My experience with sensory processing disorder stems from an early time when my parents explained that the condition affects the ability to respond using the five senses. Although I did not know the name of the disease, my parents clarified that children were more likely to suffer from the condition than adults. Additionally, I was informed that the disorder could possibly be separate or as a symptom of other conditions. Currently, I understand that sensory processing disorder can affect one or multiple senses creating heightened or reduced sensitivity to events. While the condition is not currently recognized as a distinct medical diagnosis, it is established that it affects the ability of the brain to receive and respond to details obtained through the senses.
This topic is new but interesting to me; thus, I can only relate to past experiences narrated by others. Working with children having sensory processing disorders involves a great determination as each may have different issues, including oversensitive or reduced sensitivity to various events. One of the main tasks when teaching such children is to find methods and techniques to help them cope with their condition and learn like normal kids. The first strategy can be to utilize visual aids to establish a soothing order and consistency. Sensory disorder individuals are often recognized to be visual learners. Labeling pictures, drawers, and other teaching materials is a key technique in helping them cope (Nesayan et al., 2018). Additionally, it is important to map out a schedule based on patterns and use a checklist. Such children grow and develop coping mechanisms despite taking plenty of time.
Understanding sensory processing disorder is crucial for educators and parents in the comprehension of sensory integration and recognition of the manner in which sensory and neurological processing difficulties can impact the lives of children. Children learn the nature of world happenings via their senses which influence the knowledge they acquire. Educating young children requires an individual to understand common developmental milestones, nonconforming and conforming behaviors, and sensory systems (Kojovic et al., 2019). With such skills, teachers can ensure children with sensory integration difficulties pursue and achieve their highest potential. It is important to understand the role played by all senses in children’s routine activities, including the less recognizable aspects such as movement and proprioception.
When teachers understand issues related to sensory processing disorders, they can easily devise strategies to support children with associated difficulties in the classroom. Children with brain processing and integration problems encounter several obstacles on a daily basis. Still, such struggles can be replaced with great experiences depending on a teacher’s planning, knowledge, and structuring of the classroom environment (Kojovic et al., 2019). Teachers must ensure children are safe during classroom activities, and observation ad response can be made to support growth and development. Utilizing suitable teaching strategies and procedures creates desirable outcomes such as positive responses to motor difficulties, adaptive behaviors, and favorable responses to play and class activities (Miller & Kelleher, 2018). For instance, knowledge of sensory behavior enables teachers to understand the role played by the concept of play in helping children learn.
In conclusion, understanding the role of sensory processing and associated disorders is crucial in childhood education. Teachers must employ different strategies to ensure children with sensory processing disorders are provided with appropriate learning conditions and a comfortable environment to assist them in accomplishing their full potential. While such children take long durations to learn and develop their coping mechanisms, appropriate procedures and skills in teaching can properly guide their growth and development. Skilled teachers understand the appropriate methods to use when dealing with children experiencing sensitivity issues, which promotes better learning outcomes than less skilled educators.
Nesayan, A., Asadi Gandomani, R., Movallali, G., & Dunn, W. (2018). The relationship between sensory processing patterns and behavioral patterns in children. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 11(2), 124-132.
Miller K., H., & Kelleher, J. (2018). The classroom sensory environment assessment as an educational tool for teachers. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 11(2), 161-171.
Kojovic, N., Ben Hadid, L., Franchini, M., & Schaer, M. (2019). Sensory processing issues and their association with social difficulties in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(10), 1508.