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Guide to Teaching Children with Sensory Developmental Delay

Updated on September 29, 2012

Development Delays Can Affect Children in Many Ways

When a child’s development does not meet the normal ranges for his or her age, developmental delay can be said to have affected the child. Developmental delay can happen in different areas and the four most common are:

  • Language
  • Motor skills
  • Visual or spatial
  • Sensory

Language, motor skills, and problems with visual or spatial delays can all be developed with constant practice. Encouraging a child to talk and encouraging the need to express every action even during play can help to develop language skills. Motor skills also require constant practice and repeating movements constantly can help to develop motor skills. Encouraging a child to play hide and seek games or treasure hunts can help develop spatial skills. In sensory developmental delay the child will have difficulty modulating the senses and may react excessively or not at all to sounds, light, touch.

All these areas of developmental delay can affect the learning process and make it difficult for a child when they start going to school.

Sensory Developmental Delay

Children suffering from sensory developmental delay will have nervous systems that are not able to process the inputs from the senses and are less responsive to sensations. As a result this child will wait for a longer time before response or seek to make those more intensive. They would therefore enjoy very loud sounds. They would indulge in unsafe behavior because it is taking them longer to understand danger. They may be hyperactive and unaware of pain or touch others aggressively.

Every child who has such a disability can develop physically mentally, emotionally, and socially throughout their life. It is only likely that such development may take a little longer and would require expert guidance and the necessary backing of a teaching structure and family involvement.

Parents, family members, and teachers can help such children to learn by continually using language that the child is able to understand. Let the child have a little extra time to learn any new skills and encourage the practice of them constantly. Tasks must be explained in a step by step method; each step being as simple as possible. Daily routines that the child has to perform must be predictable. The teaching style must constantly involve the child to touch and listen with the help of audio visual aids and other means. The child must be made to participate in activities with other children. The expectations from the children must be realistic and consistent without being too demanding.

Early diagnosis of developmental delay is very important as the longer period that correct interventions would have would help the child and give sufficient time to develop the necessary skills and compensate for any deficiencies. Other therapies like Speech Training, Movement Therapy, and Neuro-feedbackcan help the child to stimulate the senses to achieve the necessary development.


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