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Dogsthorpe Academy

Sensory & Physical

Sensory needs, which can be hearing loss and/or visual impairment or sensory processing difficulties and physical difficulties, can occur for a variety of reasons, e.g. congenital conditions (some progressive), injury or disease. The important consideration in this area is the degree to which the difficulties impact on a child’s or young person’s ability to access educational opportunities.

We use the Occupational Therapy Toolkit from the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire therapist to help with handwriting, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, posture and visual perception to help pupils progress if they find these areas difficult. As a parent you also have access to use this resource at home. Click here to view the toolkit. 

Different forms of Sensory and Physical Difficulties

Hearing Loss

  • Hearing loss can be sensorineural, conductive or mixed
  • The levels of hearing loss are mild, moderate, severe or profound.

What is it like to have to read lips? Click here to understand what it is like for some of our pupils. 

Vision Loss

  • Visual impairment is an eye condition that cannot be fully corrected by glasses or contact lenses
  • The levels of vision are mild, moderate, severe or profound. 


Multisensory Impairment

  • Multisensory impairment occurs when there is a hearing loss and visual impairment, which are both educationally significant, although they may be at different levels.

Sensory Processing Difficulty

  • Our bodies and the environment send our brain information through our senses.  We process and organise this information so that we feel comfortable and secure. When a child has difficulty coping with these demands, they may have sensory processing difficulties.
  • A child may be under-sensitive or over-sensitive in the 5 areas:
    • Proprioception
    • Vestibular
    • Auditory
    • Oral Sensory
    • Tactile 

Physical Difficulty

  • Physical/medical injures can be for a variety of reasons, eg congenital conditions (some progressive), injury or disease.
    • A child with a physical difficulty may have a diagnosed medical condition which affects them physically. There may be an undiagnosed condition where the child presents with delayed development or impairment with their physical ability and/or presentation.
More resources:

The sensory and physical support service: