Benefits of Recess for Students with Sensory Processing Disorder Dr. Pamela Randall , Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Education Programs @NCI, Longwood University Matthew D. Lucas , Ed.D., Professor of Physical and Health Education, Longwood University

Hailey Lynch , Longwood University Undergraduate Student Hope Willingham , Longwood University Undergraduate Student

Introduction Recess provides an important time for students to form relationships with others and learn about themselves. In the following sections, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) will be discussed in depth. First, SPD will be defined, and its prevalence will be noted. According to the DSM-V, the classification of the disorder will then be presented, followed by the legal aspects in regards to SPD and special education law. Characteristics of the disorder will then be addressed, followed by a discussion on the social and physical benefits that recess provides to students with sensory integration. Lastly, a description of basic recess modifications to assist SPD students to thrive will be suggested. Definition and Prevalence of Sensory Processing Disorder The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) as “a condition in which a child has difficulties receiving and responding to sensory information, such as seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching” (CDC,

2019, p.1). Sensory processing disorder affects 5 to 16 percent of children (University of California San Francisco, 2013, p.1). This means in a class of 20 students; statistically, one-three children may have this disorder. The cause of the disorder is unknown. According toMiller et al. (2007), SPDcan be subdivided into three groups: Modulation Disorder (SMD), Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD), and Sensory-Based Motor Disorder (SBMD). The following chart by Miller et al. (2007) outlines these subsets. DSM-V - Classification Dilemma As noted earlier, SPD symptoms in children are “impairments in the accurate reception and registering of stimuli, differentiation of stimulus intensity, and adequate reactivity to stimulation” (CDC, 2019, p.1). Subtypes of SPD are categorized as one of the following three: Sensory Over-Responsivity, Sensory Under-Responsivity, and Sensory Seeking (Borkowska, 2017). However, based on the meta-analysis of Borkowska (2017), it is challenging to isolate SPD as a singular diagnosis, and that it is most often linked to another diagnosis, most commonly Autism.

Sensory processing disorders


DSM-V - Classification Dilemma

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