Some of the great feedback we have received from people who have participated in our Sensory Regulation activities...
How has this project made a difference to the children we have worked with?
It has taught them to work together, and listen better.
I found that the children have really come out of their shell as a result of this project.
It has built their confidence massively.
It has allowed us as staff to learn new strategies to help children regulate their emotions.
The children have responded well to the strategies used.
The children enjoyed the sessions and it started to give them an idea of "feeling just right". They request a "Frube" and a straw when they are unregulated.
This has made the children express how they are feeling.
How has this project made a difference to other children?
Calming strategies have helped.
One child in particular used to find it hard to find the confidence to take part in activities. This project has been extremely beneficial in that respect.
It has allowed us as staff to look at the bigger picture as to why children behave in a certain way and study methods to help them.
Others have been made aware of what we could do when feeling "off". They are more aware of feeling hungry or needing a calm space.
It has developed a calm learning environment.
Do the children involved in the project think it has helped them? What makes you think this?
The children looked forward to each session, it provided a calm, quiet environment.
The children were keen to attend the sessions and will look independently for sensory support tools.
Breathing techniques and asking them questions when they are distressed has helped a lot.
How has this project made a difference to you - personally or professionally?
It has shown me different strategies and activities which are beneficial to the children.
It has helped build my knowledge on how using sensory regulation benefits the children with additional needs.
Professionally, it has made me look at children in a different way and be more empathetic to their behaviour. Personally, as a parent of a 3 year-old, it has helped me manage her tantrums in a more calming manner and help regulate her emotions.
Increased awareness of children's differing sensory needs.
It has been a massive "eye-opener" to learn about co-regulation, self-regulation and the different things we can do to help. Personally it has made a positive impact at home, understanding my children's behaviours (we have introduced the "same room to talk" rule).
I now know how to deal with situations that would normally be out of my comfort zone.
How has this project made a difference to your class?
There have been fewer emotional issues.
All children like accessing the new resources and we have introduced foods at the start of the session to help them regulate as they come in.
It has linked well to our Think equal / Emotions chart. We use these strategies to stay "in the green".
More time gets spent on all the children. We now have new strategies in class.
How has this project made a difference to the staff or the school?
We have learned about Sensory Regulation and different strategies that will meet a pupil's needs.
It has given the children who were included in the project something to look forward to.
Staff now think differently about why a child may be upset or behaving in a certain way and can manage it more effectively.
The staff have a greater awareness of children's sensory needs.
Staff following the training are more aware of the challenges children face and why they behave in certain ways. It has made staff more aware of terms they use around the children and they are more ready to try different things to regulate.
More understanding on sensory regulation, with useful strategies and how to deal with situations.
Has anything surprised or inspired you?
We learned that Sensory Regulation has had a positive effect on the children.
The project has inspired me to use different ways and approaches with children when they may be having a "meltdown".
How well the children have responded. They were very clear about their own likes & dislikes during the sessions.
I was surprised at the impact that food has on the children. We now put out toast, cheese, yoghurt and drinks daily. Also, the impact of rocking / swinging. I have been inspired to learn more about this and have been thinking of ways to make it work in class.
This has inspired me, and I now know that food and toys can help children regulate. This will help me throughout my career in school.
How do you plan to continue the work or build on it?
Continue with activities and strategies in an appropriate area of the school.
Continue to use the strategies I have learnt from doing this project.
Continue to provide a range of opportunities for children to regulate using the different strategies.
We are continuing to give the children breakfast, access to regulating resources / foodstuffs such as the quiet den, yoghurt, ice pops, crisps, trye swing, etc. I would like to build on the regulating points around the class & school (e.g. markings on floor, sensory routes, etc.).
I want to research more and carry this throughout all other classes I work in.
In an ideal world, what would you see as the next steps?
Learn new strategies that meet the children's needs as they grow older.
Sensory circuits in corridors for continuous access.
I'd love to be able to ensure that regulation tools / resources are available to all as they move through school. It is also important to educate parents too about trauma and regulation to enable them to become cycle-breakers. I'd like to know more about how to adapt ideas into large group situations / settings. I have a personal interest in adapting the regulation strategies for pupils with ALN (particularly ASD).
I would like to see strategies to help a lot more children in the class.
What sort of things do you think families would like to learn more about?
Workshops on trauma / ACEs so they understand the impact on what they say / do and what has happened.
Practical / low-cost ideas to help at home
How to get funding for resources
This work has been made possible by an award from Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.