As A Parent, You Know Something's Just Not Right With Your Child...
"My child seems healthy and looks normal in every
way, so why is he having such a hard time?"
We hear this question all the time because many of the kids we work with don't have any obvious disorder. As a child develops, the body goes through a series of changes that allow it to learn how to adapt to the environment. The process of the brain organizing and adjusting touch, sound, visual stimulation, movement, and taste is called Sensory Integration.
When a child does not process sensory information correctly, it is a neurological problem, NOT a problem with intelligence, behavior or attitude.
The child's relationship to his or her body, and even to gravity, are rooted in the brain stem, where fundamental awareness of the body and environment is integrated. Without normal integration, the child may suffer from hyperactivity, ADHD, hypersensitivities, overloads and meltdowns, poor attention span, a fear of being touched, anti-social choices, or other issues labelled "behavior problems". Much of this behavior makes sense when we realize that the child, often feeling isolated and confused, is secretly struggling to "put the pieces together", to bring inner and outer experience into harmony. LifeSkills helps the child do this through occupational and speech therapy coordinated with a remarkable, proven method called Sensory Integration (SI).
Dr. A. Jean Ayres, the occupational therapist and pioneer who founded Sensory Integration, developed SI to treat perceptual, motor, and learning problems in those cases where the causes were not clear. She found that many otherwise normal children could not correctly process the information provided by their senses. Typical areas of poor integration included touch, the sense of muscles and joints, and the movement system. There are many factors that could affect normal development, even something as seemingly insignificant as a history of ear infection.
What Causes Sensory Processing Disorder?
There is no single, consistent cause for Sensory Processing Disorder, yet research indicates possible risk factors include:
- Prematurity or multiple births
- Prenatal exposure to drugs, alcohol, medication, toxins or viruses
- Genetic predisposition
- Birth trauma, such as emergency cesarean section, lack of oxygen or surgery soon after birth
- Insufficient stimulation after birth, such as institutionalization in orphanages
- Significant hospitalizations and the immobilization from invasive medical procedures
7. History of ear infections, as noted in paragraph above
Sensory Processing Disorder often co-exists with allergies, ear infections, and asthma. Whatever the cause, the treatment techniques used in Sensory Integration therapy bring relief to those that have inefficient neurological processing.