Sensory disorders in children; Classroom environment--United States; Learning--Evaluation; Classroom management--United States; School children


Sensory approaches that are accessible and appropriate for incorporation into the classroom may be a valuable means of providing a learning environment better suited to meet the needs of today’s diverse student body. Up to an estimated 20% of general education students have sensory challenges, leading to over- or under-stimulation, which can result in difficulties with learning and behavior. Evidence-based guidance on implementing alternative seating in the classroom would benefit teachers, who are increasingly held accountable for students’ success. Sensory approaches such as alternative seating have been shown to increase attention and promote self-regulation, leading to improved classroom behavior and academic performance. The purpose of this project was to create a comprehensive manual designed to make implementation of alternative seating feasible for general and special education teachers, potentially leading to improved academic performance in students. Teachers were surveyed to gain an understanding of their needs and inform our manual design and content. The completed manual was piloted to assess content learned and to guide product improvements. The project appeared successful in that all pilot teachers achieved 100% on a follow-up quiz, developing an understanding of alternative seating theory and implementation adequate enough to advocate for and implement methods independently.

First Advisor

Yvonne Swinth, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Date of Completion

Spring 5-2015

Degree Type







Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

Date of Award

Spring 2015


Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound