Original Research

The identification of sensory processing difficulties of learners experiencing

Petronella Susanna de Jager
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 1, No 2 | a82 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v1i2.82 | © 2011 Petronella Susanna de Jager | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2014 | Published: 31 December 2011

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Petronella Susanna de Jager, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

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The purpose of this study is to explore the sensory processing difficulties of Grade R
learners that are diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) in two schools in South
Africa. Attwood (2007, p. 271) considers sensory sensitivities to have a greater impact
on the lives of these individuals, than problems with making friends, managing
emotions and coping academically. This research approach was purely qualitative;
it used interviews and observations. The sample consists of two independent case studies composed of learners aged between five and seven who had been clinically diagnosed with AS. The results confirmed sensory processing difficulties, and
illustrated how these difficulties impacted on the general learning and development of learners diagnosed with AS. Although they were both bright learners, they were
perceived as underachievers. By identifying these sensory difficulties and creating awareness among educators, it is possible to debunk misconceptions people have of the adaptability of these learners to a mainstream school environment.


Asperger’s Syndrome, sensory processing, Inclusive Education, sensory


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