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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 it is

We receive visual input through our eyes and use this information in conjunction with our brains to interpret our physical environment.

Please ensure child’s vision has been checked by a relevant medical professional.

Hypersensitive

(over-sensitive)

Potential signsPotential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsDifficulties to differentiate which visual information is important. Potential impactAvoiding areas with bright lights or a lot of visual information.Strategies to assist with learningMinimising visual input in the learning environment. Creating an area of the classroom with blank walls or a screen.
Potential signsStruggles to find information from the classroom walls.Potential impactDelayed learning of letters and numbers. Strategies to assist with learningUsing coloured overlays for written information.
Potential signsDifficulty to find word in cross word. Difficulty to complete worksheets independently.Potential impactStrategies to assist with learningUsing a clear desk policy in class.
Potential signsDifficulties copying information off whiteboards in class as distracted from the over-stimulation.Potential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsDifficulty finding things in a drawer or box due to over stimulation.Potential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsDifficulty deciphering graphs and charts. Potential impactStrategies to assist with learningConsider changing the colours of graphs to bright colours for important items and dull colours for less important items.

Hyposensitive

Hyposensitive

Potential signsPotential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsDifficulties to notice visual information. Potential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsFlicking objects in front of eyesPotential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Potential signsFascination with moving objects or flashing lightsPotential impactDistracted by wanting to flick objects or look at lights.Strategies to assist with learning
Potential signsDifficulty finding information on busy backgrounds such as a lot of text on a sheet or information on the whiteboard.Potential impactDifficulty concentrating in busy and cluttered environments. Strategies to assist with learningBright colours highlighting key facts/areas to help focus attention
Potential signsLack of attention to visual input, may copy letters and numbers as mirror or upside down, as don’t notice the directions. Potential impactDelayed learning of letters and numbers. Strategies to assist with learningUse verbal cues to focus attention on the important visual input.

Last reviewed: November 29, 2023 by Helly

Next review due: May 29, 2024

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