Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sensory issues at school?

This is from an article I just read from Dave Angel, whose son has Aspergers...Thought I'd pass it along. I know I will be sending a copy to Blake's school and to the counselor...

Sensory integration disorder affects most children with Asperger’s.  Sensory systems control every move we make and a faulty sensory system leads to problems that affect many areas of education.  It is important to understand the sensory systems and how they work.  The three main sensory systems are the tactile, vestibular, and the proprioceptive systems.

In the school setting, children with Asperger’s sensory issues can really suffer.  Children may be over sensitive to sensory input, or they may be under sensitive to input.   Most children are a mixture of sensitivity within the sensory systems.  Here are some of the commonly affected areas within each of the three sensory systems.

*    Lights

*    Sounds

*    Smells

*    Touch

*    Stimming-spinning, rocking, hand flapping, or humming

*    Loss of balance

*    Sensory seeking crashing, falling, or bumping into things or people

*    Fine motor/tactile grasp-(poor grasp affects handwriting)

Disruptions caused by the Asperger’s sensory connection interfere with all aspects of the child’s life.  It is imperative that these sensory problems are addressed.  Occupational therapy and sensory integration therapy, both performed by occupational therapists, are the most common treatments for sensory issues.  A good sensory profile plan will look like play and will be fun for the child.  It will include a variety of activities like joint compressions, deep pressure massage, skin or body brushing, swinging, and jumping.  Remember, each child’s sensory profile is unique, so these activities will vary.

In the school setting, a child with Asperger’s sensory issues will need this sensory profile and corresponding activities in order to remain calm and focused.  For example, a sensory-seeking child may jump on a trampoline for a few minutes before tackling his math lesson.  Teachers must be aware of the sensory needs to keep order in the classroom.  This book, “Answers to Questions Teachers Ask About Sensory Integration”, by Stacey Szklut and others, can be a very useful resource for teachers.  Even though this book is geared towards teachers, parents can also benefit from the knowledge on sensory integration found within its pages.


  1. Sensory integration is one of the key issues for our kiddos, and it's something that so many people can't understand. If you're looking for some great resources for your son's school (or for at home), go to my site and click on Hartley's Life with Three Boys. This is her topic, and she's written some great school books (her son is your son's age). I think you'll learn a lot from her.

  2. thanks a lot. I will check that out today!