Our senses – sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste, balance, and awareness of body positions and movements – gather information from our surroundings and send it to the brain, which processes the information to help us navigate the world.
However, some children and adults experience difficulty processing and interpreting sensory information due to sensory processing disorder (SPD), resulting in an overwhelming or oversensitive response. For example, screaming when their faces get wet, throwing dramatic mood swings and tantrums, etc. SPD mostly affects toddlers and is often associated with autism.
Fortunately, occupational therapy can help such children. Let’s learn more about occupational therapy, how it can help people with SPD, and where you can go for outstanding occupational therapy in Wooster, OH.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
As a kind of rehabilitative therapy, occupational therapy is focused on helping people with physical, mental and cognitive impairment acquire skills or regain their lost skills needed to lead independent lives.
To help people with sensory issues, occupational therapists(medical professionals who provide occupational therapy) create a tailored plan that may consist of exercises, integrative activities, and other forms of therapeutic tools to improve their fine motor skills and sensory skills.
How Occupational Therapy Can Help?
Occupational therapists are experts in spotting sensory seeking or avoiding behavior that is not normal and developing a treatment plan. Typically, an occupational therapist can help in the following ways.
Since the sensory processing disorder may affect one or multiple senses, an occupational therapist will first do a sensory assessment.
A detailed history of your child’s development is taken during the assessment, and the child’s response to different stimuli is observed. Child’s autonomic functions, such as reactions, movements, and coordination, are also observed at school, home, and playground to pinpoint their areas of difficulty.
Treatment of Sensory Processing Issues
Once the areas of difficulty are known, your occupational therapist will address them by implementing various techniques and strategies.
The goal of the therapy is to help the child do better at activities they are not good at and help them get used to things they can’t tolerate.
This treatment helps treat sensory issues by challenging your child in a fun and playful way so they can learn and respond appropriately to the things (stimuli). This also allows children to function normally.
Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR) model
This therapy involves multiple play sessions with the child and the parent to help the child master skills in areas like thinking, communication, and relating.
Each play session lasts about 20 minutes, during which the parents are asked to follow the child’s lead so that the child allows the parent to “enter” into their world.
Then, in the second session, parents use the play session to create challenges for the child. This pulls the child into a “shared” world with the parent.
Sensory desensitization helps your child understand their reactions to different senses so that they can cope better. For example, your child may be given different objects to reduce their tactile defensiveness.
This therapy can also be performed in conjunction with speech therapy.
Occupational Therapy in Wooster, OH
If your child is sensitive to the different textures of clothes, refuses to eat a particular food, is oversensitive to light, or has difficulty holding objects, they may be having a sensory processing issue.
At HealthPoint (our facility at Wooster Community Hospital), we provide compassionate and effective occupational therapy to guide our patients toward optimal health and wellness. With outclass rehabilitative services, our occupational therapists have helped countless people of all ages with impairments live well and thrive.
Call us today at (330) 202-3300 or fill out our online appointment request form to make an appointment with our occupational therapist.