Sensory processing in school

Schools are a sensory nightmare as anyone who has spent any time in one knows. Modern teaching techniques are without a doubt more interactive with a view to be more engaging and entertaining for students but this does mean that there is an even greater impact on sensory processing. 

Here is a brief rundown of the impact on sensory impact of a school day.

 

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Taste

 

School dinners are unpredictable as there is no guarantee that the planned menu option will be available or that even a person’s favourite food would be cooked in a way and to a recipe that the child expects.

 

Touch

School uniforms can be uncomfortable and even painful for some children to wear. School corridors can be crowded and often people bump into you and this can cause further turmoil.  School playgrounds with children running around and brushing past each other. 

 

Smell

The smell of lots of people in a small confined space, the smells of school dinners cooking, the smell of art or craft equipment 

 

Sound

The noise of children in the playground, communal areas, classrooms, the noise of fluorescent lights. Computers and whiteboards, music lessons,

 

Sight

Bright lights, the glare off of screens

 

Vestibular and proprioceptive

 

Different floorings, seating and working out motor planning in crowded spaces. 

 

Interoceptive

The anxiety of being in the school environment often means that the individual is unable to process their body’s signals and this could lead to a child having a toileting accident or being unable to know if they are feeling unwell or need a drink etc. 

For more information on what the senses are, visit our free resources section here.