Senses and Sensibilities: An Inside View on Recognizing and Supporting Individuals with Sensory Issues

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: Senses and Sensibilities: An Inside View on Recognizing and Supporting Individuals with Sensory Issues
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education, Special Education, Learning Difficulties & Disability
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation
Stephen Shore, Adelphi University of New York, United States


The inclusion of sensory issues in the narrative of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), suggests greater formal recognition of sensory processing dysfunction as a characteristic of the autism spectrum. Following a brief introduction of the presenter, the workshop opens with an activity giving participants a sense (pun intended) of what sensory overload may feel like to a person on the autism spectrum. Focus then turns to the neurology of sensory processing and how dysfunction contributes to sensory issues that many on the autism spectrum experience. Using personal examples from the presenter, others on the autism spectrum, and case studies, the next portion of the presentation examines what teachers, social workers, professionals in allied fields, and others supporting those with autism will notice when sensory processing dysfunction occurs for an individual in school, at home, at work, and in the community. These observations are followed by easy to implement, practical solutions for developing accommodations to help these individuals regulate their sensory system. The workshop ends with a review of the numerous books, DVDs, equipment, and assessment instruments such as the Sensory Profile by Winnie Dunn and Catana Brown that exist for helping to support a person with autism in determining a person’s sensory profile in order to develop appropriate accommodations and treatment for ameliorating sensory issues.

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