Date of Award
Master of Arts in Education
Early Childhood Education
preschool, self-regulation, sensory processing, increased attention
As academic standards continue to increase, young children are often challenged to attend to structured and teacher-directed educational activities for developmentally inappropriate periods of time. In response, there is an increasing awareness of how academic achievement and self-regulation are affected by difficulties in sensory processing. Traditional interventions for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) have primarily been conducted by trained Occupational Therapists (OT) in clinical based settings. This capstone investigated research on possible collaborative interventions and environmental supports and adaptations within the classroom setting that would build self-regulation and attention in all preschool children. The studies reviewed indicated support for a number of strategies that included the use of alternative seating, physical activity breaks, yoga, collaboration with OT’s, and teacher training. Some strategies, such as weighted vests, therapy balls, and direct occupational therapy, garnered mixed results, but there was significant support for the use of interventions to increase self-regulation and attention in preschoolers, especially those at-risk for attention difficulties.