Sending your kids off to school can be a tear jerking moment and one that makes each of us nervous as parents. You want them to be happy and learn as much as they can while they are in their classrooms. This can be an easy thing for most kids but some children have issues with many different sensory topics that not everyone can relate to.

Sensory issues can make it very challenging for a child to properly learn and retain information in school. Some kids are uncomfortable with loud noises, bright lights, too many voices at once, touching other peoples hands and the list goes on and on. If a child is ever put into a situation that makes them unhappy or uncomfortable it can deter them from ever wanting to attempt that thing again. Learning is all about trying again and again os if a child is having issues with this it can cause them to learn less, retain less, and enjoy less as a student.

School sensory screening should be done with students every year to identify any issues they may have that they may not have had in previous years as a student. These screening assessments can determine what is causing the child distress and how they can combat them to encourage a positive learning environment. Children can struggle with many different sensory challenges from not being able to line up with other students when asked to being unable to focus on instruction when others are speaking. School sensory screening will help detect these issues and create calming techniques and other tools to create self soothing a focus the child’s attention in a positive way.

There are seven main categories to classify students sensory issues in a school sensory screening.

There is tactile where the child get uncomfortable around other people touching them, lining up near classmates or craves excessive physical contact with others.

Vision is pretty self explanatory as it has everything to do with the eyes of the child. Squinting, poor eye contact, distressed with dim lights or bright lights or trouble with hand eye coordination. A vision screening is the best way to ensure your child is seeing things clearly at school. Studies have shown that nearly 80% of children have not visited the optometrist in the past 12 months.

Balance is another sensory item that children need to have in school and you can see there is an issue if they seem clumsy, very cautious around steps or hills, fidgets constantly or clings to walls or furniture when walking around the classroom.

Auditory sensory issues can have many signs like showing fear or distress around loud noises, doesn’t like to be around music or singing, speaks either really soft or very loudly, or doesn’t seem to hear you ever. A hearing screening can help confirm these signs and help the child to get the proper medical attention they need.

Proprioception is the unawareness of ones own body, the child seems to bump into others regularly, has poor hand writing, grips things much more tightly than others, and lies down on the floor at inappropriate times.

Smell and taste is an easy one to point out as a child may not like certain smells, tastes, or is a very picky eater or licks and sticks everything within their mouth.

And last but certainly not least behavior, learning, and social issues. These can be quite vast but the main things to watch out for are issues with personal space, plays alone and can’t seem to engage in group activities, and has frequent tantrums or meltdowns during group play times.

All of these sensory topics will be covered by your school sensory screening to ensure each student gets to learn in their own way even if they have certain barriers that keep them from enjoying a calm environment from time to time. Every child deserves to learn and grow whether it is at their own set pace or not you need to support the student needs.

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