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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


Referrals can be made to the Children and Young People’s Therapy Service, either directly or through the Early Help Assessment process.

For direct referrals chose one of the following options

  • email all referrals to CYPTSReferrals@SomersetFT.nhs.uk (preferred option)
  • send in the post to Referrals, Children and Young People’s Therapy Service, Priory House, Priory Health Park, Glastonbury Road, Wells BA5 1XL

Visit the Children and Young People’s Therapy Service website for service criteria and referral forms.

Any referral made to occupational therapy will go through the triage process. This assesses whether the level of need a pupil is showing meets the relevant criteria for support. To meet the service criteria, the child or young person will need to have significant functional difficulties with everyday activities.

If the level of need is considered to be high enough, then the pupil will then be placed on a ‘sensory pathway’ which is an advisory pathway. Parents will be invited to watch a series of webinars with a follow-up telephone consultation to support them in writing a sensory plan for their child.

The focus of this training is to empower parents, carers and schools with the knowledge to support children and young people effectively, while helping to develop specific tailor-made packages together. Participants receive a pack of information with recording sheets to track the progress made with the strategies suggested.

For many, this level of support is all that may be required. However, if a child or young person is not making progress, or further support is needed, then a follow-up face-to-face consultation can be requested. Evidence of recording sheets and all of the strategies that have been trialled during this time will be required. It may also be determined that the child or young person’s needs may not be due to sensory processing difficulties but due to another reason.

If the child or young person’s difficulties are not deemed to be due to sensory processing.

Last reviewed: January 2, 2024 by Helly

Next review due: July 2, 2024

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