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  • Claire Murphy, MOT, OTR/L

Bad to The Bone or Bad Sensory Regulation?

It’s that time of year again--parent/teacher conferences. You hope to hear lots of positive comments! You meet with your child’s teacher and talk about academic progress and your child’s strengths. But then you begin to hear the same comments you were hoping not to hear!

  • Your child does not stay in his chair when he needs to stay seated. He is always running around the classroom.

  • Your child touches and distracts other students around her. She just cannot keep her hands to herself.

  • Your child does not pay attention during seated activities. They appear to be zoning out.

  • Your child always receives yellow stickers at the end of the day, while her peers go home with green stickers.

Today’s classroom environment demands children sit still in a chair for hours each school day; however, children’s bodies crave movement and other sensory experiences throughout the day. When children do not receive enough sensory experiences they start to demonstrate the “bad behaviors” parents hear about from teachers.

Our sensory system helps regulate our bodies to be prepared to complete everyday tasks, including sitting in the classroom and paying attention to the teacher.

Our sensory system is comprised of 7 senses:

  1. Visual - Sight

  2. Tactile - Touch

  3. Olfactory - Smell

  4. Auditory - Hearing

  5. Gustatory - Taste

  6. Vestibular - Movement and Balance

  7. Proprioceptive - Body Awareness and Position In Space

How can you help make school days easier for your child?

An occupational therapist (OT) can help determine how your child’s sensory system is influencing any “bad behaviors” in the classroom. In addition, an OT can assess other classroom performance areas, including: attention span, following verbal and written directions, motor coordination, muscle strength and endurance. After assessing your child, the occupational therapist will provide individualized treatment strategies to improve your child’s ability to participate in the classroom. An OT can also provide suggestions to help your child self-regulate through using sensory tools, sometimes called fidget toys.

Below are some general suggestions that might help children’s sensory systems in the classroom!

See an Occupational Therapist for specific sensory suggestions to help your child’s performance and behaviors in the classroom! Call us today at 937-428-6273 if you have any questions for our Occupational Therapist or to schedule today!

#Sen #SensoryS #SensoryTools #ClassroomTips

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