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Sensory Processing Challenges

Sensory processing challenges arise from different causes e.g. physical impairment or autism. These processing issues can relate to under or over stimulation and can profoundly affect a student’s life. This category includes hearing and visually impaired students and those who struggle to filter out noise to focus on a particular task. They may relate to other special educational needs, and not necessarily autism, which has gained more exposure recently.

Sensory processing challenges can impact a student’s:

  • Self-esteem
  • Daily functioning
  • Regulation of emotions
  • Relationships between friends and family

Some of these individuals do not necessarily have learning difficulties, as in impaired cognitive function, but awareness of their condition so that their learning environment can be adjusted can make a positive difference to the way they process information.

How our tutors approach students with sensory processing challenges

These challenges can be present with different underlying causes, and the tutor will be briefed on these challenges before the lesson. It is important that the learning space considers these challenges and our tutors will look to see it is set up to account for such factors as brightness, texture, noise, temperature and proximity. Some students will look to avoid sensory disturbances while others may seek out stimulation and in these cases fidgets and weighted blankets can help, for example. Our tutors will speak to parents and the student about what they like in their environment. For processing delays our tutors will adjust the frequency and pace of lesson verbalisation and importantly, have patience and understanding. Organisation and structure is also very important for some of these students, and our tutors are aware of this.