Sensory disorders in children; Classroom management--United States; School children; Primary school teaching


The purpose of this project was to provide general education teachers at Evergreen Primary in University Place, Washington with sensory strategy resources to support the use of Whole Body Listening (Sautter & Wilson, 2011) in the classroom. Whole Body Listening was developed as part of the Social Thinking curriculum by Michelle Garcia Winner and is a program that teaches how to actively listen with all parts of the body (Think Social Publishing, 2008) and is used as a school-wide program at Evergreen Primary. After initial implementation of the program, teachers reported that some students had challenges implementing the strategies due to difficulties with sensory processing. The school was given commercially available resources for addressing sensory strategies in the classroom and a guide for using the resources, including supporting research. An in-service provided teachers with background information regarding sensory processing challenges as well as available resources and strategies that could be used to support the implementation of Whole Body Listening. Resources and strategies were tailored to specific classroom behaviors identified by teachers in a survey prior to the in-service. After the in-service, 88% of participants reported increased knowledge of sensory processing challenges and knowledge of strategies that may support student learning. As a result of this project, student learning may improve as teachers use sensory strategies in their classrooms in conjunction with Whole Body Listening.

First Advisor

Yvonne Swinth, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Second Advisor

Tatiana Kaminsky, PhD, OTR/L

Date of Completion

Spring 2013

Degree Type







Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

Date of Award



Occupational Therapy


University of Puget Sound