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What is Tools for Schools? How can the Inclusion Framework and OAIP support my setting?

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Strategies to support

General provision and strategies:

  • Consult with parents to identify potential trigger times and activities
  • Consider conducting a sensory audit of the school environment
  • Share strategies and advice with all members of staff to support the child and young person’s sensory diet
  • Consider referral to the Occupational Therapy Service
  • Access staff training (such as sensory integration) if needed
  • Work together with other professionals to share strategies and advice to support the child and young person’s sensory diet
  • Identify activities which help the child or young person to self regulate. Use these at appropriate times of day to promote access to learning
  • Consider the impact of break times, dinner time and transitions. Work with the child or young person to develop strategies which help them feel ready to learn
  • Consider using sensory reduction planning
  • Consider using individual workstations
  • Build resilience using timers.

If a child or young person presents with behaviours that are of concern, it will be helpful to observe their behaviours in response to the classroom environment and determine the child or young person’s processing profile. The following guidelines will aid your observation:

  • Observe the child or young person in individual activities and groups. This includes large peer groups, small peer groups, and mixed-aged groups. For younger children consider observing in both indoor and outdoor settings, particularly during sensory-rich activities such as water, sand, mud, dirt, and other sensory play
  • Observe and document the child or young person’s reactions consistently over time to determine if there are any patterns. You may wish to use a structured sensory audit
  • Remember that it is important to observe a child or young person several times and in multiple situations to appropriately determine their processing profile
  • Look at possible build up of different sensory information over time e.g. a full school day and include a picture of their sensory preferences as well as sensitivities
  • Share this information with the child or young person’s family. They are likely to be able to provide further insight into their individual preferences and needs
  • If the child or young person presents with a high level of need of dysregulation, consider a referral to Occupational Therapy.

Having gathered observations, identify which systems are thought to be affected:

  • Tactile (touch)
  • Visual (sight)
  • Audiology (hearing)
  • Olfactory (smell)
  • Gustatory (taste)
  • Proprioception (body awareness)
  • Vestibular (movement sense)
  • Introduce sensory activities, items or approaches that enable the child or young person to be appropriately regulated. This may include calming or stimulating activities, dependent on need
  • Consider what changes can be made to the environment or how strategies are implemented
  • Review regularly and modify your approach with your new understanding.

Last updated 6 August 2021

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