Sensory Integration

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, Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD Level-1 (formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome), and other developmental disabilities.

Traditional school environments often present figurative 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 these students by adapting our learning environment.  Our smaller classes, taught by teachers well versed in this issue, make accommodations quite feasible. Specially designed lighting, unconventional seating arrangements, and noise-dampening headphones 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
– Teaching students how to categorize their sensitivities into levels so that they are not equally distracted by all types of noises or feelings
– Discuss different types of techniques or strategies that might work, and then develop a plan to implement those strategies
– Have an open line of communication with the student’s counselors in order to receive additional accommodation suggestions, as needed