Halogen lights, front wall decorations, much written information on the white board, cluttered desks and surroundings, background noise or poor acoustics, children moving around are some of the physical environment factors that don't allow the child to concentrate well and pay attention to task in hand. Taking too much of information within can lead to flight, fright and freeze reactions.
These strategies can be recommended by school’s Occupational Therapist according to child’s primacies and requirements. Sensory Diet which is a personalised activity strategy plays a pivotal role in child’s academic achievement, learning, and positive behaviour. It should be planned in collaboration with class teachers to achieve the potential outcome from the sensory diet plan.
OT recommended strategies for Sensory-friendly classroom.
by utilising different positions, pen grip alternatives and related modifications. Here’s the link for handwriting strategies.
- Supports inappropriate writing.
- Provides ergonomically correct posture, supporting hands and wrist.
- Positions reading and writing text inappropriately.
- Reduces strain on neck and shoulder muscles as a child leans forwards.
- Aids in writing and holding tools correctly.
- Star Jumps: These are good to involve whole body coordination.
- Animal Walks: Walking like bear, elephant will improve body sense
- Marching: This also involves coordination between both sides of the body, can be difficult. Initially start with feet marching, once mastered, then include arms.
- Play Hopscotch: This will give distance and space judgement
- Commando Crawling: Involving both hands and feet.
- Body Paint: Ask the child to paint his particular body parts such as a right-hand or left-hand index finger.
- Body Image: Ask a child to draw around his partner’s body on the large sheet and label body parts.