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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

1

Introduction

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
2

The sensory system

Safe interventions for both children and young people, and groups

TactileProprioceptiveInteroceptiveVestibularVisualAuditoryOlfactoryTaste
3

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 Proprioception is

Proprioception is the conscious and unconscious awareness of body position and movement.  The proprioceptive system is the muscle and joint sense that tells the brain:

  • when and how the muscles are contracting or stretching
  • when and how the joints are flexing, extending or being pulled and pushed
  • what the body parts are doing and where they are in space
  • the force muscles are exerting

Poor proprioception

Potential signsPotential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsStiff unco-ordinated movementsPotential impactStrategies to assist with learningActivity that involves heavy muscle work – such as Yoga, animal walks, pushing against the wall.
Potential signsRegularly bumping into things, falling over, thus accidently hurting themselves or others. Potential impactAvoiding physical activities: may be seen mainly sitting, avoid participation in PE, avoid play structures.Strategies to assist with learning
Potential signsAppear ‘falling over air’Potential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsPoor spatial awareness, unaware of obstacles in pathway, difficulty moving. Potential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsStruggle with activities that require spatial awareness such as puzzles, copy model, building in blocks. Potential impactStrategies to assist with learningPractising movement without visual feedback – with closed eyes

Last reviewed: November 29, 2023 by Helly

Next review due: May 29, 2024

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