WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Take a look at the chart (click the link above.) The top row addresses the high functioning fully integrated skills that come from good sensory processing. The information on the bottom row is the background support for these high level skills. Without the support (I call it the basement), the roof falls into the basement. When we have a child or adult who is having difficulty with the higher level skills of life we can evaluate using a variety of available evaluation tools to deduce which of the sensory processing pieces are not functioning and are causing the brain to be confused, disorganized, in a high state of arousal or very much in fight flight.
This is not a damaged brain but a disordered brain. When the brain is like this, it cannot think, learn, communicate or be in calm alert. The therapists that are trained in this field or this theoretical approach carefully look at clusters of behavioral symptoms and make assumptions based upon the assessment tool, parental report and clinical observations.
The therapist then plans a program to address the sensory issues to help the sensory systems function so that the brain can function. We (the therapist) then work to take a person out of defensiveness, calm, organize the brain (modulation), and help the information go from the body into the brain to help the brain function at its best in a smooth and coordinated manner.
Young children do well with a sensory processing approach such as “The Ready Approach” which was developed by Bonnie Hanschu, OTR taken from the work of Jean Ayres, PhD, OTR, FAOTA. She called her work “Sensory Integration.” The SIPT is the assessment tool that Jean Ayres developed to test Sensory Integration difficulties.
In my opinion The Ready Assessment is perfect for birth through 3 which I have experienced a lot of success evaluating and diagnosing these difficulties. When a plan is applied for the recommended amount of time, the results can have a remarkable impact on the child, their behavior and learning abilities. The areas that it can affect are gross and fine motor, communication, and cognitive skill development.
There is a lot of information on the internet about sensory processing disorders. “Raising a Sensory Smart Child” is a good resource on what it is and how to work with sensory kids.
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