Each day we learn from or react to sensory information such as:
Our ability to understand this information helps us participate in the world around us. That understanding is called sensory integration. It's crucial to our ability to learn about ourselves and our environment. It enables us to succeed in school or work, and interact with others.
Some children have difficulty interpreting and filtering sensory information. For example, they may be unable to distinguish important sounds from unimportant sounds. They may hear the television and their parent speaking all at the same volume. They are unable to pay attention to what their parent is saying because the television is “too loud.”
Signs to watch for include:
At Courage Kenny Kids, an occupational therapist can evaluate your child’s ability to process sensory information. The evaluation includes information you provide about your child’s reactions to dressing, eating, grooming, sleeping, touch, movement and social interactions. The therapist will decide how to help your child based on the results of the evaluation.
Therapists will plan play activities to help your child gain skills, such as tolerating a variety of sensations, playing and manipulating toys, following 2-3 step directions, dressing independently, taking turns and sharing, learning to cope with disappointment or failure, and improving ability to pay attention.
Learn more about sensory integration. Follow through on the evaluation recommended by your doctor. Observe how your child is reacting to different sensations. This important information can be shared with your therapist and will help determine your child’s treatment plan.
The therapist will recommend other activities you can do at home to help your child after the evaluation is completed.
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Courage Kenny Kids
Sara Rohde, OTR/L, manager, Courage Kenny Kids