Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Occupational Therapy and Sensory Processing Issues

Most children experience a range of sensory stimulation throughout the day without even realizing it. The sound of a dog’s collar jingling or the blur of a passing train may even go completely unnoticed. Other children, however, may find this kind of stimulation stressful or unpleasant. Sensory integration therapy may be a useful approach in treating children who struggle with sensory issues.

An occupational therapist could play a significant role in helping a child overcome or minimize frustrations associated with sensory integration problems. An individualized approach is key in most cases. Thus, understanding what the child dislikes and really enjoys can help create a course of action that could promote an improved well-being. For example, exposing children to controlled environments that allow them to succeed while being exposed to a sensory challenge may be one way to show them how to process such stimuli.

An individualized approach is often paired with getting the family involved in the intervention efforts of resolving sensory integration issues. Occupational therapists enlighten parents and other family members on how the child generally feels and responds to sensory stimulation. This provides the family with an opportunity to become involved in supporting the intervention process. Gaining insight into what bothers the child or learning ways to adapt activities so the child can more easily be included in family events may lead to more positive experiences for everyone.