A key challenge for schools with pupils who have profound disabilities is to educate and develop the pupil using equipment that is available to them. A profoundly disabled pupil learns in a completely different way to a pupil with mild disabilities or no disabilities. Proprioceptive senses process information from our muscles, joints, and other body parts to provide us with an unconscious awareness of the position of our body parts in relation to each other, other people and objects. The Vestibular sense puts balance into our lives. It provides information about movement, gravity, and changing head positions. It tells whether we’re moving or we’re still, as well as the direction and speed of our movement. We can even tell if we are vertical or horizontal—even with our eyes closed. Combining the development of both Proprioceptive and Vestibular senses, Sensory Integration activities can assist in developing the ability to process this information and help to treat dyspraxia, vestibular disorders and balancing problems.
The approach to using the Sensory Room is generally non-directive, without the need for intellectual or verbally mediated activity in terms of following instructions or rules, and regular exposure seems to be more effective. Essentially, one would allow the user of the space the time and opportunity to experience at their own pace what the room has to offer.
One may not use or activate immediately all equipment that the room has available, but gradually introduce more of the sensory stimulation, allowing the cues given by the student to guide the teacher. The time in the Sensory Room should be student-focused, with the wishes of that individual determining the activity.