Part of
Sensory Processing Handbook

The eight senses - guidance for practitioners in Somerset

Our noses pick up information about the odours around us and passes this to our brains.  We discriminate between thousands of different odours to distinguish whether smells are dangerous, strong, faint, pleasurable or foul.  The olfactory system is closely related to our limbic systems which is responsible for our emotions and memory.  The olfactory system is also closely related to our sense of taste.

Hypersensitive

(over-sensitive)

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Potential signsPotential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Negative reactions to smellIssues associated with the avoidance of people or placesThis can be more difficult to work on as it requires a graded desensitising approach with guidance from an appropriate professional
Avoidance of certain environmentsPoor oral or bodily hygieneCreating smelly bags/handkerchiefs with oils which child finds pleasant
Avoids people or places who smell too much such as because of perfumeCareful selection of washing powder and use of perfume etc
Sniffs food before eating

Hyposensitive

(less-reactive)

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Potential signsPotential impactStrategies to assist with learning
Smells everythingAppearing over familiar with peopleCreating smelly bags/boards
Unhygienic practicesSmell sensation activities

Last reviewed:January 13, 2023 byGemma

Next review due:July 13, 2023

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Part of
Sensory Processing Handbook

The eight senses - guidance for practitioners in Somerset

1

Introduction

information on the nature of sensory processing differences and the impact they can have on children and young people's lives

Somerset SEND CharterIntroduction to the guidanceWhat is sensory processing?Sensory processing differences or difficultiesInteroception – the eighth senseChecklists and assessments
2

The sensory system

safe interventions for both children and young people, and groups

TactileProprioceptiveInteroceptiveVestibularVisualAuditoryOlfactoryTaste
3

School approaches

recommendations for creating appropriate learning environments for pupils with sensory processing differences

Whole school approachClassroom strategiesWhat to do if you are concerned a pupil is experiencing sensory processing difficultiesReferring to occupational therapy