Sensory Boards for Integrated Learning

23 Feb 2017

For example: florescent lights. Florescent lights, when illuminated, put out a consistent flicker. A person who is “neurotypical” (normal brain function) would either not notice the flicker or would be able to just block it out and continue with no issues. An individual with SPD, however, would be unable to block the flicker, resulting in an inability to focus on the task at hand. Their brain centers-in on the flicker of the light and prohibits any other input until the sensation is relieved.

Benefits of Sensory Integration

According to a 2013 study, led by occupational therapists at Philadelphia’s Jefferson School of Health Professions and published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, children who received sensory integration preformed significantly higher in achieving personal goals and scoring on standardized tests than children who did not. The study was funded by an Autism Speaks treatment research grant. “The rationale is that by changing how sensations are processed by the brain, we help children with Sensory Processing Disorder make better science of the information they receive and use it to better to participate in everyday tasks,” says lead researcher Roseann Schaff. Some of the benefits of sensory integration are:

  • Cognitive Development
  • Language Development
  • Social Skills
  • Sensory Toleration
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Personal Care
  • Household Responsibilities

Integrated Learning with Sensory Boards

Learning is easier when we are having fun, and information is received better when both sides of the brain are engaged together. Sensory boards, or “busy boards,” are are great for this type of integrated learning, greatly improving early childhood development. Sensory/motor boards are a creative and fun way to help desensitize and organize the brain’s input process through integration. This happens when a person engages the materials used to construct the board. Sensory boards may include devices, textures, general household objects, sorting and math activities, as well as things that generate cause and effect. Using components such as mirrors, lights, gears, whiteboards, magnets or mazes entertain young children for hours while they learn. Items that can be easily removed and replaced in order to keep your board explorable, enticing and age-appropriate can be included.


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