Sensory Sensitivities on the School Bus
Kudos to the School Transportation News Expo for bringing in an Occupational Therapist to educate their staff about Sensory Processing Disorder and its effect on children riding the school bus. We are SO THRILLED to see awareness building! http://www.stnonline.com/home/latest-news/2562-sensory-sensitivities-on-the-school-bus
"Sue Shutrump, an occupational therapist for the Trumbull County (Ohio)
Educational Service Center, gave attendees a better understanding of how loud
noises and the slightest touch can send some students over the edge and create a
difficult experience for themselves and their students.
By understanding how
some students might react to sudden sounds or even the slightest physical
contact, drivers can structure a bus environment that suits everyone’s needs.
But it is not always an over-response to stimuli that drivers must worry about.
Some forms of Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD, affect children in a way that
causes them to have an almost insatiable desire for sensory stimulation. This
can cause hyperactivity, as they seek further stimulation, or even pain, as they
may be unaware of the pain as a result of SPD.
“Before they board the bus,
have them do some heavy work like chair pushes or push-ups against the wall”
said Shutrump during a workshop at the STN EXPO on July 25.
possible, Shutrump suggests making connections between successful sensory
experiences in the classroom or at home with those on the school bus. The use of
pictures to explain the rules can also help drive the point home to students.
But one of the most important tips was to make sure you never just tell a
student to “get over it.”
“With one student, we brought the safety vest into
the classroom, took photos of him wearing it, let the other students touch it
and then created a picture book explaining the procedure for him,” said
Shutrump. “Pretty soon, every student in the class wanted a ‘special vest’ too.” "