Facilitating Sensory Processing Development (SB:SP)

Topics covered in this course include: typical development of sensory processing skills, assessment of sensory processing development, indicators of common disabilities related to sensory processing, service planning to address needs in sensory processing development, and evidence-based intervention strategies.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe terminology, components, and typical aspects of sensory processing development in young children.
  • Identify indicators and characteristics of common disability conditions related to sensory processing dysfunction.
  • Discuss tools and practices appropriate for evaluation and assessment of sensory processing development.
  • Develop functional, relationship-based outcomes based on the needs identified through an assessment of sensory processing development.
  • Describe appropriate, evidence-based intervention practices that may be used to address developmental needs in sensory processing.

Topics Covered in Each Two-Week Lesson Cycle

Weeks 1-2: Development of Sensory Processing Skills

  • The seven sensory systems
  • Motor performance: body awareness, discrimination, bilateral coordination, and praxis
  • Sensory regulation: arousal and self-regulation
  • Sensorimotor milestones in the first three years

Weeks 3-4: Red Flags, Common Disabilities, and Referrals

  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Red flags and reasons for concern within each sensory system and related to motor performance and praxis
  • When to refer for evaluation of sensory processing development
  • Impact of specific disabilities on sensory processing skill development

Weeks 5-6: Essentials of Assessment of Sensory Processing

  • Personnel qualified to assess sensory processing development
  • Review of relationship-based, authentic assessment
  • Formal and informal tools and practices to assess sensory processing development
  • Family-friendly reporting
  • Interpretation of assessment results for service planning (IFSP)

Weeks 7-8: Outcomes, Services, and Coordination

  • Determining functional and relationship-based child and family outcomes
  • Writing complete, functional outcome statements to address sensory processing concerns
  • Natural environment service options for activities that support sensory processing development

Weeks 9-10: Intervention Strategies to Work With Children and Their Families

  • Promotion-level resources to support sensory development in all young children
  • Prevention-level resources and strategies to support sensory processing development in young children at-risk for delays or disabilities
  • Elements of intervention and treatment for sensory processing disorders
  • Criteria for selecting personnel qualified to provide intervention services for sensory processing needs
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