Sensory & Learning Resources

Sensory Integration, Cognitive & Motor Skills, Learning Resources

Often people with additional needs have different sensory perceptions of the world and find it difficult to process the information they receive. To make their lives easier and less stressful, we find, stock and sell a range of learning resources and sensory equipment for children with autism or special needs.

Many people (particularly on the Autistic Spectrum) find it difficult to process the sensory information they receive. Any of the senses, Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste and Touch (external senses) can be hyper- or hypo- sensitive. For most of us we are processing information without having to think about it or even be aware of it.

Children actively seek out activities that provide sensory stimulus, these activities vary according to which sense that is over- or under-sensitive. When looking at someone’s sensory challenges it is always recommended to consult an Occupational Therapist.

Sensory Integration

Products to help those with sensory processing difficulties to better understand and to cope with the information they receive from the world around them.

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Cognitive & Motor Skills

A selection of motor and cognitive skill products encouraging users to engage in activities that will benefit greater dexterity and mental stimulation.

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Learning Resources

Products specific to learning outcomes - whether this is assistance with handwriting, adaptive solutions, or teaching about time, colours or patterns. 

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COMMON PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS

Many people (particularly on the Autistic Spectrum) find it difficult to process the sensory information they receive. Any of the senses, Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste and Touch (external senses) can be hyper- or hypo- sensitive. For most of us we are processing information without having to think about it or even be aware of it. We also have internal senses:

Vestibular – this is the sense of balance and movement it tells us where out body is in relation to the ground.

Proprioception – this is the sense of body awareness and position, telling us if we are moving, how fast and in what direction.

Children actively seek out activities that provide sensory stimulus, these activities vary according to which sense that is over- or under-sensitive. When looking at someone’s sensory challenges it is always recommended to consult an Occupational Therapist.

VESTIBULAR
UNDER-SENSITIVE (include)

  • Swinging, rocking or spinning to get sensory input
Help - Activities that can help include using swings, seesaws and roundabouts.

OVER-SENSITIVE (include)
  • Finding it difficult to play sport where movements need to be controlled 
  • Finding it difficult to carry out activities when the head is not upright or feet are off the ground 
Help - Breaking down activities into more manageable steps.

PROPRIOCEPTION
UNDER-SENSITIVE (include)
  • Being unable to understand/judge personal space 
  • May bump into things 
Help – Positioning furniture to make it easier to get through a room. Teaching the person to stand at arm’s length.

OVER-SENSITIVE (include)
  • Having difficulty with fine motor skills 
  • Moving entire body to look at something 
Help – Introduce fine motor activities, posting items, lacing etc.

EXTERNAL SENSES
SIGHT
UNDER-SENSITIVE
(include)
  • Poor depth of perception, problems with judging curbs, steps, throwing and catching 
  • Peripheral vision good but blurred central vision 
Help – Coloured lenses (limited research http://researchautism.net/interventions/2/coloured-filters-and-autism/Future%20Research) and visual supports.

OVER-SENSITIVE (include)
  • Distorted vision – bright lights can seem to jump around 
  • Easier to focus on the detail rather than the whole. 
  • Difficulty getting to sleep as sensitive to light 
Help – Making changes to the environment, reduction of fluorescent lights, blackout curtains, creating a work space with dividers to block out distractions.


HEARING
UNDER-SENSITIVE
(include)
  • May not notice some sounds 
  • Could enjoy noisy, crowded places 
Help – Visual supports to accompany verbal communication. Try to include activities during the day that they enjoy so that sensory needs are met.

OVER-SENSITIVE (include)
  • Unable to cut out background noise leading to reduced concentration 
  • Noise can seem louder that they are 
Help – Reducing external sounds, closing doors and windows. Letting the person listen to soothing sounds.


SMELL

UNDER-SENSITIVE (include)
  • Some people have no sense of smell (includes their own odour) 
  • Some people can lick things  
Help – Create routines around washing. Use strong smelling products to distract people from smelling inappropriate items (faeces).

OVER-SENSITIVE
  • Smells can be too strong. People can dislike certain shampoos, soaps, perfumes etc 
Help – Use unscented household products and avoid wearing perfumes.


TASTE
UNDER-SENSITIVE
(include)
OVER-SENSITIVE (include)
  • Some foods are too strong tasting 
  • May only eat certain textures of food 
Help – People can limit themselves to bland or spicy foods. There is no problem with this is they have a varied diet. This however, may not be the problem and you would need to look at over eating and restricted diets http://www.autism.org.uk/about/health/eating.aspx. (consult a dietician).


TOUCH
UNDER-SENSITIVE
(include)
Help – Weighted products, blankets, lap pads etc. Offer safe chewing aids.

OVER-SENSITIVE
  • Does not like wearing socks and shoes 
  • Intolerant of certain types of clothing 
  • May find touch painful 
Help - Remove tags, turn clothing inside out, gradually introduce different textures.

Information and links regarding sensory issues can be found at:
National Autism Society Website 
Autism Helpline: 08088 004104

Challenging Behaviour Foundation Website