Interventions for Skill Acquisition

Interventions for Skills Acquisition
Sensory System School Home


Provide textural manipulatives that student is allowed to hold and rub

Place student in front or back of line - never in the middle

Allow student own space in classroom to decrease bumping or accidents with other kids                         

Remove tags from clothing

Use firm touch rather than tickeling

Avoid surprising child with sudden touch


Coordinate with occupational therapist to fit student with weighted/pressure vest

Give student duties which incorporate heavy work - carrying books, pushing carts, etc.

Access to lap bag

Use mechanical pencils to help student regulate writing pressure (lead breaks when student pushes too hard). If student can not learn to regulate pressure, use felt tip pens or pencils with pencil grips

Layer child with tight fitting under layer of clothing like lycra

Encouage participation in sports such as yoga, running and karate

Give deep pressure massages and hugs

Allow child to help with chores that require applying pressure or carrying weight


Allow student to record lecture

Provide outline ahead of lesson

Allow headphones or ear buds

Allow extended response times between questions

Incorporate soothing music into lessons or as background in classroom

Use concise and concrete language

Include tangible, visual items that relate to the lecture

After explaining lesson objectives, write them on board

Warn child before making change to noise level in home by starting loud activities

Keep directives simple - avoid multi-step directions


Allow use of a sit, or therapy ball in the class room

Incorporate movement into classroom lessons

Always allow recess - do not remove it as a punishment

Encourage student to assist teacher using movement - hand out papers, bring a note to the office

Reduce movement before bedtime in order to help sleep

Provide a swing in the yard


Allow student to chew gum

Prepare foods that are familiar

Incorporate enjoyed flavors into many dishes

Provide a straw for all drinks


Eat lunch in classroom rather than the lunchroom

Avoid placing student desk next to garbage can

Use fragrance-free cleaning products in classroom

Avoid wearing perfume or scented body lotions

Use scent-free fabric soap and cleaning products

Avoid trips into areas with strong smells  - mall food courts, candle shops, etc


Create daily picture schedule to guide student

Allow for hat or sunglasses in classroom if lighting is too harsh

Utilize social stories

Provide slant board or easel to prop book or paper

Depending on if student is over or under aroused, decorate classroom accordingly.  Over aroused students to have little visual stimulation on walls and desks.  Under aroused kids benefit from colors, textures, toys in the space

Proper placement of desks and bookshelves to define areas within classroom

Provide sensory-friendly lighting  - avoid harsh, unnatural lighting

Provide visually soothing and interesting items like fish tanks and lava lamps (providing they are not over stimulating to the child)

Provide picture schedules at home to assist with expectations

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