A Student’s Struggles in the Classroom
Recently we spoke with the parent of a first-grade student who’s school received a sensory path at the beginning of the current school year. She wanted to share how much The Sensory Path has changed her son’s academic experience.
The school year had been extremely difficult for her son. Due to a last-minute cross-country move a week before school started, and the arrival of a new baby in the family, this student was experiencing significant changes all at once.
Over the course of the school day, this student would get in trouble multiple times. It seemed that almost every day his teacher would send home a note saying, “He refused to follow directions,” or “He ran down the hallway screaming because he didn’t want to sing in music class,” or “He got frustrated on the worksheet so he tore it up.”
Every day there is a new complaint and every day a new punishment for her son. These parents were so confused by their son’s behavior because at home he was a perfect child. He hardly ever got in trouble and always followed their directions. There were never any emotional outbursts of the same caliber the school was reporting.
The behavior exhibited by this student at school was a classic example of sensory seeking behavior. Because of all the changes at home and moving to a new city, this student was simply overwhelmed and didn’t have the language skills to express those feelings. It also didn’t help that because he consistently had emotional outbursts and was difficult to teach, his teacher quickly became frustrated with him as well.
Children are very intuitive and know when they’re disappointing someone. This student was able to pick up on his teacher’s frustration with him, which only made him even more overwhelmed! The teacher really needed a tool to help both of them communicate better. Since this student was exhibiting sensory seeking behavior, she should have had access to a Sensory Path to help calm the student down as he got overwhelmed.
Now that the school has two sensory paths for the students, this child has experienced a complete 180-degree change in his performance. When the student feels overwhelmed and frustrated, he can simply ask his teacher for a sensory break and take a visit to The Sensory Path. After using it, he feels refreshed and ready to go back into the classroom. This student has gone from barely passing his classes and being able to attend a full day of school without getting in trouble to transforming into a star student. The notes sent home after The Sensory Path read, “He did amazing today!” or “He’s moved up another reading level,” or “He scored 100% on his math and spelling tests this week!”