Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Sensory Integration Therapy
Our physical therapists provide support in the areas of gross motor development, movement dysfunction, and motor planning. These may include, but are not limited to, working with:
-gross motor skills
-range of motion
-quality of movement
-general strength and endurance
-coordination of whole body
-assistive devices and adaptive equipment
-assist with sensory integration
Our occupational therapists provide support in the areas of fine motor dysfunction, functional skill building, self-care (ADLs), and sensory integration. These may include, but are not limited to, working with:
-fine motor skills
Our speech therapists provide support in the areas of articulation, language, oral-motor skills, feeding, and general communication. These may include, but are not limited to, working with:
-quality of language
-production of sounds
-increasing range of sounds
-ability to swallow
-socialize and understand appropriately
-ability to understand and produce speech
Sensory Integration Therapy
What is Sensory Integration?
Sensory integration is organizing the senses for functional use. It is the way the brain organizes sensations for engagement in learning and play. It is the ability to take in information through the senses of touch, movement, smell, taste, vision, and hearing, and to make them work together. For most children, this happens naturally. The systems all come together to help a child learn gross and fine motor skills, balance, pay attention in class, read a book, etc.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) occurs when the senses do not come together in such a way to allow for typical development. Cecilia Cruse, MS, OTR/L of Abilitations Magazine states “SPD is to the brain what indigestion is to the stomach. Information from the senses gets jumbled, lost or processed incorrectly.” Children with SPD often have decreased attention to task, motor or proprioceptive problems, avoid or have difficulty being touched, and can be hyperactive or have low energy. Because these sensory problems can be overwhelming, the child may become anxious, act out, or throw tantrums.
Sensory Integration Therapy is typically done by occupational therapists. They can assess developmental levels and determine if some delays may be caused by a SPD. Often a child with SPD will also have speech or motor delays and may need to be seen by a physical therapist or speech-language pathologist. The occupational therapist, while treating the child, will help put a plan in place that the family and other therapists can follow. This “sensory diet” may include calming techniques for a hypersensitive child or stronger sensations for the hyposensitive child. All activities will be performed in a play filled environment. These may include brushing, lotion, finger painting, play dough, gentle rocking, or quiet music.