Sensory Processing: An Integral Part of Classroom Planning and Activities
Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
Talking about sensory characteristics of students has gotten very popular in recent years. In this session we will explore the key features of sensory patterns; then we will discuss how you might notice behaviors that indicate students’ and teachers’ preferences in a classroom culture. We will also discover the sensory characteristics of classrooms and activities to begin to appreciate the importance of matching strategies with sensory patterns within the school routines for all students.
Dr. Dunn is a Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education at the University of Kansas. She is an internationally known expert for her studies about sensory processing in everyday life and has worked in public schools and early intervention programs for more than 4 decades. She has published more than 100 research articles, book chapters and books, and has spoken around the world about her work. She is the author/ coauthor of all of the Sensory Profile measures, which capture people’s responses to sensory events in everyday life; these assessments have been translated into dozens of languages and are used for both professional practice and in research programs. She has received the top honors in her field, including the Award of Merit for outstanding overall contributions, and the Eleanor Clark Slagle Lectureship for outstanding academic contributions; she is a member of the Academy of Research for the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and has received the A. Jean Ayres research award. She has also received awards for innovative and engaging teaching, including the Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Kemper Teaching Fellowship and in 2011 she received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professorship from the University of Kansas. She has written a book for the public about her research entitled Living Sensationally understanding your senses, which has been featured in Time magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, Canadian Public Radio and the London Times newspaper among others. In July 2009, Living Sensationally received the Seal of Excellence from the Children of the New Earth magazine for parents, professionals and other caregivers.