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Sensory Occupational Therapy

What are Sensory Differences?

Sensory differences can affect children in different ways:

  • Under and over-responding to sensation:Children who under-respond to sensory information may not notice typical levels of sensation. Children who over-respond to sensory information may feel overwhelmed by everyday levels of sensation. 
  • Difficulty making use of sensory information:Some children have difficulty understanding what their senses are telling them e.g. they might find it difficult to tell if they are hungry or thirsty.
  • Moderate coordination difficulties:Children may have difficulties with body awareness and balance. This can lead to difficulties with visual skills, using both sides of the body together and working out the order to complete activities e.g. they may try to put their underpants over their trousers. 
  • Complex coordination difficulties: Children may have difficulties with body awareness, balance and making sense of touch information. This can make it difficult for children to come up with new play and movement ideas and put them into action.

This can cause difficulties in the following areas:

  • Self-care:Washing, dressing, teeth cleaning, hair brushing, toileting.
  • Education:Concentration, remaining seated, handwriting and using classroom resources.
  • Play and Leisure: Coping with busy or noisy environments.
  • Self-regulation: This is our ability to match our energy levels to the situation and what we are doing.

Within Kirklees, we have a specialist team to provide support, advice and assessment with these difficulties.

Best OT experience in 17 years. Knowledgeable, friendly and huge amount of experience. Lots of help in identifying what helps already and also planning to tweak to improve. Gave me both confidence in what I do as a parent for sensory input for my son and helping design an age appropriate sensory diet for an older teen

Within Kirklees, we have a Sensory Occupational Therapy (OT) Service.

Sensory OT's work across Kirklees with children and young people with sensory integration difficulties that are impacting on their development and independence. 

We provide support with:  

We work closely with teachers and other professionals to train and advise those working with the child/young person to understand and recognise their sensory needs. We give advice on making changes to the child’s environment and strategies to meet sensory needs and to help develop independence. 

For children aged 0-19 with sensory integration needs. 

Referral information:

  • Children can be referred via the Locala website using the e-referral form found here (opens in new window)
  • Referrals will be accepted from schools.
  • Please note a sensory audit and sensory passport needs to be attached to the referral, these can be found on the Information for schools section of the  Locala Sensory OT website (opens in new window)
  • Referral is for a consultation meeting with a Sensory Occupational Therapist. A decision will be made regarding what support is needed to meet sensory needs and which agency is best placed to do this.
  • The primary offer is training to upskill adults working with children with sensory needs.
  • The service does not diagnose for dyspraxia. 


Referral criteria:

  • The service accepts referrals for children aged 0 to 19 years in the community presenting with sensory needs affecting their access to education and/or significantly impacting well-being and/or participation in daily activities.
  • A sensory audit and sensory passport has been completed and reviewed.
  • Evidence that sensory strategies in place have not been effective.


Universal Support and training:

The Locala Sensory OT service has produced a series of training videos which explains Sensory needs and how to help

What is Sensory Processing?
The 5 Senses
The Special Senses
Sensory Needs, Activity Levels and Anxiety
Sensory Needs and Sleep
Sensory Needs and Toileting
Sensory Needs, Food Restrictions and Mealtimes
Sensory Needs and Dressing
Last updated: 12/10/2020

Useful links

Local Sensory OT service

Locala Sensory OT service