Thesis

Sensory awareness in the classroom: early childhood teacher's workshop on sensory processing disorder (SPD)

This thesis project explores the concept of atypical sensory patterns as displayed in unusual behaviors of young children, particularly, in the case of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), defined as the impairments in the neurological process of recognizing, modulating, interpreting, and responding to sensory stimulus (Miller, Coll, & Schoen, 2007). The prevalence of SPD in the U.S child population is 5%-10% (Ahn, Miller, Milberger, & McIntosh, 2004). The current thesis project explores the development, implementation, and evaluation of a 2 hour workshop for early childhood educators in their understanding of SPD and related sensory challenges. Twenty first-semester Early Childhood Education graduate students attended a workshop and evaluated its content and structural components. Overall evaluations indicated that 85% of participants reported that the workshop's information was'very useful' identifying the content, detailed classroom examples (and pictures), and the resources provided to be the strength of the presentation. The implications for research and continued professional development for early childhood professionals is discussed.

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