Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Children investigating primary and secondary colours on Moti-Lab

Multi Sensory Learning

A multi sensory approach to learning deepens understanding and can have dramatic benefits for children with disabilities.

Moti-Lab fosters this learning style by engaging all the senses in it’s use.  As the tasks for Moti-Lab are in general, open ended, the individual child can perform the tasks to the best of their abilities regardless of what they may be.

This has major advantages for you and your setting.  Some of the children in your care may simply be at the level of sensory learning and learning through play, whilst others may be higher functioning, Moti-Lab can offer learning outcomes for every child and allow each child to push their own boundaries.

The children can work towards the learning plans that are laid out for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 so Moti-Lab can be used as a learning tool for your most and least able children.

Exploring and pushing these boundaries can be done by the children themselves or encouraged and directed by teachers.

The multi  sensory aspect of Moti-Lab can be enhanced by adding simple resources you may already have, bubbles and food colouring to name just two.  Other media that flows can be investigated be that washing up liquid, rice, water beads etc all enhance the sensory nature of Moti-Lab. Other water resources can also be used, such as pouring cups, watering cans etc, to enhance the fine and gross motor skills Moti-Lab requires.

Side by Side Learning

Children on the autistic and ADHD spectrum can sometimes find it difficult to cope with concentrating and learning when situated physically opposite a teacher or peer.

Moti-Lab enables small groups to work side by side removing this confrontational aspect that some types of learning can have. Working side by side removes the element of competition sometimes felt by these children and helps them to concentrate on tasks and partake in teamwork.

The benefits of this extend to fostering communication between individuals as they explore and investigate a shared goal or task. This can lead to great leaps in co operation and communication between individuals and groups.

Two boy learning side by side

Learning outcomes for a child with medium learning difficulties

SEND In Mainstream Schooling

We have had some great successes with SEND children in mainstream schools. Practical activities favour kinaesthetic learners and we have seen children with SEN not only excelling in tasks but becoming leaders for their peers.

Children may have multiple traits that limit their abilities to learn in a more formal teaching environment. The change of space and focusing on practical tasks can benefit these children greatly.

We have seen children, who previously became aggressive when personal space was invaded, being so focused on the tasks that they can work happily in very close proximity to their classmates.

Others, who have generally struggled in class based exercises, leading and directing their peers, giving them a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.

Using Moti-Lab as a new way to learn subject matter such as maths can give the child the confidence that they can “achieve” and hopefully take this confidence back into the classroom helping with other more formal learning and behavior.

SEND Therapies

Moti-Lab also can be used to deliver established therapies for SEND children.  As teachers and carers you will be the best people to adapt the uses of Moti-Lab to the different therapies you use with the individuals you teach, but here are some examples.

Lego® Based Therapy

Lego® based therapy is a social based development therapy which has been developed over the years for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).


The therapy uses LEGO to improve social communication difficulties such as verbal, non-verbal communication, joint attention, task focus, sharing and turn taking.

Each participant engages in an open ended multi-sensory experience where their unique needs are catered for. Regardless if the child has ASD, is blind, deaf or has mobility impairment or ADHD they can engage fully in the activity.

The therapy is aligned to the fundamentals of play therapy; Each child is assigned a role,

  • Engineer
  • Builder
  • Supplier
  • Director

And through role play is facilitated to learn essential social skills.  Moti-Lab provides an ideal environment to establish this type of therapy.

Two teachers interacting with a child with learning difficulties

Intensive Interaction

This is a therapy which can teach the fundamentals of communication to children who may have severe learning difficulties and / or ASD.

Moti-Lab can provide an ideal environment for this therapy as the child and therapist could work from ‘behind the wall’.

The idea behind Intensive interaction is that the therapy progressively develops an enjoyable and relaxed interaction between the child and therapist, led by the child.

The sequences are then repeated frequently and gradually grow in duration, supporting communication and interaction between the two parties.

With the Moti-Lab, this therapy can be sensory; the child can pour water down the gutters and describe their process to the therapist on the other side and gradually develop the engagement, communicating each change.

Sensory Diet

This is a carefully designed personal plan for a child to provide them with the activities that the child needs to stay focused and organised throughout the day.

Where kids with mild to severe sensory issues require stabilising and focusing, the Moti-Lab can help.

Whether a child is over or under aroused they need help to;

  • tolerate sensations and situation that they find challenging
  • regulate their emotions, which may include alertness or increasing attention span
  • reduce any unwanted attention seeking behaviour
  • be able to manage transitions with reduced emotional response

Boy with special educational needs interacts with therapist

Moti-Lab can help to provide a mechanism to engage these children in stimulating or calming activities through the medium of water with a timetable that suits them.

A Group Of Teachers Learning At A Computer

Teacher Support and CPD

Moti-Lab will be providing support for SEND practitioners through advice shared generally on our Facebook page as well as our blogs and newsletters (sign up here), we’ll also be producing videos specifically for SEND practitioners on our Youtube channel.

If you have any good ideas for using Moti-Lab please share them with us to help fellow SEND practitioners.

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