White Ash School

Complex Sensory Needs

Some of our children who have a diagnosis of Autism or have complex sensory needs struggle to regulate and interpret sensory inputs. This can often lead to withdrawal, distress or a display of challenging behaviours. These can create a barrier to learning for these children.


Addressing these sensory issues often results in increased engagement with the curriculum and improves learning experiences; along with greater opportunities in school and at home.


Children who have sensory difficulties benefit from a sensory diet programme, which is carefully planned to match the personal needs of each individual child throughout the school day.

A sensory diet can include activities linked with the following sensory inputs:

  • Proprioception - the sense though which we perceive the position and movement of our body, including our sense of equilibrium and balance
  • Vestibular - the sensory system that provides the leading contribution to the sense of balance and spatial orientation
  • Tactile                                                           
  • Auditory
  • VIsual
  • Smell
  • Taste

Activities included in sensory diets                                                        

  • Deep Pressure
  • Trampolining
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Sensory Processing
  • Squeeze Machine
  • Chewy Chews
  • Weighted Blankets/Rucksacks
  • Fun With Food (fussy eaters)
  • Tactile Desensitisation
  • Fun With Food (food sensitivity)