Sensory Processing Disorder

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy for Sensory Processing Disorder

We understand the world around us through eight main senses. The five we know well – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell – and three that are less well known. They are proprioception (the sense of muscle action), vestibular sense (movement and balance), and interoception (sensing inside our body e.g. breathing, digestion and heart rate).

At times everyone has difficulty with sensory processing

However some children and adults have more significant difficulties which affect their ability to participate in everyday life. The severity of sensory processing difficulties and how it affects their life can vary between individuals. Some studies suggest that as many as 1 in 6 children could suffer from a sensory processing difficulty severe enough to impact their daily life.

Diagnosing a Sensory Processing Disorder

Everyone processes sensory information differently and will present with difficulties in different areas. Sensory processing disorders can be diagnosed by an accredited Occupational Therapist.

An early childhood intervention and developmental therapy may be appropriate if your child displays some of the following behaviours:

  •  Unable to sit still and is always on the move
  • Quickly switching between activities, short attention span
  • Frequent meltdowns and tantrums
  • Appears clumsy, often knocks into things and has frequent falls
  • Has poor fine motor skills
  • Loves to run, jump and crash into things
  • Avoids playground equipment and swings
  • Poor balance
  • Doesn’t like being touched or physical affection
  • Wants to touch everything, cannot keep hands to themselves
  • Finds grooming tasks distressing e.g. cleaning, face washing, hair washing, and hair cutting
  • Is very picky about the clothes they will wear
  • Doesn’t like to get their hands messy or dirty
  • Very picky eater with limited range of foods
  • Likes to smell things more than others
  • Can smell things others can’t
  • Doesn’t like loud noises or busy places
  • Seems to enjoy making noises to themselves
  • Doesn’t like busy places like birthday parties or the shops

The Kids Play Approach to Sensory Processing Disorder

A number of our Kids Play OTs have a special interest in supporting children with Sensory Processing Disorder. They are experienced in assessing sensory processing styles and finding strategies to help ground children and help them better interact with their world.

Our therapists have been trained by nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the field of Sensory Processing including Winnie Dunn, Chris Chapparo, The Star Institute, Jen Jereb, Colleen Hacker, Patricia Wilbarger, Tracy Stackhouse and Dianne Henry.

We use a predominantly Sensory Processing Framework to build our understanding of the child’s sensory processing preferences and how this is impacting on their life. Once we understand what is driving the child’s behaviour and actions we can start therapy and build strategies into the routine to support the child to achieve greater participation and skill development.

Help your child reach their potential.
Schedule a session with a Kids Play OT today.

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