The Complementary Profession of Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Occupational Therapy(OT) is a health profession devoted to helping people who have motor and behavior problems learn how to perform purposeful activities.  For a child, purposeful activities include play, School-work, and activities of daily living (adl’s).

*Don’t let the title of Occupational Therapy  fool you.  These specialists work with infants, children and adults.  OT’s  provide essential evaluation and training to make efficient and effective learning and performance happen.

What is Sensory Integration?

A lot of learning and performance issues are caused from poor Sensory Integration abilities.  Sensory Integration(SI) is the ability to take in information through the senses and put it together with proper information, memories, and knowledge stored in the brain in order to make a meaningful response.  SI occurs in the central nervous system and is generally thought to take place in the mid-brain and brainstem levels.  The body sends information to the portions of the brain responsible for such things as coordination, attention, arousal levels, autonomic functioning, emotions, memory, and higher level cognitive functions.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Sensory Integration Dysfunction?

Because of the complexity of the various areas that are dependent upon and interact with each other as well as the child’s own personality and environment, it is not possible to have a single list of symptoms that identify sensory integration dysfunction.  If your child displays any of the following, he/she may have a dysfunction in sensory integration:

  • Has trouble focusing
  • Becomes over-stimulated by too much noise
  • Has poor handwriting
  • Is in perpetual motion
  • Becomes dizzy/over-stimulated by too much movement
  • Is clumsy
  • Has low muscle tone
  • Does not like to be touched OR touches excessively
  • Is a picky eater
  • Avoids playground activities/sports
  • Has difficulty with transitions
  • Has trouble completing activities of daily living
  • Has difficulty copying off the chalkboard
  • Shuts down/has meltdowns
  • Has trouble following directions
  • Has poor body awareness
  • Is emotionally “up and down”

To request information about Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration services, please contact us.

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