Strategies for Sensory Challenges

Shoe Snapshot
Situation: 

I have a student in my special education classroom who continually wants to take off his shoes. I allow this in my room but I can’t have him walking through the school without his shoes. When it is time for an outside class, I try to explain this to him and start putting on his shoes. He will then throw them and cry or scream. What can I do?

Mealtime Strategies
Situation: 

I often hear about children having a limited number of foods they will eat. My son is starting to have some problems during meals. Are there some things I can do before I start having eating issues?

Shaping Clothing Challenges
Situation: 

My son has a need to wear only shorts every day. This need goes into the winter and life becomes difficult. I worry regarding recess, walking and waiting for the bus and any time he is out. I worry about how this is looking in school as well. What can I do to get him to wear long pants?

Classroom Coping Skills
Situation: 

Every year I have 1 or 2 students in my class who can become very upset about different situations. They may hit, cry, yell, or sometimes run out of the room. What can I do to help them stay in control before resorting to these behaviors?

Physical Prompting “Think Abouts”
Situation: 

I am using a prompt hierarchy from most to least with a student to teach eating with a spoon. But whenever I do hand-over-hand he jerks his hand away – how can I teach him?

Weighted Pencil Cover
Situation: 

I have a student who chews her pencil during seatwork. She chews the metal top until it is ragged or comes off and will often chew the pencil right down to the lead. Not only does this behavior distract her during writing activities, but I am concerned for her safety! I have tried chewy pencil tops, other oral stimulation (candy, gum), and visual cues. Nothing seems to prevent her from chewing the pencil. How can I prevent this behavior?

Embedding Sensory Input into the Classroom
Situation: 

How do I provide sensory breaks to a child during a busy classroom day without the child leaving his/her desk and missing important instructional time?

Tools to Address Sleep Troubles in New Bedroom
Situation: 

What would be the best way to help an 8 year old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder to adjust to moving to another home?  He seems to do fine until it is time to go to bed and then he gets terribly upset, crying and hitting himself. This behavior does not occur when he is able to sleep in his old bedroom.  His grandmother lives in his previous home so he has access to his old room.

Solving Tooth Brushing Sensitivities
Situation: 

My child balks when it is time to brush his teeth.  I think he has sensitivity to brushing.  He cries and just turns away – what can I do?

Substitutions for Sensory Seeking Screams
Situation: 

My son is non-verbal.  Recently he has begun screaming.  This is not out of anger, but to hear his own voice.  It is quite loud and can be very distracting at home to his siblings and out in public.  I don’t want to discourage his trying to communicate, so am not sure how to handle it.