Sensory therapy

Many developmental conditions often are co morbid (exist together) and can present very similarly, but are treated in different ways. Identifying properly the foundational issues is extremely important when it comes to choose the right treatment pathway for the child/the young person.

Enhancing the play therapy with sensory input is a positive and most powerful/effective way to help children work through difficulties they are having in safe and non-adversarial manner.

Play is the child’s natural medium of expression. Completing the play therapy with sensory elements from occupational therapies and speech and language therapy enable the method to alleviating the child’s emotional, behavioural and mental health problems.

Sensory processing is known, as the individual way a person can process the information coming from the surrounding environment.

Sight (visual processing), hearing (auditory system), vestibular system, proprioceptive and tactile systems, taste and olfactory perception these are all systems, which form our understanding of the environment. We all have our own preferences and during out lifetime we all adapt and learn what we like and dislike, can or can’t do.

However, when one or more of our systems go offline, we do not function at our optimal levels, which affect our performance. Applying this to a child development, it means that there will be an impact of various aspects of daily life including academic underperformance, self-esteem issues and problems at home.

Many people do not know that vestibular system is also responsible for:

  • Regulating muscle tone;

  • Eye muscle control (tracing skills which allow you to read smoothly, copy from a board and etc);

  • Self-regulation – focus and attention, impulse control, distractibility, arousal level (hyperactive or hypoactive).

Signs of difficulties with vestibular processing:

  • Dislike/fear or seeking out activities with feet of the ground (swinging, slides, riding a bike, jumping or climbing);

  • Clumsiness or frequent falling;

  • Appearing to never become dizzy with long/excessive spinning;

  • Seemingly unaware of danger;

  • Dislike when asked to lie on his back with head on the floor;

  • Difficulties with sitting still or unable to sustain attention without moving;

  • Children that are noted to chew or suck on collars, sleeves pencils, hair etc are often telling you that their vestibular system is not doing its job, so they revert to a more primitive system (oral) to calm and focus themselves. It is seen as a compensatory mechanism so be careful not to remove it until the vestibular system gets matured;

  • Other issues with sensory perception problems could be explained under request.

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