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Woodlands Special School in Blackpool caters for pupils aged 2 – 18 with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). The pupils’ needs are met through the adaptive and personalised curriculum but some children express extreme difficulty with sensory modulation.  This occurs when the brain either over or under responds to sensory information and impacts on the pupil’s ability to learn and function in everyday life, leading to anger, frustration or anxiety.

A sensory ‘diet’ consists of structured movement based activities, which gets the muscles and body moving in an organised way. The ‘diet’ can help with modulation difficulties but needs to be followed by ‘heavy work’ or ‘pressure and touch’ activities. This regulates the body, preventing harmful behaviours like biting and head banging. ‘Heavy work’ and ‘pressure and touch’ activities can be facilitated by weighted items like blankets, shoulder wraps or wrist and ankle weights or by pressure vests and sensory hug shirts. There is a large variety of these items available and Woodlands School need a wide selection to trial with each pupil for the best results and as their needs change.

MedEquip4Kids have agreed to fundraise for twenty different weighted and pressure items which will make a huge difference to the pupils’ learning experience.

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“The switch adapted toys have been a wonderful addition to our school. Both staff and children were thrilled to have some new exciting resources. The children love the lights and movement many of these switch toys have and are highly motivated to explore and investigate how to make them work. They have been great for pupils to develop their understanding of cause and effect and we have also noticed improved concentration and engagement when using them. Often it can be difficult to find toys that are robust enough to withstand lots of heavy use AND be interesting and fun. These new resources tick all those boxes. They have made a noticeable impact on the children’s development in this area.”

Sophie Martindale
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Acorns Primary School, Lancashire

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