Helping all children become happy learners

Managing Movement Needs


Individuals with movement (proprioception) needs may struggle in situations which control their opportunities for movement. This is where the need is based on hyposensitivity. This includes classroom lessons, assembly gatherings and other places such as cinemas where sitting still for sustained periods of time is required. Individuals with sensory needs are unable to control the perceptual processes which drive sensory seeking behaviours. However, with support they can find ways to help them manage this and reduce its disruptive impact.


Children who are hyposensitive to movement struggle to process information about where their body is in space. They require movement to raise the stimulus above the threshold at which they can perceive and process this information. This often leads to sensory seeking behaviour involving squirming when sat, frequently out of place, rocking and tapping. Strategies that can support them include:

Fiddle toys

Sensory and wobble cushions

Weighted wrist bands and neck rolls

Walking in bare feet 

Letting them drink water from a sport bottle during lessons

Plastercine or Theraputty to manipulate with their hands

Elastic bands or hair bands around the wrist to flick

Large physio bands or Therabands for more gross motor coordination and stimulus.

Frequent movement breaks

Vigorous exercise lasting at least five minutes such as running, trampolining, star jumps etc


There is very little in the literature describing how to support proprioceptive hypersensitivity. Equally the literature appears void of any reference to difficulties caused by this. It may be that hypersensitivity conveys advantages only. However, it may also reflect societal values where children who seek quiet activities and avoid energetic pastimes is often a desirable quality.

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