Presentation Title

Sensory Activity Schedule in a Head Start Preschool

Location

Guzman 104

Start Date

4-19-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

4-19-2018 2:15 PM

Department

Occupational Therapy

Student Type

Graduate

Faculty Mentor

Julia Wilbarger, OTR/L Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Sensory integration is a way of taking in sensory information and processing it to produce an appropriate response to the environment (Ayres, 2005). Some children have difficulties dealing with sensory experiences, for example being overly bothered by clothing, which may lead to maladaptive behaviors. These maladaptive behaviors often interfere with their school participation. Sensory integration interventions benefit children by safely providing them with personalized sensory experiences so that they can learn behavioral responses that are appropriate to the situation, more commonly with school participation. Sensory diets are based on principles of sensory integration which organizes the sensory experiences of a child throughout their day to satisfy their sensory needs (Wilbarger, 1995). Sensory activity schedules (SAS) are similar to sensory diets, but may be implemented in classrooms.

The purpose of this research is to implement a SAS at a Head Start preschool classroom that will facilitate improvement in attention during activities. By incorporating principles of sensory integration, the SAS may potentially improve school performance and participation. Shortage of evidence on the effectiveness of sensory diets and its application in school programs prompts further study in this area. The research question states: Does SAS implementation at a Head Start preschool classroom improve on-task behavior as measured by observation and teacher rating? Choosing Head Start, a preschool community serving low income families, is an ideal setting where implementing a SAS as a sensory based intervention may have a positive impact due to the students’ risk of having fewer typical sensory experiences. The family’s socioeconomic status may be a factor that influences the accessibility of having activities and experiences for their children (Case-Smith & O’Brien, 2010). This study will promote awareness and add to the current body of research about sensory diets.

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Apr 19th, 2:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:15 PM

Sensory Activity Schedule in a Head Start Preschool

Guzman 104

Sensory integration is a way of taking in sensory information and processing it to produce an appropriate response to the environment (Ayres, 2005). Some children have difficulties dealing with sensory experiences, for example being overly bothered by clothing, which may lead to maladaptive behaviors. These maladaptive behaviors often interfere with their school participation. Sensory integration interventions benefit children by safely providing them with personalized sensory experiences so that they can learn behavioral responses that are appropriate to the situation, more commonly with school participation. Sensory diets are based on principles of sensory integration which organizes the sensory experiences of a child throughout their day to satisfy their sensory needs (Wilbarger, 1995). Sensory activity schedules (SAS) are similar to sensory diets, but may be implemented in classrooms.

The purpose of this research is to implement a SAS at a Head Start preschool classroom that will facilitate improvement in attention during activities. By incorporating principles of sensory integration, the SAS may potentially improve school performance and participation. Shortage of evidence on the effectiveness of sensory diets and its application in school programs prompts further study in this area. The research question states: Does SAS implementation at a Head Start preschool classroom improve on-task behavior as measured by observation and teacher rating? Choosing Head Start, a preschool community serving low income families, is an ideal setting where implementing a SAS as a sensory based intervention may have a positive impact due to the students’ risk of having fewer typical sensory experiences. The family’s socioeconomic status may be a factor that influences the accessibility of having activities and experiences for their children (Case-Smith & O’Brien, 2010). This study will promote awareness and add to the current body of research about sensory diets.