pupils with sensory processing differences

Whole school approachClassroom strategiesWhat to do if you are concerned a pupil is experiencing sensory processing difficultiesReferring to occupational therapy

What it is

Our noses pick up information about the odours around us and passes this to our brains. We discriminate between thousands of different odours to distinguish whether smells are dangerous, strong, faint, pleasurable or foul. The olfactory system is closely related to our limbic systems which is responsible for our emotions and memory. The olfactory system is also closely related to our sense of taste.



Potential signsPotential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Negative reactions to smellIssues associated with the avoidance of people or placesCareful selection of washing powder and use of perfume etc
Avoids people or places who smell too much such as because of perfumeConsider the lunch hall environment and support with the child being able to eat in a different room with fewer smells.
Consider removal of carpets, frequent toilet cleaning and good ventilation to improve residual smell.



Potential signsPotential impactStrategies to assist learning
Smells everythingAppearing over familiar with peopleUse cognitive and verbal strategies to explain behaviours in public.
Unhygienic practicesOffer alternative options such as wearing perfume, create a bag with good smells to use.

Last reviewed: November 29, 2023 by Helly

Next review due: May 29, 2024

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