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Play for Success

The primary focus of childhood is development – physical, social, cognitive and emotional – and we use "play"-like activities to help children in this process.

Testimonials

"Our son has worked with many different therapies, but Silke is the first therapist who actually talked to us and engaged us in the therapy. She's an inspiration for the parents as much as she is so helpful for the kids!"
~ B.W.

 

Sensory Integration PDF Print E-mail

What is Sensory Integration?

CIMG0743Sensory Integration is a neurological process in which the information received from the five classic senses (vision, auditory, touch, olfaction, and taste), the sense of movement (vestibular system), and the positional sense (proprioception) are integrated and result in an appropriate response. Children with difficulties often sense information normally but have difficulty integrating it to give a regulated "normal" response. This may affect one sense only or a combination of senses and may show as over-sensitivity (hypersensitive) or under-sensitivity (hyporesponsive) or a combination, visible as signs of distress or confusion during normal everyday activities. Symptoms can mirror other diagnosis as they often affect the arousal/alertness level of a child.

Sometimes this is called Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and may be diagnosed by developmental pediatricians, pediatric neurologists, and child psychologists. However as it has not yet been included in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSMV IV) and may therefore not be accepted by insurances.

How can we address Sensory Integration difficulties?

Once children with such difficulties have been accurately diagnosed, they benefit from a treatment program of OT with a sensory integration (SI) approach, which typically takes place in a sensory-rich environment, such as a playground, your home or an "OT gym." During OT sessions, the therapist guides the child through fun activities that are subtly structured so the child is constantly challenged yet always successful, so that he/she learns appropriate responses to sensation in an active, meaningful, and fun way. The sessions are family-centered, so that parents can support the child across environments with successful strategies. Complimentary therapies, such as therapeutic listening (TL) or co-treatments with other clinicians, may be recommended.

Why use OTchildren to address sensory processing difficulties?

2002mixed_085An OT with expertise in sensory integration will be able to carefully observe and analyze your child's responses to various sensory inputs and create an appropriate plan to guide your child towards more successful and functional responses via guided sensory experiences. We believe that it is crucial for each child to be successful and supported throughout is process that challenges affected senses to learn new patterns and responses.

We are able to analyze each response from a child, whether appropriate or inappropriate, to gradually increase the challenges and respond appropriately to each individualized child's needs.

A mother's comment after we initiated therapy for her young son: "....Understanding my child's sensory needs and being able to implement therapeutic activities at home has been invaluable. Occupational Therapy has taught me not only how to support my son's challenges, but to recognize and build on the uniqueness of his strengths."