Sensory modulation difficulties have a direct affect our attention, emotion and behaviour. Our sensory systems are being bombarded on a daily basis and our ability to filter irrelevant incoming sensory stimulation is imperative for us to function.

Classrooms are rife with stimulation. In the classroom, it is no different as children are needing to filter important information from our 7 senses in order to focus on learning, regulate emotions to maintain a calm and alert state and behave appropriately to be an appreciated part of the classroom team.

Children who have difficulty with sensory modulation over or under respond to sensory input and have difficulty self-regulating. A child will experience great difficulty adjusting to or regulating responses to sensory inputs.

A sensory avoider over responds to sensations from one or more sensory systems. Some sensory avoiders are passive and try to get away from objects or activities that are frightening to them. Other sensory avoiders may become aggressive or forceful in their responses to sensations. Tactile defensiveness is a commonly identified as sensory avoiding.

A sensory seeker craves excess stimulation from one or more of the sensory systems. The child seeks more stimulation that other children. Some sensory seekers crave movement activities like swinging, twirling, jumping etc and will have difficulty sitting still in their chairs. Other sensory seekers may crave sound and make constant noise with their mouths (like humming) or tap their pencils on the desk often distracting the rest of the class. The same sense of craving can be said for all the sensory systems.