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Why Sensory Activities for Autism Students:
Children with autism often have difficulties in processing sensory information. This is one of the causes for behaviors such as spinning, rocking, biting, and often, tantrums. Sensory activities help children calm down, and learn. They also improve the sensory processing systems, which is an important aspect of autism interventions. Therefore, including sensory activities into your classroom schedule is very important when you have children with autism in the class.
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Role of the Teacher in Sensory Activities:
The teacher has a number of roles to play during sensory activities. Initially, the teacher provides the materials and the opportunity to engage in the activity. Then, the teacher has to motivate, and encourage the child to perform the activity. The child may be afraid of doing it, and the teacher may need to do it with the child and help them do the activity. The teacher also needs to modify the activity according to the child, so that it can be tolerated by the child. Most of all, the teacher needs to portray that the activity is fun and enjoyable.
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Sensory Preschool Activities for Autism Students:
Obstacle course: Incorporate a variety of physical activities into the obstacle course. Crawling under a tunnel, steps, walking on a balance board, walking on sand or pillows are some ideas.
Stuffed toys: Playing with stuffed toys is another good sensory activity. Place a large number of stuffed toys in the center of the room. Children can hug them, lie on them, touch them and play with them.
Therapy ball massage: In this activity, the child is asked to lie on the floor. Press a therapy ball ( Swiss ball) gently on the child’s body, starting from the feet to the chest.
Caught in the tunnel: The child is made to sit in the middle of the room, a large sheet is placed on the child. The child has to crawl out of the tunnel.
Mud balls: Here the children make mud balls in the sand pit. At the end of the time, they crush their mud balls one by one.
Animal sounds: Here, the teacher shows a card with the picture of an animal. The entire class first practices making the sound of the animal. Then they practice doing an action to imitate the animal.
Rolling Game: Get the children to roll from one side of the classroom to another. Doing this activity on the grass is even better.
Wheel barrow race: Get some older children to help you with this game. The older child holds the feet of the younger child. The younger child uses his or her hands to "walk". The pair which reaches the end first wins.
Create your own sensory preschool activities for autism students like these. Try to incorporate the various senses- vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch into your activities. All The Best!!