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How can teachers create spaces for relief from sensory overload when you’ve got a whole classroom of children?

Expert answer

In the area of mental health they talk about having fidgets, and that’s something that we’ve talked about in the area of autism as well. I think a lot of kids benefit from having fidgets. We know that some kids benefit from having different kinds of seating so they can move around in. I was just with a child who is on a stool that she can rock on a little bit.

I think all students at times may need breaks. So those are going to be realistic things. And then once an individual is assessed (this is very individualized), some of our kids will use weighted vests or weighted blankets or really tight Under Armour® shirts that help them with their sensory needs.

You just have to look for clues with each child and find individualized solutions. That’s information that you get from watching the child and also interviewing the parents to find out what’s going on. And there are various sensory assessment tools as well, such as the Winnie Dunn Sensory Profile (opens in a new window).

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