Skill Base

The SKILL BASE courses provide content to help Early Start providers support development within specific developmental domains and for children with specific disability conditions.

Facilitating Sensory Processing Development

Topics covered in this course include: typical development of sensory processing skills, assessment of sensory processing development, indicators of common disabilities related to sensory processing, service planning to address needs in sensory processing development, and evidence-based intervention strategies.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe terminology, components and typical aspects of sensory processing development in young children.
  • Identify indicators and characteristics of common disability conditions related to sensory processing dysfunction.
  • Discuss tools and practices appropriate for evaluation and assessment of sensory processing development.
  • Develop functional, relationship-based outcomes based on the needs identified through an assessment of sensory processing development.
  • Describe appropriate, evidence-based intervention practices that may be used to address developmental needs in sensory processing.

Course Content Week-by-Week

Week 1-2: Development of Sensory Processing Skills

  • The seven sensory systems
  • Motor performance: body awareness, discrimination, bilateral coordination and praxis
  • Sensory regulation: arousal and self-regulation
  • Sensorimotor milestones in the first three years

Week 3-4: Red Flags, Common Disabilities and Referrals

  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Red flags and reasons for concern within each sensory system and related to motor performance and praxis
  • When to refer for evaluation of sensory processing development
  • Impact of specific disabilities on sensory processing skill development

Week 5-6: Essentials of Sensory Processing Development Assessment

  • Personnel qualified to assess sensory processing development
  • Review of relationship-based, authentic assessment
  • Formal and informal tools and practices to assess sensory processing development
  • Family-friendly reporting
  • Interpretation of assessment results for service planning (IFSP)

Week 7-8: Outcomes, Services and Coordination

  • Determining functional and relationship-based child and family outcomes
  • Writing complete, functional outcome statements to address sensory processing concerns
  • Natural environment service options for activities that support sensory processing development

Week 9-10: Intervention Strategies to Work with Children and Their Families

  • Promotion-level resources to support sensory development in all young children
  • Prevention-level resources and strategies to support sensory processing development in young children at-risk for delays or disabilities
  • Elements of intervention and treatment for sensory processing disorders
  • Criteria for selecting personnel qualified to provide intervention services for sensory processing needs
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