Date of Award

Spring 4-19-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Soyoung Park


This paper explores the impact of sensory processing differences on the development of young children’s peer relationships in early childhood. Current children’s literature on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is limited in addressing the ways in which SPD intersects with social interaction among students with disabilities and their nondisabled peers. By exploring social scenarios grounded in the lived experiences of one child with SPD, I aim to broaden what counts as acceptable approaches to connection and interaction among young children. I use the social model of disability, the tenets of the neurodiversity movement, and the guiding principles of Disability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) as a framework to reject traditional racist and ableist norms of social-emotional development, create more inclusive educational spaces that welcome the full range of human variation, and encourage children to be more of who they are.


Early Childhood General and Special Education