Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Carolyn Podolski

Second Advisor

Sutanuka Bhattacharjya


The closure of schools and the resulting transition to virtual learning during COVID-19 greatly impacted young children, leading to increased irritability, aggression, and anxiety; however, no standardized protocol exists for addressing these behavioral challenges. The objective of this project was to develop a program focusing on sensory and coregulation techniques to enhance self-regulation among children who were socially and/or emotionally affected by lockdown during COVID. Caregiver surveys indicated a need for supplemental sensory input for the child’s emotional regulation and social engagement; as well as supportive strategies for parents to facilitate communication and co-regulate effectively. Interviews with occupational therapists highlighted these challenges and supported the need for the SENSES program. The SENSES program provides strategies for addressing emotional regulation and difficulties with social participation. By providing an easily accessible tool and guide for caregivers, SENSES effectively addresses the challenges that children and caregivers experience post COVID.

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