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TITLE: A Case Study on the Relationship Between Sensory Processing Skills and Academic Achievement with a 14 year old With Electrographic Status Epilepticus in Sleep (ESES)

Authors: Dechantal C. V. Montano, OTR/L and Sara T. Naegele, MS Ed                          Execu-Sensory and Neuropedagogy Educational Consulting Services


OBJECTIVES: This case study shows a relationship between increased sensory processing skills and academic achievement for a 14-year-old female with infantile stroke and Electrical Status Epilepticus of Sleep (ESES) among others.  The objective of this study is to determine the relationship between an increase in sensory processing alertness/engagement and academic achievement for a student with ESES.

METHODS: Baseline academic achievement was gathered with an independent psycho-education evaluation, modified Brigance Testing and experimenter designed 7-sense diet tracking sheets. Sensory diet tracking measured Levels of Engagement (LoE) and levels of Alertness (LoA) on a 5 point scale. Intervention was delivered in school and home with participation of medical, educational and technical staff. Modified 7- sense sensory diets were implemented up to 6 times a day in the first 4 months lasting for 15-30 minutes, and up to 3 times a day for the last 8 months. Student’s academic program was two-three formal 30-minute individual or small group periods, and two formal 30-minute whole group periods for 12 months. Direct instruction model was utilized during individual/small group instruction. When student mastered content with at least 80% accuracy over five consecutive sessions, new topics were introduced. Post-Test academic achievement and sensory processing was taken one year after baseline.

RESULTS: Evidence from assessments demonstrated a correlation between increased and consistent levels of alertness and engagement during improvements in diets and academic achievement. At baseline, student presented with aversion to the diet protocol (0% for both levels of engagement and alertness). Student tested at a pre-kindergarten level for word recognition and computation and kindergarten level for rote counting. Results corroborated with the independent psycho-education evaluation. Post-Testing had student to be alert 86.7% at level 3 (calm/neutral/awake) and 13.3% at level 2 (sleepy, intentional eye-closure) and engaged 68.3% at level 4 (engaged for 75% of the activity), 26.7% at level 3 (engaged for 50% of the activity) and 5% at a level 2(engaged for 25% of the activity). Modified Brigance-Testing had her at 3rd grade on word recognition and computation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).

CONCLUSIONS: This case study shows positive correlation between increased sensory processing alertness/engagement and academic achievement when sensory diets are administered. Increased sensory processing alertness/engagement plays a part in increasing academic achievement in children with ESES. Please note that additional therapies were performed throughout the student’s day and may have played a role in her overall increase in academic achievement. Further work on the efficacy of sensory processing skills needs to be studied within a clinical based setting to determine if the benefits are generalizable to other children within this population as well other populations.

Execu­‐Sensory  and Neuropedagogy Lecture Series One:  

The  Brain  in Holistic  Learning  and  Behavior  Connection

Sara Naegele demonstrating a section of Brain Gym to the participants.

ACADEMIC  11/7/2014:  9:00  a.m.  -­‐  11:00  a.m.  Training  Seats

Attendees  explored  the  vital  connections  between  the  anatomical  brain  and  the  functional  brain,  and  the  introduction  of  delivering  instruction  via  the  knowledge  of  brain  functioning.  Attendees  increased their  awareness  of  how  technology  is  a  digital  dichotomy  between  educators  and  students,  and  how  these    influence  the  kind  of  brain  that  is  produced  based  on  the  fast-­‐paced,  ever-­‐evolving  global  environment.  In  this  session  the  Pre-­‐Frontal  Cortex  is  highlighted  to  build  upon  Executive  Functioning  Skills  as  the  Learning  Connection  in  the  classroom.    These  skills,  methods  and  strategies  can  ultimately  fast  track  the  student  into  a  sense  of  successful  awareness  of  their  skill  levels  during  various  school  experiences.  This  session  explored  the  practical  application  of  the  theory  as  it  pertains  to  specific  executive  functioning  skills.
Sara Naegele discussing Neuropedagogy


“This session was extremely informative and helpful.”
“The presentation was very informative, packed full of useful information, and interesting. I think this was great background information to use as a springboard for implementing strategies for more successfully teaching with the brain in mind. “
“Background information about why students behave the way they do or need certain things at different developmental stages.”
“I would have liked to hear more strategies about ways I could teach lessons and include all four parts of the brain. They provided a couple but as a special education teacher; the more strategies the better. Overall, great workshop!”

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