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Developing our services for children with sensory processing difficulties

Sensory processing difficulties word cloud

Parents and carers have told us that our offer for children and young people with sensory processing difficulties does not meet the needs of all children.

Sensory processing is the ability to register, discriminate, adapt and respond appropriately, both emotionally and physically, to sensory input from our bodies and environment. Some children are over responsive or under responsive to sensory input, and this can impact on their daily activities.

Parent/carer representatives, Luton Clinical Commissioning Group, Local Authority and NHS provider services are working together to develop a pathway for children and young people with sensory processing difficulties.

A working group was established in November 2019, including parents and carers, to review and clarify the offer for children and young people presenting with sensory processing difficulties. This group agreed the need for a clearly defined graduated model of response at universal (for everyone), targeted (for some children who need additional support, advice and input) and specialist level.

We have completed an analysis of the sorts of difficulties children and young people present with in relation to sensory processing difficulties and they are complex and varied.

We want to make sure that children and young people receive the most appropriate intervention by the right service(s) at the right time. We recognise that we need a multi-agency (health, education and social care) approach to sensory processing difficulties, due to the wide range of difficulties that children/young people present with.

We are excited to have launched new resources on the local offer for everybody to access

There is a film for parents/carers settings to help to support children with sensory processing difficulties. Bedfordshire and Luton Occupational Therapy service has written an updated version of this film over the summer, and it is being filmed this month. Alongside the film, the team have developed a pack of resources to support parents/carers and settings.

Watch this space…

We have a stakeholder event next week to work with parent/carer representatives and partners across health, education and local authority services, to design the multi-agency response to children and young people with sensory processing difficulties and pathways for accessing specialist support. This workshop was originally scheduled for the spring term, but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to presenting this model for you in the next newsletter.