Occupational Therapy For Children
Occupational therapy at STAR Center focuses on arousal regulation and relationship-based direct intervention. We believe that priorities for treatment must be geared toward increased social participation, self-regulation and self-esteem. Generally, therapy includes strategies for modulation of sensation and increased postural control and motor planning using sensory integration strategies. The focus is on parent-identified priorities for changes in daily functioning at home, at school, and/or in the community.
The goal of occupational therapy is to enable children with SPD to accurately detect, regulate, interpret, and execute appropriate motor and behavioral responses to sensations so they are able to perform everyday activities in a functional manner.
For children, these activities include playing with friends, enjoying school or work, completing daily routines such as eating, dressing, sleeping, and enjoying a typical family life.
Occupational therapists at STAR Center teach you to understand how sensation is perceived by your child, and how those perceptions affect attention, emotions, motor skills, and learning abilities. Your occupational therapist serves as coach, educator, and role model while you actively participate and learn strategies for home, school, and the community during your child’s OT sessions.
Therapy sessions are fun, and are subtly structured so that your child is challenged but always successful in completing each activity. The emphasis is on developing automatic and appropriate responses to sensation in an active, meaningful, and fun way by interacting in a large occupational therapy room filled with toys, nets, ropes, swings, and other equipment.
Occupational Therapy for Adults
A growing body of scientific research suggests that the human brain remains capable of change and adaptation into old age. What this means for adults and older children with SPD is that they, too, can benefit from intervention for their sensory challenges.
Effective services for adults and older adolescents include direct therapy, home programs, education, and/or accommodations.
In direct treatment, therapy is designed to improve sensory processing and decrease sensory symptoms. Specific sensory inputs such as tactile stimulation, movement, auditory input, and/or other sensory experiences are utilized to reduce the client’s specific symptoms.
Adults who have never before experienced heights, touch, or movement with comfort can become much more successful and happy during those activities.
Home programs can also be utilized, with or without regular direct treatment, to assist with reducing the negative symptoms associated with SPD. Education about SPD and the sensory systems can contribute to an individual developing insight into how sensory processing differences affect learning, relationships, and social participation. The understanding that results lays the foundation for developing accommodations to sensory-based differences and helping to reduce the negative impact of SPD on daily life.
Because brain plasticity diminishes through life, adults and older children may progress more slowly in treatment than young children, but improvement is achievable at any stage of life with effective therapeutic intervention.