A network to share best practices for children with special needs
Before our children can learn, they must have the cognitive foundational skills on which to base their knowledge. What do I mean by “cognitive foundational skills”? I am referring to those basic “skills” that allow us to learn, those that establish the foundation for all learning. One such example is visual and/or auditory processing skills. If we cannot effectively or efficiently process information that comes into our brain through our eyes or information that comes into our brain through our ears, then we are not going to be able to learn quickly or efficiently. It requires the coordination of over two trillion nerve cells to perform the smallest of actions, such as picking up a pencil or scratching a mosquito bite, to more complex actions, such as solving a challenging math problem, writing an essay or performing neurosurgery. Our brains are taking in information from senses every second of every day. If just one of the senses is not processing information quickly enough or completely, then the entire learning process becomes inefficient.
For example, when the teacher writes a question on the board and gives directions, the student must perform many tasks; he/she must:
• See what is written on the board, process the information by understanding and using the information to complete the assignment;
• Hear what is said, then remember and follow the directions;
• Use motor planning skills in order to pick up the pencil in order to plan and carry out a response to the visual information and auditory directions;
• Complete the assignment in a timely manner which requires functional attention and processing speed.
Children must be able to organize sensory information to function in daily activities, school related activities and play. Efficient sensory integration lays the foundation for functionally understanding the sensory information in the environment. This is necessary for a child to be successful in school.
Today, I found this great idea to share for a “sensory box” that you can do with your younger children to enhance their sensory processing for touch; they will love it! Halloween Sensory Boxes!
Abilitations Catalog has some excellent tools to enhance sensory processing.