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Sensory modulation - whakaāio ā-rongo training package

Built for you

This sensory modulation training package is available to anyone who wants to build their knowledge and skills in the application of sensory modulation. Sensory modulation is an evidence-based, and people-centric approach used to support people to manage their distress.

He mihi

We extend our sincerest appreciation to all the dedicated team members, experts, stakeholders, and individuals who contributed to the development of the sensory modulation suite of resources providing invaluable insights, feedback, and support throughout the process. Your expertise and commitment have been instrumental in shaping this comprehensive mahi, which promises to enhance understanding and practice in the field of sensory modulation.

About this training package

The training package comprises a suite of resources. These share the science behind sensory processing, arousal, and emotion. There is also a range of tools to support you to use sensory modulation in your daily life and mahi.

Through this training, you will:

  • explore the foundations of sensory modulation
  • learn how to identify opportunities for the use of sensory modulation
  • explore assessment tools
  • learn practical strategies, sensory-based interventions, and environmental modifications to promote sensory regulation and participation in daily activities
  • understand the importance of collaboration among the workforce, whānau, and people in developing personalised sensory modulation plans.

The suite of resources consists of a variety of options for you to engage with. You may choose to complete one or more of the options available. If you are completely new to sensory modulation, we suggest working through the resources in the order they appear in the menu to the left. However, the options can be completed in any order and accessed multiple times.

The suite of resources within this sensory modulation training package include:

  • an e-learning module: introduction to sensory modulation
  • a series of six booklets: more developed content, opportunities for application and reflection activities
  • tools and resources: that are easily printable to use in your mahi
  • comic and associated videos: which follow Tom in his journey seeking wellbeing through a sensory lens.

We hope that you will find something that suits your learning style and the time and space that you have to further your learning.

How to use this training package

E-learning module

This introductory e-learning module helps ensure you can confidently use whakaāio ā-rongo sensory modulation as a tool in your mahi.

The module was originally developed by Mental Health, Addiction and Intellectual Disability Service (MHAIDS), Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast, Hutt Valley & Wairarapa, who gifted it to Te Pou.

The module supports a person and whānau-centered, trauma-informed, and evidence-based approach in the use of whakaāio ā-rongo sensory modulation.

The e-learning module includes:

  • introduction to whakaāio ā-rongo sensory modulation
  • the concepts of whakaāio ā-rongo sensory modulation
  • whakaāio ā-rongo sensory modulation in practice.

The e-learning module takes 40 to 60 minutes to complete. You can stop at any time and your progress will be recorded so you can return to where you left off.

A certificate is available to download upon completion.

Sensory modulation workbook series

This series of six booklets supports people to develop values, attitudes, knowledge, and skills in sensory modulation. The six booklets in the series are below.

  • Booklet 1: Theory.
  • Booklet 2: Cultural responsiveness.
  • Booklet 3: Assessment.
  • Booklet 4: Sensory modulation approaches.
  • Booklet 5: Sensory modalities.
  • Booklet 6: Using in practice, bringing it all together.

Tools and resources

This training package contains tools and resources to support you to use sensory modulation. You can download each of the tools and resources here.

Arousal rating scale

A simple tool to use before and after using sensory tools

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Sensory kit template

A guide for developing a personal sensory kit

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Sensory cards

To support exploration of sensory modalities.

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Sensory resources list

Sensory items for a variety of settings.

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Sensory modulation procedure template

The "how to's" for using sensory modulation.

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Brief guidance on how to use sensory modulation to support de-escalation

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The use of weighted blankets

The use of weighted items, including precautions

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Sensory screening tool

The tool can be used alongside a person, or the person can complete it by themselves.

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Essential oils

The use of essential oils, including precautions

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Sensory modulation brochure

A printable resource for introducing the approach.

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Brochure for whānau

A printable resource for whānau

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Tom's story in visual media

The comic follows Tom’s journey depicted in a comic strip and associated video clips and provides you an opportunity to engage in reflective activities. The comic takes you along Tom’s journey seeking wellbeing through a sensory lens.

Each chapter in the comic is followed by a link to a short video clip exploring the key concepts covered in the chapter in more detail. This can also be given to people as an example of how sensory modulation looks in everyday life.


Special thanks to the following groups.

Teddy from Ted's Space

Get in touch

Kerry Weir-Smith (she/her)


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