All aspects of daily life depend on integration of our senses. Sensory impairments can lead to considerable difficulties in children and young people in their day-to-day lives and this may be seen through their behaviour as well as through individual distress.
The holistic approach to children with any form of disability addresses their sensory needs:
- sense of touch
- proprioception – sensing pressure and joint position
- vestibular – balance and position
- sense of smell
Some children need support focused on one of these senses; for example, learning how to manage living in the world with visual impairment.
Children with profound and multiple learning difficulties need considerable support in experiencing different sensations and will benefit from focused sessions involving all the sensory experiences listed above.
Some children may have ‘sensory overload’ and find a busy or noisy classroom atmosphere totally overwhelming. They will benefit from a quiet room where the sensory input is controlled, often by their own use of switches and controls.
The Chamwell Centre will have a quiet room as well as sensory equipment in the hydrotherapy pool. Children are given choices about their environment and helped to understand their needs.