Yes and no, – lets face it, most kids would rather be out playing in the playground than sitting still inside the classroom in a spelling lesson. But generally, for children to be active participants in the classroom and for them to be present and available to learn what the teacher is trying to teach them – at particular times throughout the school day, they need to be able to sit in one place – without bugging or distracting other kids, and concentrate.
However, for kids with sensory processing difficulties this can be a near impossible task. For someone with sensory processing difficulties it may take all of their effort and concentration just to sit still – not leaving much room or availability to listen to the teacher or her spelling lesson. This doesn’t mean that they are not able to learn strategies to help them sit still and concentrate when they need to , but it does mean that sometimes, they may need some help working out what the most effective (sensory processing) strategies for them might be.
So how do you know if a child needs this outside help or not?? Lots of therapists work on the premise that if a child is having difficulty with certain skills (eg; sitting still and concentrating / listening) , and these difficulties are impacting on his or her ability to engage in their everyday routines and life roles (eg; being an active class participant) – then there is something to work on. So it is the impact the difficulties are having on a child’s function and ability to do the things they want or need to do that is helpful in determining the need for intervention – and whether intervention would have a positive impact or influence on a child’s life or not. Ultimately it is up to parents to decide whether they think their child would benefit from therapy or not, but asking these questions can some times be helpful in that decision making process.