Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder

What is it?

Sensory Processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. A Sensory Processing Disorder means that the sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses.

What Are The Symptoms?

Like many disorders, the symptoms fall onto a spectrum. Concerns are usually raised when the symptoms begin to interfere with a child’s learning, enjoyment of activities, interaction with family and peers. Some of the typical symptoms that may be observed with Sensory Processing Disorder include:
• Fidgeting, unable to sit still
• Wears only soft clothing, socks & clothing tags are often an issue
• Picky eater, very sensitive to tastes and textures of foods
• Chews on clothing or other inappropriate items
• Sensitive to noise and visual stimuli – becomes overwhelmed in school assemblies, malls, birthday parties…

How can Occupational Therapy help?

• An OT can help identify where the breakdown occurs in the sensory processing system.
• Based on that understanding, the OT works with the child to help improve his/her awareness of what they are feeling and why
• The OT then develops a toolkit of strategies for both the child and caregivers to use under a variety of circumstances (some examples include heavy work activities, active sitting cushions, opportunities for sensory breaks etc.)
• In some situations, ongoing OT treatment is recommended. These treatment sessions are geared to help children to learn to re-organize the sensory processing system. This is done by providing children with organized sensory input in a fun and creative environment at Creative Therapy Health Services
Next Steps
• Call, email or talk to an OT to discuss your situation further and determine whether OT can help
• Schedule an initial assessment to get a thorough understanding of the situation, develop a treatment plan with a set of goals and objectives
• Treatment may consist of additional sessions with an OT or an OT Assistant and follow up activities at home or school

Please contact us find out if we can help.