Children with sensory processing disorder have difficulty processing information from the senses (touch, movement, smell, taste, vision, and hearing) and responding appropriately to that information. These children typically have one or more senses that either over- or under-react to stimulation. Sensory processing disorder can cause problems with a child's development and behavior. It is commonly seen in people with autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities.
Traditional school environments often present landmines for students with sensory integration issues. They may hyperfocus on common noises in the classroom, like classmates chewing gum, and have no outlet to express their frustration appropriately. They may completely be overcome by the challenges presented by passing periods, lunchtime in a large cafeteria, or typical PE classes. Usually, they face these challenges without the benefit of a caring adult who understands how they feel and can offer help.
Great Lakes Academy is the right school for Sensory Integration challenges.
At Great Lakes, we have the flexibility to accommodate our learning environment to meet the needs of these students. Our smaller classes, taught by teachers well versed in this issue, make accommodations quite feasible. Low lighting, unconventional seating arrangements, and ear plugs have all been implemented with great success to help students struggling with their own senses.
Here are a few ways that teachers at GLA can accommodate for these students:
- Allowing students to move around as needed, rather than sitting still for long periods
- Teaching students to take breaks when they feel they are becoming frustrated
- Encouraging students to express their needs and frustrations
- Decreasing noise in the classroom
- Using earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to minimize distractions