Sensory assessment

Sorry to be a nuisance. I am just wondering if anyone knows what a sensory assessment is? What happens during it? We are supposed to be being referred for one although nobody knows if there is a waiting list or how long the waiting list is etc.

Thank you for your help

Internet wise , the best I can offer :

Deals with several depending on exactly what condition is being assessed.

Dementia / learning disability / cognitive … to name just three.

Waiting times ?

Nothing out there as a general guide but … the dreaded post code lottery may well come into play.

Hi Sall, it would help if we could have a bit more information.
According to the Ombudsman, Social Services Assessments should be completed within 4-6 weeks.

Hi Sal, a sensory assessment is carried out by an OT. Not all OT’s are trained in sensory needs, so how long it takes for the appointment will depend on how many OT’s in the area are trained and what the waiting list is.

Sensory assessments are often carried out for those on the autism spectrum, but can also be useful for those with special needs or mental health difficulties. The OT will look at how someone’s sensory needs/differences affect their every day life and often suggest a sensory - which is a range of sensory activities that will help the person’s general wellbeing and to manage their arousal levels. We all have an optimum arousal level for functioning - too aroused and we are anxious/hyper, to under-aroused and we are sluggish and lethargic.

The quality of the assessment depends on the level of training the OT has had. They usually happen over a matter of weeks and include questionnaires and observation. They consider the commonly known senses and also the vestibular sense and proprioception.

S had a sensory assessment as a child and as an adult and we often request them for children at school - they are usually very helpful.


PS you aren’t a nuisance. The forum is here to support and share info. You are very welcome.

We were referred because I am concerned that the carers aren’t aware/trained enough in visual problems. Nan has little to no sight in the left eye and reduced with added cataract in the right eye.

I try and do shopping etc when carers come in but recently it’s new just training carers coming alone who really need some support and keep leaving furniture for Nan to fall over. I know some has to be moved in particular when showering her but for some stupid reason I assumed common sense would prevail and it would go back…it NEVER does. It means I’m babysitting the carer instead of doing the shopping etc. Which is frustrating to say the least. When I contacted care direct they said in order to improve that she needed a sensory assessment. I hadn’t really heard of it before and wondered what it was.

Now you have told me more, I’m going to mention touch too. She isn’t keen on being touched, says ouch before you’re close enough to touch her which is tricky when it comes to lymphatic massage and cream application. It’s interesting you mention Autism because I’ve said a few times if she was a child now it would most likely be autistic spectrum, she HATES with a passion changes in routine, five minutes in time difference and there is a fair amount of yelling and sometimes hitting out {not helping that the carers just turn up as and when they feel like driving out this far} or kicking, she has never concentrated on a conversation just zones out and won’t answer a question, among other things. It would be the change to routine and not knowing what was coming that would throw Nan and create challenging behaviour {including blanking the person and refusing to cooperate despite agreeing to it in the first place} so I was trying to be prepared and keep talking about it so she knew what to expect.

She has a fused hip and one leg is shorter than the other so her balance would be altered slightly although after a lifetime of this she is used to it, she uses a walking frame but isn’t great with walking and we have progressed on to wheelchairs for anything over 25 yards.

I’m probably over hoping now but I’m hoping if they can help with the sight and the touch that will be amazing. Although I’m not entirely sure what can be done.

Thank you for listening and helping it’s really appreciated.