Classroom Strategies for Sensory Support

April 2, 2023

For children who experience sensory issues, some of whom may or may not be officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum or Sensory Processing disorders, the school day can be a genuine challenge. Offering students outlets and opportunities to take a needed break can make all the difference.

Sensory tools in the classroom

An Occupational Therapist helps a student with a body sock, a sensory item providing resistance and compression that is grounding to the body. It also blocks visual stimuli, aiding in reduced feelings of being overwhelmed.

Green Chimneys’ occupational therapists and student support specialists are always creating new ways to help students soothe or redirect themselves during or in between classes. Sensory tools are commonplace in both classrooms and dorm units and you may see students utilizing noise-canceling headphones, body socks, weighted blankets or seating modifications, such as wobble chairs, rocking chairs, and Yogibo beanbags. Having such items readily available assists in keeping students engaged and regulated while remaining in program.

Green Chimneys classrooms are equipped with a variety of sensory tools so students don’t have to leave class to access something that helps them feel “just right” or when a break is needed. The Sensory Space, a dedicated on-campus resource room, is open to students throughout the school day, and in afternoon and evening hours for residents. Students come to explore and practice newly learned coping skills, take a break to regulate when escalated, or process difficult incidents.

Supporting a child's sensory needsData collected from the Sensory Space has shown which items are most popular with students; noise-canceling headphones and Yogibo beanbag chairs are among the most frequently requested items. Each classroom and dorm unit now has its own Yogibo beanbag chair, along with other tactile comforts, so students have the benefit of ready access any time of day. Learn more about our therapeutic approach to education