Our Sensory Systems and Learning

The past few days I have felt really dizzy, not sure why yet.  Today has been the worst of the dizzy days so far.  I feel off balance, every time I move my head I feel a little more light headed, things aren't really spinning around me but if I close my eyes then I start to spin.  I feel like I am in a bubble and things aren't quite clear outside of that bubble around me.  It's a really weird feeling, and I'm sure many of you have felt that way before.

It just got me thinking about our kiddos that are sensitive or over reactive to vestibular movement.  If this is how they feel all the time, I can see how it could make them want to scream or run away (or maybe walk slowly away, running would make me sick right now) and hide in a small dark space where things aren't attacking their senses.

I really just don't want to do anything right now because it makes me even more dizzy.  Have you seen this chart before?'

I like showing this chart to parents to point out that our sensory systems are the foundation of learning.  If our sensory systems are out of whack (like mine is today) then it makes learning very difficult.  As you can see there is a lot that goes into preparing for academic learning as that is the top of the pyramid.   I see a little more clearly why it would be difficult to learn in the state that my sensory system is in today.  

Joy Mano
Utah PLAY Project Home Consultant
Early Intervention Treatment for Children With Autism

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