Sensory Processing Disorder
How can the tutors support children with
Sensory Processing Disorder
We use our 8 senses: visual, auditory (sound), tactile, olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), vestibular, proprioception and interception, to help us perceive and understand the world around us. This is called ‘sensory processing’. It refers to the way our nervous systems and brains automatically absorb information and then organise it to decide how to react or feel.
For some children and adults however, this brain functionality isn’t as automatic as it perhaps should be. The brain recognises the senses but doesn’t respond or interpret them properly. This is called sensory processing disorder or SPD.
With years of experience, many adults with sensory processing disorder or SPD have learned how to adapt or discover self-regulation strategies to help them cope with certain situations. For example, some people with sensory processing disorder or SPD may seek calming music to help them relax while others seek busier environments with a slight buzz to help them focus. Adults can often make the decision for themselves as to what suits them best at any given time.
But what about children with sensory processing disorder or SPD who perhaps haven’t had the experience to work out what works or doesn’t work for them?
Regardless of which category your child falls into,Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can have a profound impact on your child’s behaviour and learning. The good news, however, is that the right support can make all the difference.
Your specialist SEN tutor can provide your child with holistic and bespoke 1:1 learning sessions at your own home or school. After developing an understanding of their specific needs, they will advise you on a number of effective strategies and interventions that they would like to try throughout the sessions. These will depend on the age of your child but some fun ideas include using sand to learn about letters or numbers, playing twister to learn spelling and sight-words, or illuminous light boards to teach phonics or spellings.
Your SENsational Tutor can provide your child with a holistic session, i.e. teaching English, Maths, Science or other subjects alongside providing sensory provisions, perhaps as recommended by an occupational therapist (OT). Does your child have a sensory diet? We can certainly integrate this into the sessions. Furthermore, you can trust your specialist tutor to incorporate fun activities such as using cars to teach Maths number bonds to 10, and to recognise the need for brain breaks and focused-attention activities to ensure that your child gets the most from their sessions.
Absolutely. Your specialist SEN tutor may also be able to use their musical and creative talents to stimulate and excite your child to learn. Many parts of the English curriculum can be taught through drama, and for some children, this is an easier way for them to access their learning. Drama is also perfect for developing reading expression and fluency, and it can also be a powerful way to boost confidence and self-esteem. Kelly and Lucy are qualified SEN tutors who both work with children with sensory and auditory processing disorders.
With 15 years’ experience as a special needs tutor, Kelly mentions that, “when working with students who have Auditory and Sensory Processing disorder I have a toolbox of techniques that ensure lessons are fruitful and productive. From ensuring the appropriate environment with no distractions to using a range of visual stimuli for sessions, I create a calm learning environment. A patient approach to teaching is required and my sessions are clearly organised with regular repetition of concepts and check-up questions to ensure each task is understood. Using recognisable routines and having clear transitions supports my teaching and builds up confidence in my students’ learning journey.”
Alongside Lucy’s her teaching qualification, she is also a certified coach and examiner at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She teaches English and Maths through a multi-sensory, immersive and creative learning approach and integrates music, drama, art and performance into her sessions. She mentions that, “I favour a multi-sensory and individualised approach to my teaching and am committed to unlocking the potential of each and every child in a supportive, nurturing and engaging way – through the use of personalised learning plans, individual targets and confidence-building skills. I offer active, learning-through-play sessions that follow the interests of a particular child and use my love of drama, music and story-telling to further explore these learning concepts and bring my sessions to life.”
As a qualified teacher and having worked as a special needs tutor for the past 15 years, Kelly has provided many families with bespoke tuition to support and enhance the education of children.
She explains some of the strategies and interventions she utilises when working with students with sensory needs.
A flexible approach, with engaging and enjoyable sessions:
“I have a flexible approach to teaching and ensure my lessons are engaging and enjoyable for every student. When working with students who have Auditory and Sensory Processing disorder, I have a toolbox of techniques that ensure lessons are fruitful and productive.”
A calm and appropriate environment:
“From ensuring the appropriate environment with no distractions to using a range of visual stimuli for sessions, I create a calm learning environment. A patient approach to teaching is required and my sessions are clearly organised with regular repetition of concepts and check-up questions to ensure each task is understood. Using recognisable routines and having clear transitions supports my teaching and builds up confidence in my students’ learning journey.”
Personalised and tailor-made lessons:
“Using personalised techniques for each and every student, I ensure my sessions cater for every learning style and building strong, trust-filled relationships, enables my learners to feel secure in their development.”