THE IMPORTANCE OF A SENSORY DIET FOR CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: UNDERSTANDING SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER AND IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES FOR INCLUSION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES IN THE GENERAL EDUCATION CLASSROOM
Autism is steadily increasing and recent research suggests that children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will benefit from a sensory diet incorporated into their daily routine in order to function at their highest potential. Furthermore, due to the least restrictive environment requirements, general education teachers will encounter an increased number of children with ASD in collaborative classrooms. Since children with ASD benefit from alternative strategies to satisfy their processing needs due to a dysfunctional nervous system, it is necessary for general education teachers to familiarize themselves with stereotypical ASD characteristics. Furthermore, general education teachers will need to implement alternative strategies in collaborative settings to satisfy students with ASD sensory processing needs. With the implementation of evidence-based strategies, anxiety and sensory overload in children with ASD can be curbed significantly which will allow for more productive learning to take place in academic settings. Such techniques will allow children with disabilities to experience a decrease of behavioral outbursts in social settings which will lessen stress, and promote a more productive experience in the classroom. Therefore, the general education teacher will need to accommodate children with ASD sensory needs in order to; effectively develop their motor skills, have a more positive impact on academics, and to be better understood when interacting with the general population.
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory processing, sensory integration, evidence-based strategies, ASD characteristics.
Year Manuscript Completed
Senior Project Advisor
Dr. Jennifer Williams Luttrell
Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree
Field of Study
Thesis - Murray State Access only
OBrien, Alison, "THE IMPORTANCE OF A SENSORY DIET FOR CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: UNDERSTANDING SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER AND IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES FOR INCLUSION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES IN THE GENERAL EDUCATION CLASSROOM" (2017). Integrated Studies. 116.