Saturday, July 20, 2013

Anxiety and Sensory Processing

Many teachers and parents often question whether or not students’ behaviors are influenced by anxiety or sensory issues. I feel that there is a thin line when determining one or the other, as they are often so closely intertwined it I hard to truly identify. Students with ADD/ADHD, ASD, and SPDs come to mind when discussing this topic. I teach in an inclusive setting and work with many students who are identified with ADD and ADHD.  It is almost a constant dilemma every year trying to find out what works and what doesn’t-especially when what worked last year doesn’t work this year!

In order to help with sensory or anxiety issues you must understand that punishment and rewards do not work as motivators. This only triggers more stress on the already stressed and over stimulated child. L

It is best to create a schedule for the student that incorporates a sensory diet. In my classroom I have utilized various techniques to help students with anxiety/sensory issues.  

The following is just a few of those techniques:
Mini Trampoline **(Honestly, I get the most use out of this one!)
Movement breaks
Blowing Bubbles
Scheduled Breaks
Fitness Balls
Various Fidgets (squishy balls, bouncy balls, rubber balls)
Body Sock
Weighted Vest
Those glittery bottles (I’m sure you’ve seen them on

There are many techniques that you may or may not work for each student, the important thing to remember is to teach them to understand their body so they can begin to self regulate independently.  Even in the primary grades it is important. Self regulation is a skill students must learn to be a successful community member and functioning adult.

For more ideas on fidgets check out for a free download. J  You won’t want to pass this up!

What are sensory/stress techniques do you utilize with your students in the classroom?.


  1. Hi Desiree! I just found your blog and LOVE these ideas. Thanks for sharing! Any different idea might just be the right one you are looking for for a particular child!
    I'd love to you stop over to my blog if you get a chance!
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    1. Carolyn, I'm glad you fond these ideas helpful. I agree that that each technique is certainly not "One Size Fits All!" Thanks for stopping by!