Sensory Activities for Students with Multiple Disabilities
By: Carmen Willings
October 29, 2017
The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments can work with a student to help them develop efficient use of their vision for visually attending to their environment, shifting their gaze between materials presented and visual pursuit of objects and people. These skills will help prepare a student for learning as well as prepare them for safe and efficient travel.
Objective: The student will regard, visually attend to or reach toward objects (ex. Lights, reflective, colorful, etc.). The student will touch a switch to activate an activity (cause & effect).
Decorate the mobile or stand by wrapping miniature lights along the bars in a color the student prefers. Alternate with other colors depending on the student’s ability to tolerate complexity. Consider attaching a fan to a switch and encourage the student to push the switch to blow the materials that are suspended, play a unit related song or turn on the mini lights.
Objective: The student will attend to and follow the movement of objects.
Obtain a switch activated toy or stuffed animal. Encourage the student to activate the switch to make it move while visually attending to it.
Visual Interest Box or Backdrop
Objective: The student will regard or visually attend to lights and reflective materials. The student will touch a switch to activate an activity (cause & effect).
Decorate the box by drilling holes in the box and attaching miniature lights. Suspend reflective materials. Alternatively, suspend lights to the back of an APH Invisiboard and suspend metallic materials. Consider attaching a fan to a switch and encourage the student to push the switch to blow the materials that are suspended and turn on the mini lights.
This presentation provides instructional and communication strategies for working with students with severe and profound disabilities who are functioning between a birth to two-year-old level. It also provides suggestions for setting up sensory environments and creating adapted materials, so the student has activities to interact with no matter what position or area of the room they are in. I share lightbox activities and how to use iPads and computers as instructional tools. Finally, I share functional literacy activities that embed sensory experiences that you can create with your students. The activities are appropriate for the classroom but can also be used during distance learning. This presentation is packed full of activities you can begin using immediately with your students!
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