A network to share best practices for children with special needs
Now that summer is here, time to relax, right? Yes…and it is also an opportunity for continuing education. Like our children, we need to take advantage of the summer for learning too. How exciting to be prepared for the upcoming school year with new “sensory tools” . Why not sign up for a webinar such as Ten Ways to Implement Response to Intervention (RtI) with Sensory Strategies? This webinar also includes “bonus” clips from the Tools for Teachers DVD TfT_0-16Intro_scroll.wmv
The webinar can be viewed on your own time at home, or share with other colleagues.
An easy fun way to obtain one CEU continuing education credit!
Let’s explore the content of this webinar: 10WaystoImplementRtIwithSensoryStrategies-Manual.pdf
Ten ways…Ten places:
7. COZY SPACES TfT14_38RichardQuietSpace.wmv
9. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE
What supports do children need to be successful across school environments and at home?
This webinar offers a unique opportunity to see and hear an assistant school superintendent, a school principal, team leader CIAOWebinarRtI.mp4, several classroom teachers, a PE teacher, music therapist, occupational therapist AND parent collaborate to implement Response to Intervention (RtI) with sensory strategies.
RtI is a general education school wide initiative. It provides preventative strategies to minimize behavior and learning problems, and reduce the need for more intensive services later. Student support teams meet learning and behavioral needs, all within the general education environment. They can determine eligibility for special education and related services.
The Sensory Processing Measure (SPM), a well-researched, statistically sound assessment is threaded throughout the school community and home. It provides a bird’s eye view of student sensory processing challenges and strengths across several environments. It assists in determining if sensory issues are a “piece of the puzzle” in driving behavior challenges. It can be used for progress monitoring in RtI to help make decisions regarding levels of intensity needed.
The SPM supports the following RtI principles:
1. Home and school wide collaboration
2. Early identification
3. Early intervening services (EIS)
4. Measuring change over time
Following the use of the SPM, the school team, parents and outside clinicians come together to develop appropriate sensory-based strategies. Using the SPM Quick Tips, the team collaborates to develop sensory-based strategies throughout the day, both at school and at home. These can be integrated into the fabric of the student’s life, by each team member. The SPM Quick Tips provide a way to record data on the SPM Quick Tips Record Form ( SPMQuickTipsRecordForm.pdf ) and can be used to monitor how students are responding to the strategies. School administrators, teachers and therapists know that data driven intervention is important for promoting evidence based education and for evaluating outcome measures.
You will hear and see how collaboration between all who work with students (including in the cafeteria, on the bus, on the playground, in the principal’s office and even in outpatient clinics) supports the principles of RtI for students in general education. A student with autism, his mother, teachers, therapists and a playground scenario are highlighted, meeting the sensory needs of all students.
There are Three Tiers to RtI:
Tier One: This is a school wide program. It addresses social behavior throughout the school in all contexts.
For example, because of the noise and smells, cafeterias are often NOT always conducive for the social behavior expected in an eating environment. Modifications in the cafeteria were made by adding Cozy Shades. The covers softened the florescent lighting for cozier spaces. Cafeteria workers said the students were now eating their lunches (instead of throwing them away). They also shared that as workers, they too found the cafeteria to be less stressful and more pleasant.
Tier Two: This is used for students identified by the SPM as “non responders” and demonstrating sensory processing challenges.
For example Tier Two was used for a student who kept falling off of his chair because of poor postural control. Tier Two provided the possibility for him and some of his peers to sit on stability balls (e.g., chair balls) improving their ability to pay attention. You can learn more about how chair balls work by clicking on the clip (hyperlink) CIAOWebinarMovementClip.mp4 from the webinar titled 10 Ways to Use Movement for Student Success: Sensory processing solutions for educators and parents
Tier Three: The SPM can also be used for Tier Three referrals.
For example Tier Three was used for a 4th grade student with autism who was not able to fully participate in the volley ball activity in PE class. The SPM PE Form identified sensory processing issues. The Tier Three intervention included having the student become the PE teacher’s helper: He also participated in the volley ball game by being the score keeper. Moving a weighted basket from one side to the other to indicate which team was serving gave him the muscle work he needed. By becoming an important member of the team, his self esteem was also greatly improved.
In the webinar the school principal’s goals are listed as:
Make sensory tools a seamless part of the educational setting (See short webinar clip from Ten Ways to Support Pre‐Teens & Teens Using Sensory Processing Strategies CIAOWebinarTeens-PreTeens.mp4 )
Serve the needs of the individual
Do not disturb the needs of others
Create an educational environment where every child is successful
Some of the ways these goals were met included:
1. Integrating sensory breaks such as using the ‘tennis ball on a stick’. Instead of taking recess away, provide opportunity for muscle work, using both hands to promote bilateral integration.
2. Creating sensory friendly playgrounds including room for movement , running, chasing, climbing, use of upper body, hopping, bouncing, swinging, and spinning.
3. Inviting the staff to bring their ‘bouncy chair balls’ to staff meetingsand to bring their fidgets to occupy their fidgety fingers The SPM Bus form gathers information from the bus driver, providing the driver the opportunity to be included in meetings and planning. When a student was having trouble on the bus because of sensory challenges, instead of “kicking” the student off the bus, the driver said “I want to give the student another chance”. When the student was given “sensory tools” to use on the bus (such as head phones, hand fidgets and a weighted lap pad) the driver stated “I feel like a partner in this child's success”.
Some of the other “sensory tools” used in the school included:
1. Offering different kinds of seating during circle time
2. Using the alligator to help kindergarteners with transitions
3. Pushing the tablet cart for “heavy work” as a movement/muscle tool to calm and organize the student's nervous system.
4. Having climbing walls or “bouldering boards” for those wiggly students
5. Making the pea pod available to provide cozy tight spaces
And many more!
Enjoy your summertime, knowing that you will be retuning for the new school year armed with new “sensory tools”!
To access this webinar go to www.ateachabout.com homepage, scroll down and click on “online webinars” on the left hand side.
Other webinars include
Ten Ways to Use Movement for Student Success: Sensory processing solutions for educators and parents
Ten Ways to Support Pre‐Teens & Teens Using Sensory Processing Strategies
School Specialty has bundled these webinars (and many more…stay tuned for upcoming blog by Cecilia Cruse) with actual “Sensory Tools”. Go to the School Specialty website
Diana A. Henry, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, president of Henry OT Services, brings sensory tools to schools and communities nationally and internationally. As an occupational therapist, her mission has been to bring evidence based education to educators, administrators and parents for use in their daily lives with students. Diana worked with Eunice Kennedy Shriver to develop the Special Olympics in France and since 1975 has specialized in sensory integration and sensory processing producing ‘sensory tools’ workshops, books, DVDs and the SPM Quick Tips.