Teacher Conference Materials

Sensory Processing Introduction Outline


  1. All day long, we are receiving input from a variety of sources. The input we receive from our surroundings determines the responses we make. All of this input and output has to do with our senses.  In this presentation, we are going to be talking about sensory processing.
  2. We are constantly responding to the sensations we take in this is called sensory processing.
  3. Sensory processing takes place automatically.
  4. Right now, you are receiving sensory input concerning your position in your chair, the room temperature, my voice, the translator’s voice, and other noises in the room.
  5. It is the ability to take in, sort out and connect information from our own bodies and the world around us.
  6. Sensory processing is essential to the central nervous system development and its maturity. The good news is that when sensory processing is slow to develop this process can be assisted.


  1. Many children have sensory processing challenges.
  2. Their nervous systems function differently:
    1. They can under react to stimulation.
    2. They can overreact to stimulation.
    3. They have difficulty making sense of what they hear and see.
    4. They can be afraid to try typical childhood activities.
  3. All of the above can lead to a state of high anxiety for them often manifested in their behavior.
  4. In addition, we all use sensory processing behaviors to alert our nerves system when we are tired or board and to calm it down when we are anxious, fearful or overstimulated, even if it is for a positive reason.
  5. Sensory processing challenges can be positively affected through training.
  6. Throughout this presentation, we will be giving practical examples and ideas of ways to help the child with sensory processing challenges.
  7. We all have Some Behaviors related to Sensory Processing
  8. These things we do might be to alert
  9. How many of you:
    1. Click the end of your pin
    2. Draw or doodle while the listening
    3. Cut the tags out of your clothing
    4. Not like to be hugged
    5. Have certain textures of food that you avoid
  10. We are going to have a little fun
  11. Check every line that describes you now, or when you were a child
  12. This list should show you your areas of challenges with Sensory Processing
  13. Common Characteristics of Sensory Processing Difficulties Seen in Children

  14. Now we’re going to talk about common characteristics of Sensory Processing difficulties seen in children
  15. In addition to the list you just went through these might include:
  16. Screaming
  17. Seem to not pay attention
  18. Avoid getting dirty or messy
  19. Hitting or poking another child
  20. Making other noises with mouth or objects
  21. Fidgeting in chair
  22. Standing and walking around in the room
  23. What we have done is find a socially acceptable way to receive the sensory input our nervous systems desire or to relieve the stress we are feeling. This is normal.
  24. We need to provide a socially acceptable way for our children to do the something.
  25. Dealing with the Sensory Processing Challenges
  26. As we go through the next several section, listen closely, you may hear characteristics of some of your students or someone you know.
  27. Also, know that:
  28. Children and adults with sensory processing issues may fall off a chair, knock things off a desk or are generally disorganized.
  29. People with sensory processing challenges may be clumsy, awkward or have uncoordinated movements
  30. They may get distractibility or be easily frustrated
  31. Due to difficulties of paying attention, they may have trouble with learning.
  32. They have normal intelligence but trouble with learning to do mathematics or reading.
  33. However, remember, all of this is due to difficulties in the central nervous system, not intelligence or something that the child can easily control.
  34. Hypersensitivity and Hyposensitivity
  35. We will use the terms hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity.
  36. Hypersensitivity is being more sensitive than average or than what would be expected to stimulation. They need you to decrease the amount of stimulation they receive and/or help them learn to tolerate it.
  37. Hyposensitivity is being less sensitive than average or than what would be expected to stimulation. They need you to provide more stimulation than average.
  38. Some of these challenges and the resulting behaviors are due to an immature sensory system and as they mature, they will not have all of the challenges. Others are due to the child’s system being “wired” differently and they need help learning to compensate.
  39. There are 8-9 different components to our sensory system. They are
    1. Touch or Tactile
      1. Perception
    2. Proprioception
      1. Grading of Movements
    3. Vestibular or movements and position in space
      1. Coordination and poor muscle tone
    4. Vision or sight
    5. Hearing or Auditory
    6. Oral Input, eating, taste
    7. Olfactory or Smells
    8. Interoception or Self-Regulation
  1. Over the next two days, we will look at each component of the sensory system discussing some common behaviors resulting from challenges with processing in the particular sensory system and how to help the child with these behaviors overcome them. After all, the disruptive or socially unacceptable behaviors result from the sensory issues are what we need to change. To change the disruptive behaviors we need to understand why they are happening.



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