This PreK/PPCD teacher needs HELP!

I have a new student with SPD. She will be going into kindergarten next year. She has been in class with us almost 4 weeks (it is a half day program), and her first rough day was just yesterday, so it would appear things have been going well so far.

Here are some scenarios: she pushed some kids in line after recess. I know that can be sensory driven. But when I asked what happened, she says she wanted to be at the front of the line and they would not move. Or, she is playing with manipulatives and grabs all of them away from the other child because she wants them all. When I speak to mom, she says that's what happens when her sensory needs aren't being met.

Our schedule has active, calm, singing, dancing, jobs that include heavy work.... We do squeezes, hugs, stretches, jumping, theraputty. One day, she brought a chewy necklace, wore it to the room and asked to put it in her backpack.

I understand the need for input includes pushing, etc. but if the function of the pushing is to be the leader, or the grabbing is to have all the toys, how is that NOT behavioral and typical in PreK? Anything that happens, her mom says it is sensory. I don't want to discount that. I just need to know- are the things I described happening bc her sensory needs aren't met?

Any ideas for how I can help her be successful? To me, much of what is happening is typical of 4 year old kids.

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May 11, 2015
SPD kindergartener
by: Jane Dough

I'm not an expert, just a mom of two boys, one with SPD who's in 5th grade now.

Lines are huge hot spots for many sensory kids. The chaos of little children plus the sounds and the close proximity can just be too much.

Can you line them up against a wall, so the child has something solid to lean against, grounding her? Can you line up where they can sit down on the ground (not dirt or concrete, also sensory triggers)? Can you assign this child as the line leader or caboose? Can you give her something to carry, preferably something kind of heavy, like a box of school supplies? Can you assign a helper (parent or aide) to stand near the child so she can lean on someone safe? Can she chew gum or carry a large stuffed animal? Anything to minimize the chaos helps.

I look forward to other answers. Good luck!

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